Determined Tualatin boys top Lake Oswego
LAKE OSWEGO — Elliot Steward didn't exactly get off to a fast start.
By his own admission, he was slow in getting off the starting blocks.
And, in the 50-yard freestyle event, that's not a good thing.
But, fueled by determination and motivation, that didn't matter.
Steward, a Tualatin High School senior, with his mind set on helping his team get a key victory, came back in a big way to get a win.
"I just felt like I needed to win," Steward said with a smile after the race.
With that determination, shown by Steward and his Tualatin teammates, the Timberwolves came up with a big league win. Tualatin stayed undefeated in Three Rivers League competition by racing to a 104-66 win over Lake Oswego in a league swimming dual meet held last Thursday at the Lake Oswego District Pool.
"They've got some good swimmers here," Steward said during the meet. "We'll try out best to beat them. We like the good competition."
With the team victory, the Tualatin boys improved to 5-0-1 in league meets. Lake Oswego fell to 4-2 in league meets with the setback.
Steward, in his first individual race of the meet, picked up a victory in the 50 freestyle in a time of 23.34 seconds.
"It went pretty well," he said. "For this time of year, the time was pretty good."
But Steward had to come from behind to get the win, and he had to do it quickly.
"My start was slow," he said. "I saw the competition next to me, and I couldn't let them get ahead. That's when the adrenaline kicked in."
Steward ended up winning the race by 0.85 seconds, with his senior teammate, Allan Zhang, also turning in a strong swim to finish second in 24.19.
It didn't take long for Steward to get another victory at the meet. In the very next event, the 100 butterfly, the Tualatin senior swam to an impressive win, with a mark of 54.88, putting him nearly four seconds ahead of second-place finisher Daniel Duran of Lake Oswego.
Those back-to-back wins were part of a four-victory day for Steward. In the 200 medley relay, he teamed with senior Jared Mendez, junior Connor Florey and Zhang to triumph in a time of 1:46.34. In the 400 freestyle relay, the Tualatin team of Florey, Mendez, junior Ryan Janetsky and Steward had a winning mark of 3:25.17.
Mendez also had a four-win meet for the Wolves. He took first place in the 200 freestyle in a time of 1:56.59 and he was victorious in the 500 freestyle with a mark of 5:17.03.
Florey swam to victory in the 100 breaststroke in a time of 1:04.91. He also took second place in the 200 individual medley in 2:07.12.
The Tualatin boys made it a sweep of first-place finishes in the relay events, at the team of junior Myles Clark, Janetsky, senior Jordan Taboada and Zhang won the 200 freestyle relay in 1:37.25.
Also for the Wolves, Taboada was second in the 100 freestyle in 54.31, Janetsky was second in the 100 breaststroke at 1:09.22 and Clark was second in the 100 backstroke in 1:03.20.
The Tualatin girls, at last week's meet, was edged 86-84 by Lake Oswego. The Wolves moved to 4-2-1 in league meets with the close setback. Lake Oswego, which also bested St. Mary's 97-73 at the meet, improved to 6-1 in TRL contests.
Sophomore Abbi Karsseboom had a pair of individual victories for the Tualatin girls at the meet. She triumphed in the 200 freestyle in a time of 1:59.42 and she had a winning mark of 5:21.27 in the 500 freestyle.
Also for the Tualatin girls, senior Sarah Martin was second in the 200 individual medley in 2:17.62 and she was second in the 100 breaststroke in 1:10.29. Timberwolf freshman Izzy Ehmig sprinted to second in the 50 freestyle in 27.44 and she was second in the 100 freestyle in 1:01.77.
The Tualatin teams will finish their regular-season schedule today (Thursday) when they face friendly rival Tigard in a Three Rivers League meet, starting at 4 p.m., at the Tigard Swim Center.
The Wolves will then next be competing at the Three Rivers League district championships, which will be held Feb. 9-10 at the Mt. Hood Community College Aquatic Center.
"We're ready," Steward said of the district event.