West Linn boys rally to fifth at TRL district swimming
The West Linn boys swim team knew they were better.
And the Lions — competing in the Three Rivers League district swim meet at Mt. Hood Community College Aquatic Center on Friday and Saturday — stepped up their game and proved it, scoring 49 more points than they did a year ago and finishing fifth in the eight-team field.
Newberg won the meet with 321 points, followed by: Tualatin 299; Lakeridge 283; Lake Oswego 266; West Linn 252; Sherwood 215.5; Canby 159; and Tigard 152.5.
"Basically, we did much better than last year by a lot, but I feel like we can improve more as individuals and (by) stacking our relays to make them faster as well," said West Linn junior William Chun, who finished second in both his individual events at district.
"Honestly … everything's not turning out how we wanted so we are just going to focus on doing our best and that's all that matters," added junior Kevin Vu, who also took second in his two individual races. "Then we'll try hard at state."
The Class 6A state meet opens with preliminary races at 9 a.m. Friday, then continues with championship finals at 8:15 a.m. Saturday at Mt. Hood.
The Lions, who qualified all three of their relay teams for state, opened Saturday's district finals by finishing third in the 200-yard medley relay, with senior Joseph Campbell, Chun, freshman Nathan Rumsey and sophomore Clay Barbee posting a time of 1 minute, 44.43 seconds.
Chun came through next to finish second in the 200 individual medley at 2:01.35 — he trailed only Tigard's Ben Miller and his winning time of 1:55.92. Later in the meet, Chun took second in the 100 breaststroke at 1:02.25, here trailing Canby's Jarod Miller and his winning time of 1:02.13.
"It wasn't really close to my best time, but I still feel pretty good about it for this part of the season," Chun said of his breaststroke, adding that the 200 IM "was kind of tiring at the end, but I felt like second was (reasonable)."
Chun won a wildcard into the state in the 200 IM and will also likely swim on West Linn's three relay teams.
Vu took his turn in the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly races, taking second in the 50 freestyle with a time of 22.10 (trailing only Newberg's Trey Fincher at 21.79), then taking second again in the butterfly with a 51.99 (with Tigard's Miller first at 49.80). He notched automatic qualifying times to state in both races.
"It's OK. My goggles flew off in the 50 free so I had to borrow my teammate's goggles for the 100 fly, but so far, it's been OK," Vu said. "There's a lot of good competition here. Ben Miller, he really pushed me in the 100 fly. It was fun racing him."
Rumsey came through with a third-place finish in the butterfly at 54.17 and earned a berth at state in the process. Later, he duplicated that success by finishing fourth in the 500 freestyle at 4:57.91 and again earning a berth to state.
In the 200 freestyle relay, Barbee, Campbell, junior Paul Muessig and Vu placed third with a mark of 1:33.24 and won a wild card berth to state. And in the 400 free relay, West Linn finished just fifth, but recorded another automatic state qualifying time, with Vu, Muessig, Rumsey and Chun going 3:21.92.