Renton's Tala Hild bounces back to win district title | Swim & dive

Renton's Tala Hild
— image credit: Adam McFadden/Renton Reporter

It was all going according to plan. Renton’s Tala Hild had qualified for the state swim meet in both her freshman and sophomore seasons. Things were only going to get better.

Then, after her sophomore swim season, she got dealt a tough blow. A torn bicep tendon and subluxation of the shoulder meant surgery. And surgery meant she was out for an extended period of time.

“It was frustrating. I cried because I would have to miss all my sports,” Hild said. “Watching everybody else swim was kind of hard.”

The road back to being competitive was tough.

“It was rough on her because she couldn’t swim and she felt like she let the team down,” said Renton coach Diane Pavelin.

The two spent the summer figuring out what and how much Hild could do.

“It was a little bit of a mental block of what I was able to do rather than what I was actually able to do,” Hild said.

Pavelin said Hild’s approach to swim helped during the recovery.

“Tala’s a smart kid,” Pavelin said. “She’s very aware of and in tune with what she needs to do as far as swimming. She doesn’t get caught up in the emotion of it.”

Pavelin had Hild working on the 200 free for most of the year in case she wasn’t able to do the fly down the road. Hild finally swam the fly at a meet Sept. 25.

“She felt good and looked good,” Pavelin said. “That was really gratifying to see after everything she’s been through.”

And she’s even faster than before. Hild won a district title in the 100 fly last week. She also finished third at districts in the 50 free. She will swim both events, and as part of Renton’s 200- and 400-free relays, at state this weekend.

The 2A state meet prelims start at 9:45 a.m. Friday. The finals start at 10 a.m. Saturday.


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