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Originally published Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 7:04 PM

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Kim Williams keeps swimming, and smiling, at Bellevue

A junior at Bellevue High, Williams already owns three individual state titles, the 2012 state “Swimmer of the Meet” award and some lofty goals that she is poised to accomplish this season.

Special to The Seattle Times

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Challenges just make Kim Williams smile.

Maybe it’s the competitive nature she has cultivated and grown into as one of the top high-school swimmers in the state. A junior at Bellevue High, Williams already owns three individual state titles, the 2012 state “Swimmer of the Meet” award and some lofty goals that she is poised to accomplish as the 2013 season marches toward its culmination at the Federal Way Aquatics Center on Nov. 14-16, when the state meet takes place.

“I don’t like to not accomplish my goals,” Williams said. “But I don’t want to be known as ‘Kim the Swimmer.’ I want to be Kim, who swims, who strives to be good at all of these different things.”

It is swimming where the recognition has come. Williams is the two-time defending state champion in the 100-yard breaststroke. She also won the 200 individual medley in a state-meet record time of 2 minutes 1.20 seconds as a sophomore a year ago.

The overall state record in the event is held by Andie Taylor, who swam a 1:58.23 for Skyline in 2008. Williams’ current 100 breast time of 1:03.49 gives her a shot at Lindsay Marchand’s state record of 1:02.00, set for Peninsula in 2008.

In each of her first two seasons swimming for Bellevue, Williams swam state-meet qualifying times in every individual event, however. It gives her plenty of choices should she wish to seek new challenges in which to compete at that event.

As a year-round club swimmer for the Bellevue Club, Williams’ swimming goals extend beyond the state meet, however. She likely won’t be completely tapered headed into state because Williams will be focused on the Junior Nationals event set for two weeks later in December.

Not that she won’t compete to her utmost ability to win at state, to score points for her Bellevue team as it tries to catch the likes of defending team champion Mercer Island and others in 3A.

“She’s just a competitor,” Bellevue coach Lisa van Loben Sels said. “You put her up against somebody, anybody, and she’s ready to go.”

Even day-to-day, Williams is taking on new challenges this fall. After two years at Bellevue Christian High, Williams is actually on the Bellevue High campus for the first time.

Williams always has competed in swimming for Bellevue because Bellevue Christian doesn’t have a swim team, and when that is the case, WIAA rules allow an athlete to swim for a school in the district in which they live.

The transition to the 1,500-plus student Bellevue has been challenging.

“It’s basically like being a freshman again,” Kim Williams said. “It’s overwhelming how many personalities you see. I was a little nervous to be with that many kids. I knew the girls on the swim team coming in, but that is like 60 girls. And I have just one class with one girl from the swim team.”

Said van Loben Sels: “It’s been pretty fun to have her. It’s been nice to see her grow both as a swimmer and as a young lady. She’s one of our team captains, and she’s evolved into that very naturally.”

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