Celebrating their state swim-ming championship Saturday in Boise are Wood River High girls’ team members, front row from left, Katherine Lemma, Ashley Dreyfus, Chiloe Spelius, Maddie Johnson, Olivia Wentzell, Danielle Doerflein and Lisa Hart, and, back row from left, coach Brian Galla-gher, Brandon Yagla, Kaedi Fry and Logan Johnston. Not shown is Addy Gage.
Tenacity was a good word to describe the Wood River High School girls who once again dominated the Idaho State High School Swimming Champion-ships last weekend in Boise.
Up against a tough challenge from the Boise High girls’ team, the Wood River High girls still prevailed 275-240 over Boise to capture the Idaho State Swimming Championship held Saturday, Nov. 1-2 at the Boise City Aquatics Center.
Coach Brian Gallagher’s undefeated girls’ team won their second straight state swimming championship and seventh overall since 2005.
In the process they set one new state high school record and four new Wood River benchmarks.
The Wolverines qualified nine girls and two boys for the prestigious meet against 497 swimmers from 80 teams statewide.
Six Wolverine girls led the pack in the finals by 35 points overtaking strong efforts by swimmers from big city teams like Boise, Rocky Mountain and Lake City. Wood River also handily won the 4A division.
Talented sophomore Maddie Johnson led the Wolverines to the championship title setting a new Idaho State High School record in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 57.62 seconds. Johnson (2:08.36) also captured the 200-yard Individual Medley by over three seconds.
Impressive success in the relays continued for Wood River’s girls.
The 200-yard medley relay of Johnson, junior Kaedi Fry, freshman Katherine Lemma and sophomore Olivia Wentzell set another Wood River team record in the event at 1:53.81. They defeated Rocky Mountain by two-and-a-half seconds.
In the 400-yard freestyle re-lay, Wood River’s foursome of Lemma, freshman Chiloe Spe-lius, Fry and anchor swimmer Johnson was timed in 3:41.59 to win by one second over Boise High School—and also set an-other new Wood River record.
The other girls’ relay was very close between Wood River and Boise.
In the 200-yard freestyle re-lay, Boise (1:43.83) just nipped Wood River (1:43.91) with its squad of Wentzell, Lemma, sophomore Ashley Dreyfus and Spelius.
Freshman Chiloe Spelius set a new WRHS record in the 200 free, at 1:58.38, placing second in that discipline behind Boise High’s very strong freestyler Abbey Erwin.
Individually, Kaedi Fry placed second in the 100 breast stroke and third in the 100 free-style. In that breast stroke event, Wood River added placements with Wentzell fourth and Dreyfus eighth. And Lemma captured fifth place in the 100 free.
Spelius took fourth in the 100 fly with Dreyfus picking up 10th in consolation. Wentzell placed ninth winning the con-solation round in the 50-yard freestyle competition.
Also competing for Wood River in the preliminaries with personal bests were seniors Addy Gage and Lisa Hart, and freshman Danielle Doerflein.
The Wood River’s boys’ team qualified two for the finals, as Coeur d’Alene won the boys’ team championship over Mos-cow.
Senior Brandon Yagla cap-tured 13th in consolation for 50 free and Logan Johnston fin-ished 15th in the 500 free in the consolation round.
Wood River’s performance was a “terrific end to a well-trained but hard-fought and successful high school season,” said Gallagher. “I am very, very proud of this team.”
The highly-respected Wol-verine girls’ squad also won the coveted state swimming title in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2012.
Most of the high school swimmers continue training with Gallagher through the year on the Sun Valley 5B team, competing in USA-sanctioned meets throughout the region and the Northwest.