Stark Truth: Congrats to Erynne, Emily and Nathan

What a week for young Kitsap athletes.

Erynne Lee, who’s not old enough to drive, reached the semifinals of the U.S. Women’s Amateur in Eugene, Ore., where she put up a gallant fight against top-seeded Amanda Blumenherst before bowing out. Watching the match unfold on The Golf Channel on Saturday, you had to be impressed with her poise and golf game. Clearly, this is just the beginning for the sophomore-to-be at Central Kitsap. This 15-year-old is headed for big things in the world of golf. Check out Jeff Graham’s column on Lee that he wrote this week.

And Emily Silver continues to demonstrate what kind of stuff she’s made of. Because of her broken hand, there was so much uncertainty surrounding the Bainbridge Islander’s bid to swim in the Olympics. I wrote about her journey in a story we printed Friday, but her performance in her race against the clock on Thursday and her swim in Saturday’s heat of the 400 freestyle relay capped a remarkable story about a determined athlete who had a lot of people pulling for her. Silver’s probably not going to swim in the finals (which will be televised Saturday night), but how cool would it be if the Americans, who qualified third, can pull out a win in the relay and Silver gets a gold medal? According to Donella Adrian, Nathan’s sister who has been blogging for us (check out The Blogstroke), there was still no official word on whether Nathan would swim a leg in the men’s heat of the 400 free relay. The qualifying heats and finals are scheduled for Sunday.

Adrian, at 19, is the youngest member of the U.S. men’s swimming team, and placed fourth at the Olympic Trials to earn his spot on the team. Like Silver, the Bremerton swimmer also had to produce a courageous performance to make the team. Adrian and Matt Grevers tied for ninth in the 100 freestyle at the trials. Only the top eight make the finals, but when Matt Lochte pulled out of the 100 to concentrate on other events, a swim-off was held for the eighth spot.

Adrian swam a lifetime best 48.46 seconds to win the swim-off – a time that would have been good enough for a bronze medal in Athens in 2004. The next night he placed fourth in the finals.

Everybody says Adrian’s time to shine on the world swimming stage will be in 2012, but he’s four years ahead of schedule.

Congratulation are in order for Erynne Lee, Emily Silver and Nathan Adrian. You’ve made those of us who live in Kitsap County – and beyond – proud.

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