A short handed boys team struggles to put up numbers, but does well individually.

by: JOHN WILLIAM HOWARD - Junior Stefany Alvarez competes in the girls' 100 meter butterfly last Friday afternoon at the River City Invite. The meet was a success for Alvarez, who finished second in the butterfly and won the 100 meter breast stroke with a new personal best.Though the boys' team was shorthanded and the girls' team was a little fresher than expected, the Scappoose swim team performed well in their first meet of the year, the River City Invite, on Friday afternoon in St. Helens.

The boys, who had only five swimmers, finished last with 75 points. The girls' team took third place out of eight teams with 197 points. Valley Catholic dominated the girls' competition, finishing in first place with 295.5 points. Rainier won the boys' competition with a total of 290.

Head coach David Richmond was pleased with the outing, especially given the loss of the team's first scheduled meet, which was cancelled due to snow.

“I think we came out feeling like we exceeded expectations for our first meet,” said Richmond. “After missing the first meet due to weather and being off of practice some prior to the meet gave us some uncertainty, but the kids responded well.”

Instead of starting off slowly, the team got the season off with a bang, boasting eight personal bests among three of their top swimmers, including Baylee Maloney with four PRs, senior Kenny Klippel with three Prs, and Stefany Alvarez with a PR and a win in the 100 breast stroke and a near PR in the 100 butterfly.

“We were very excited to see our returners have many personal bests right off the bat,” said Richmond. “You typically see swimmers get close to their last year's marks sometimes, but you don't expect them to drop significant time. Half the team is new this year and all of the first year swimmers improved dramatically on their time trial times from late November.”

Richmond also mentioned solid meets from Sam Herscovitz on the boys' side, as well as Marry Rotter, Lauren Herscovitz, Kiara Single and Syrina Revis.

Scappoose will get back to work on Wednesday, when they will travel to Rainier at 4 p.m. They finish off the week in Newport on Friday at 1 p.m. For full results from the River City Invite and the Rainier meet, see the Dec. 20 edition of the Spotlight.

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