It certainly wasn’t easy, but when it was over the Bellevue Wolverines were Class 3A girls state swimming and diving champions for a second consecutive season. The Wolverines had to fend off not one, but two worthy challengers to win the title. They finished with 272 points, ahead of second-place Lakeside with 259 and third-place Lake Washington with 255.
Junior Janelle Rudolph won two individual titles on Saturday, finishing the 50-yard freestyle with a Class 3A state-meet record and automatic All-American time of 22.85. She followed that up by winning the 100 backstroke in 53.73 seconds, the second-fastest time in state history. It was the third consecutive year that Rudolph, who was named swimmer of the meet, has won both events.
Senior Aneta Wyzga got Bellevue off to a nice start, winning the first individual event of the meet, the 200-freestyle. Her time of 1:49.67 was good enough for All-American consideration. She took the second place on 500-freestyle.
Junior Rylee Siripipat also claimed the victory in the 200 individual medley and 7th in 100-breaststroke; her team mate junior Rachel Jin finished at the second place in the 200 individual medley and 8th in 100-fly.
Senior Delora Li took 9th in 100-breaststroke final.
The two state-championship relay teams, Janelle, Rylee, Rachel and senior Maria-Elena Acevedo won the 200-medley relay with a time of 1:46.53; Janelle, Rachel, senior Delora Li, and Aneta won the champion on the 400-freestyle relay with a new Class 3A state-meet record and automatic All-American time of 3:27.50. Swimming the first leg of the 400-freestyle relay, which was the last event of the meet, Rudolph’s time of 49.60 set the state record in the 100-freestyle.
The girls also finished the third on 200-freestyle relay with swimmers Maria-Elena, Delora, Rylee and Aneta.
All three divers, sophomore Makena Rubin, freshmen Isabella Doud and Meiko Huang made the appearance at State and contributed to the team’s victory. Isabella placed 10th, Makena placed 13th, and Meiko placed 14th in the 1-meter diving.
“It’s the kind of state meet that everybody wants to see,” Bellevue coach Lisa Van Loben Sels said. “Everybody shows up to do their best, and when it’s close like that there is nothing more exciting. I’m so proud of these girls. The character and drive that they showed today was amazing. We had some challenges coming out of yesterday’s prelim, and they stepped up and just attacked it.”