Hard work, smiles define the wet set

Members of the Bremerton girls swim team gather before practice on Tuesday, leading up to this week’s divisional meet at Port Angeles, kicking off the postseason. - Photo by James Mange
Members of the Bremerton girls swim team gather before practice on Tuesday, leading up to this week’s divisional meet at Port Angeles, kicking off the postseason.
— image credit: Photo by James Mange

Imagine a group of teenagers who are excited about the idea of starting the first of two daily workouts before 6 a.m. Can’t picture it? Drop by the Jarstad Aquatic Center.

The Bremerton girls swimming team has been churning out the laps twice a day all fall and the hard work has paid off.

Three individuals and three relay teams have already qualified for the district meet, and everyone else looked to improve their personal best one more time in the divisional meet at Port Angeles on Thursday. Results were unavailable at press time.

Adriane Banks led the qualifiers, making the cut in five events, the 50-yard freestyle, 100- and 200-yard freestyle, the 100 butterfly and the 100 breaststroke. The senior standout is also a member of the 200-medley and the 200-free relay teams.

Kelsey Wastel, also a senior, has posted district times in the 100 and 200 free and was gunning for a 50-free cut at divisionals. Wastel has been a member of all three qualifying relay teams most of the year.

Angela Anderson completes the individual qualifiers, making the grade in the breaststroke. Another senior, Anderson has also been indispensable on the relays.

In the medley relay, Amanda Benson swims the backstroke leg, followed by Anderson, Banks and Wastel.

Wastel, Banks and Anderson are joined by Leslie Pohl on the 200-free relay, while Casey Hyre and Mary Banks team with Wastel and Anderson in the 400-free relay.

Hyre is a good example of the progress made by the team this year, dropping nearly a minute in her 500 freestyle time.

“She’s made insane cuts in her 500,” said coach Justin Adrian. “She’s got an outside chance of qualifying for districts in the 500 with a good swim at the divisional meet.”

Adrian has been impressed with the work all of his team continues to deliver in his first year as head coach.

“I love the coaching aspect,” Adrian said. “The paperwork, not so much, but coming to practice and working with these girls is the highlight of my day. They’ve never worked so hard, but they’ve always got a smile on their faces. They’re a phenomenal group of girls.”

Adrian ran some morning practices last season when he was an assistant coach, and this year the girls begged for more. Making Adrian’s job more difficult, he had to develop many different workouts for the levels of talent the girls brought into the season.

Only two, Adriane Banks and Wastel had extensive experience with club swimming, and many others were completely new to competitive swimming.

“I want to give the girls credit,” Adrian said. “All year long they’ve been so great. They’re so dedicated and they’ve worked so hard. It’s been a pleasure to coach them.”

The team finished the dual meet portion of the season at 1-4, earning the victory against Port Townsend. The district meet is Nov. 2.

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