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by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Beaverton girls swimmer Alexis Kittle took third in the 200 free for the Beavers, who lost to Lincoln on Thursday.

Ingrid Erickson’s abundantly positive mental attitude should be commended.

The cheerful Beaverton girls’ swimmer is 100 percent certain her Beavers’ squad is on the cusp of winning a dual meet in the near future. So far, the Beavers are 0-3 on the season including an 112-56 loss to Lincoln in a Metro League match on Thursday.

But, that hasn’t quenched Erickson’s enthusiasm in any manner. Beaverton’s time in the sun is coming sooner than later, on account of the Beavers’ diligence and distinguishable team traits.

Individually, Erickson’s been building her physical strength and stamina. She took second in the 50 freestyle, 100 butterfly and helped the 400 free relay take second as well against the Cardinalss. Yet, Erickson noted the Beavers’ girls marked improvement as more reason for applause. Beaverton is more focused during its matches and practices, Erickson said, and there’s more of a team-wide zeal to compete.

“We know what we’re doing now, and we’re getting more comfortable in the water,” said Erickson. “We really hope to win a match because we’ve been trying so hard. We have so many new people. I feel like we’re worth winning because we try so hard. I feel like we’re definitely going to win a meet. I’m positive about that.”

Alexis Kittle placed third in the 200 free (22.60), and Emma Rosicky took third in the 50 free behind Erickson (28.90) Bailey Gettle took third in the 500 free (7:09) to score three team points for Beaverton. Allison Van Horn (100 breaststroke) and Isabelle Lian (100 backstroke) each took third in their respective events.

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Beaverton girls swimmer Cienna Wall took second in the 500 free on Thursday at home versus Lincoln.

“I feel the team’s getting a lot better than last year,” said sophomore Cienna Wall. “Last year we didn’t have as much competitiveness. But, this year for sure I can see the strong players. And, everyone’s trying really hard this year.”

Had Erickson been able to flip turn against the wall in her 50 free race, the Beaver believer might brought home Beaverton’s only first place of the day. Yet, Erickson said she missed the wall at the turn both times which cost her an additional second on her finish. Nonetheless, Erickson, who had never swum the 50 free before Thursday, was pleased with her time and vowed to get flip turns down pat.

“It was a really good learning experience,” said Erickson. “I touched the wall, but I wasn’t able to push off of it. You just kind of turn around and swim. You don’t have any force to push off. I just had to make up for it and swim really fast.”

Wall approaches the 500 free at a gradual pace, churning her arms and legs in long, measured unison up and down the lanes. But, when it’s time to flip turn, Wall attacks the pool wall, and pushes her feet off of it forcefully to give herself a solid boost back up the lane. Wall took second place against Lincoln with a 6:34 in the 500 free and wants to get down into the 6:30 range by the end of the year.

Wall was a solid 500 swimmer as a freshman, one of the few contenders who naturally take to the taxing event.

“I try to relax,” said Wall. “You don’t sprint it out, or you’ll be super tired by the end of it. You have to do it cool and go with the flow. My goal this year is trying to go to state. I just want to try hard every meet, work hard and bring down my times.”

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Beaverton girls senior swim captain Kaitlyn Wright took second in the 100 free and helped both Beaver relays take second against Lincoln.

Wright swam the 100 freestyle for the first time all season and took second place (1:01.77). Normally a 100 butterfly and 200 free competitor, Wright was placed in the 100 free by the Beaver coaching staff in hopes the senior can shave seconds off her marks for districts. After swimming a 28.32 in the 50 free, Wright wanted to replicate that same time at the start of the 100 free and speed to the wall.

“I wanted to sprint the last 50 as fast as I could go, but I just got completely worn out by the last 25,” said Wright with a smile. “You just have to keep going. Sometimes you can’t feel your legs. I’ve experienced that in the 200 free a lot, but you just have to tell yourself to keep going and it’ll be fine.”

Wright hoped to get her 100 free time under a minute, but said Thursday’s result was acceptable for the time being. One of the more seasoned swimmers on the Beaver roster, Wright is lending her skills to the 200 individual medley (2nd place) and 400 free relay (3rd place) teams. The Beaver senior said Lian, a talented club swimmer who joined Wright on both relay teams has been a welcomed addition for the Beaverton girls and helped strengthen the squad’s depth.

“I’m really excited for some of the new girls we have and the relays,” added senior Kaitlyn Wright. “We’re still struggling in the whole Metro standings, but I think as a team we’re really going to improve this year. It’s fun to get with the new girls like Isabelle who is so calm, and just do these events.”

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