Renton high schools compete at state swim tournament

The Highlanders named the 3A state academic champions; Lindbergh senior takes second in 100 meter butterfly.

The state championship swim meet was held at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way from Nov. 10-12.

Lindbergh High School girls swim team finished 15th at the end of the tournament and has now been a top 20 finisher in every state swim meet since 2016.

Renton High School had one swimmer compete and one diver compete. Senior Emma Wetzel finished 21st in the state at the 2A level in 1 meter diving. Redhawk freshman Sophie Buchan finished 16th in the 100-yard backstroke earning her team one point at the tournament.

Hazen was well represented at state; The Highlander coaches earned the title of KingCo 3A coaching staff of the year, awarded by their peers.

“It is nice to be recognized by people that I look up to,” said Head Coach Anne Casse.

The Highlanders were also named the 3A state academic champions with an astronomical 3.93 team average Grade Point Average — the highest of any school’s swim team in the state. Sophomore Elizabeth Ngyuen said having that high of a standard has its challenges.

“It can be very difficult to stay on top of academics and swim at the same time, but knowing I have the support of my teammates makes it a lot easier,” she said. Hazen finished tied for 36th at the 3A level in the state tournament.

But the standout Rentonite was Lindbergh senior Caelee Truong, who competed in the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly, along with two relays. In the relays, Lindbergh placed 13th in the 200M individual medley and 11th in the 200 free relay. Truong was the anchor leg on both of those relays, and said she wasn’t nervous about the physical toll of swimming in four events.

She said her mindset before her two individual races over the weekend was, “I am going to kick some butt.” And that she did. In the 50 meter freestyle, she finished in fourth place, winning 15 points for her team. In the 100 meter butterfly, Truong took second and won 17 points for her team.

Truong has competed at the state level for all four years of her high school career. She said though she didn’t place as high this year compared to previous years, “Place doesn’t matter to me, I focus on my individual growth and development.”

Last weekend marked the last high school swim meet for the senior — an athlete who has contributed 195 total points to her team’s state tallies over her career. Truong said she hopes to attend either the University of Oregon or the University of Washington where she plans to study biology or psychology.

Senior Caelee Truong preparing for her 50-yard freestyle final race. Ben Ray/Sound Publishing

Senior Caelee Truong preparing for her 50-yard freestyle final race. Ben Ray/Sound Publishing