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Peninsula Daily News
PORT ANGELES — If Tracie Macias was a gymnast, she would be the top all-around athlete on the gym floor — equally good in all four events.
As a swimmer, the Port Angeles senior is the rare athlete who doesn’t specialize in any one stroke.
She’s equally good in all four strokes.
“The only thing she doesn’t do for us is dive,” Port Angeles head girls swimming coach Rich Butler joked.
Macias, who placed in the top 12 in all four state events she competed in this past season, has done everything for the Roughriders the past four years except clean the pool after meets.
The all-around swimmer — who captured second at state in the 200-yard medley relay, fourth in 100 backstroke and 400 freestyle relay and 12th in 200 free — was voted the All-Peninsula MVP.
The 17-year-old swimmer said she would perform in any event as long as she was in the pool doing something for her team.
“I do anything the coach needs me to do,” Macias said. “I don’t have a favorite event, I’ll do anything he wants me to do.”
“To her credit, she’s a humble athlete,” Butler said about why Macias doesn’t pick a favorite event.
Macias is so good she can swim any leg on any relay, Butler said.
“She has the unselfishness to do whatever she is asked, and she does it well,” he added.
She has excelled in the butterfly, backstroke, individual medley and both sprint and endurance freestyle events.
The only event she may not be stellar in is the breaststroke, and that could because of a bum knee.
“I have a left-knee problem,” she said. “It pinches, mainly when I’m doing the breaststroke.”
That could be but the breaststroke hasn’t slowed her down in the individual medley where she has been a standout for the past four years while swimming on varsity.
“The fly and the I.M. [individual medley] has been her mainstay but she can do all events,” Butler said.
“That’s because of her background of training year-round.”
She has been a member of the Port Angeles Swim Club for years, and has qualified for the senior regionals in the 200 back and a couple of other events in March at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.
Macias is the rare swimmer who is good in the 100 sprint free and the 500 long-distance free events.
“She was able to pull both off,” Butler said. “She can sprint and hold on to the distance.”
Macias is such a strong sprinter that she was the anchor leg on the 400 free relay team that claimed fourth at state in a time of 3:48.74.
She also swam the fly leg on the 200 medley relay team that captured second at state in 1:54.63.
It’s ironical, though, that Macias’ top individual event this past season turned into the 100 back after being known as a fly and I.M. swimmer.
“She surprised herself in a dual meet this year when she came close to a state time in the 100 back,” Butler said.
“That lit a new fire under her, so we went with it.”
The back became her top individual event as she set a new meet record in a time of 1:01.26 at the West Central District championships for first place, and then she went on to take fourth at state with a personal record of 1:01.22.
Macias won four titles at the district meet. In addition to the back, she was first in the 200 free, and 200 medley and 400 free relays.
It all started when Macias was a toddler.
Her mother, Dani Macias, took her to a Mommy and Me class to learn how to swim.
“She took me because we live so close to the water,” Macias said.
Tracie Macias has never gotten back out of the water.
“I just grew to love it,” Macias said. “I thank her for it.”
Macias is from a swimming family.
Her older sister, Kelcie, also swam in high school while her younger brother, sophomore John Macias, is a standout on the boys swimming team, and her baby sister, Jaine Macias, will be a freshman on the girls swimming team next fall.
Butler said he is looking forward to coaching the youngest Macias starting next year.
In the meantime, Tracie Macias could continue to swim in college, or maybe not.
“I have no idea what I’m going to do [after high school], but I would love to swim in college,” she said.
Right now, she doesn’t know what she would major in, Macias said.
“I want to travel in a couple of years and see the world. My grandpa didn’t start college until he was in his 40s.
“So I know that at any time I can go back to school.”
Butler said Macias has the talent to swim in college.
“Absolutely,” he said. “She definitely has the talent to go to the next level.”
At any rate, the Riders will be missing Macias next season.
“We will not only miss her for her individual events, but we will miss her for being a solid leg on any relay,” Butler said.
The future of Port Angeles swimming is bright, though, because Macias is just one of two seniors the Riders will lose to graduation, the coach added.
And, of course, the youngest Macias will help fill some of that void next season.