MOSES LAKE — Anna Fair is Moses Lake High School’s Associated Student Body president.
Her swim coach, Tony St. Onge, has higher aspirations for the Chiefs’ senior captain.
“She’ll be president of the United States one day,” he said. “Anna for president.”
Fair has a few years to go before she’ll be eligible to lead the country, so right now she’s focused on leading Moses Lake’s state qualifiers into the final meet of her high school career.
“I’m really happy with how it (high school swimming) went,” said Fair, a four-year state participant. “I’m happy with the four years. I had a lot of fun. I learned a lot... It’s kind of bittersweet that it’s over. I’m excited to enjoy the rest of my senior year without having to focus on swimming entirely, but I’m definitely going to miss it.”
Fair, divers Bethany Bateman and Izzy Sica, and the 200 medley relay (Fair, Jessica Williams, Cora Dana and Lacy Johnson) will compete at the Class 4A state meet Friday and Saturday at King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way. Moses Lake failed to reach state qualifying times throughout the season and was shut out of the automatic first and second place berths at the district swim meet.
Swimmers and divers on the bubble had to sweat out last week before wild card qualifiers were posted Sunday night.
“We expected to probably be wild carded in a few more events,” St. Onge said. “The 200-yard freestyle relay, our time from districts this year would have been the first alternate for finals last year at state and Anna Fair in the 100 back(stroke), we thought she’d get in.”
St. Onge’s assessment factored in the overall improvement of times across the state as well as within the Columbia Basin Big Nine.
While the elite swimmers worked to drop previous best times at the start of the season, Moses Lake had to work its way back to its lows, eventually besting most of those marks by the district meet.
However, the handful of Chiefs are in the field and that’s what matters.
“I figure we can only go up from here,” Fair said. “We’re kind of in a spot where there’s not a lot of stress and I think they’re just looking to get better and see what we can do.”
The 200 medley relay is shooting for the school record of 1 minute, 55.32 seconds. Fair, Williams, Dana and Johnson clocked in at 1:57.33 at districts, so reaching the record would mean a half second drop for each swimmer.
Difficult but doable.
Fair already has the school record in the 100 backstroke and hopes to set a personal record in the 100 butterfly at state. Fair swam a 1:01.04 at districts; the school record in the 100 butterfly is 58.81 seconds set by Kayla Littlefield in 2002.
If anyone has shown the determination to etch her name in the Moses Lake record books again, it’s Fair.
Fair had a tumultuous offseason, recovering from knee surgery after slipping and falling at last year’s state meet and a lung infection in the summer.
“Anna Fair has been probably one of the most dedicated swimmers in school history,” St. Onge said. “No question about it.”
Sica and Bateman are first-year divers, but the act of flipping through the air isn’t a foreign concept to them.
“They’re really talented,” St. Onge said. “They’re on loan from cheerleading and they’ve been AIM Gymnastics... All those AIM Gymnastics kids out there, we want them diving when they get to high school because there’s no high school gymnastics.
“This should be their sport.”
Moses Lake participants
100 butterfly: Anna Fair, 19th
Diving: Izzy Sica, 13th; Bethany Bateman, 15th
200 medley relay: Anna Fair, Jessica Williams, Cora Dana, Lacy Johnson, 24th