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MHC SWIMMING: The Cavaliers overtake David Douglas late to claim a 10-point dual win

PMG PHOTO: DAVID BALL - Clackamas Isabelle Fleser powers through the water during her win in the 100-yard freestyle Thursday at David Douglas.

Mount Hood Conference

Team Score
Clackamas Cavaliers
David Douglas Scots

PORTLAND — The Clackamas girls swim team spent most of the day chasing David Douglas on the scoreboard before overtaking the Scots late for a 90-80 win in a battle of Mount Hood Conference favorites.

David Douglas won the opening medley relay and would maintain a slim lead most of the way, pushing out to its largest margin of six points after Hannah Walker won easily in the 500-yard freestyle (5:38.42).

The Cavaliers would pull even twice, knotting the score at 62 after Mirella Rutigliano, Georgia Gould, Mia Howard and Isabelle Fleser combined for a split-second win in the 200 freestyle relay.

Rutigliano and Gould had the Cavaliers ahead by half-a-body-length midway through the race before the Scots pulled even on the third leg. That set up an anchor-leg showdown between sprinters Fleser for Clackamas and Olivia Ye for David Douglas.

Fleser came out of the final flip turn fingertips ahead of her David Douglas counterpart and maintained that razor thin advantage to the finishing wall for a winning tag-team time of 1:49.48 — less than half-a-second ahead of the Scots.

The relay win meant an eight-point swing in the team score.

David Douglas would get first-place points from Julie Schwam (backstroke) and Trinity Caudle (breaststroke) over the next two races. But the Cavaliers overwhelmed the Scots with their depth, filling the No. 2, 3 and 4 spots in both events to take a four-point lead into the final race of the day.

This time Hannah Sharp joined Smith, Gould and Fleser to win the 400 freestyle relay by several strokes to secure the team victory.

Clackamas gained a 10-point edge in the freestyle tag-team races, which proved to be the margin of victory.

Earlier in the day, Smith won the 200 free (2:09.01), while Fleser and Gould combined for the only 1-2 finish of the day in the 100 free (59.87). Fleser battled with a David Douglas challenger splashing on each side of her in the middle of the pool, edging out to a body-length lead on the way home.

"I tried to stay calm and focus on myself and how fast I could go," Fleser said. "The last 25, I kicked as fast as I could and used all my energy."

Mount Hood Conference

Team Score
David Douglas Scots
Clackamas Cavaliers

The boys dual also went to the wire with David Douglas pulling out an 86-84 victory deciding by the 200 freestyle relay.

David Douglas' Dawson Brummet gained the upper hand coming off the starting block, splashing into the water two body lengths ahead of the Cavaliers' lead team.

"The dive is the fastest part of my race," Brummet said. "I extend as far as I can through the air, and when I hit the water I'm already ahead of everyone."

PMG PHOTO: DAVID BALL - Clackamas Quinlan Gould moves toward the finish line with a runner-up finish in the 500-yard freestyle Thursday at David Douglas.

The Scots quartet never looked back with teammates Tuan Vuong, Kenny Nguyen and Tam Nguyen only widening the lead for a win in 1:37.32.

"The win helped a lot, but what it really comes down to is how our second relay did," Brummet said.

The Scots had a 1-2 sweep going through the early phases of the race before Clackamas got a boost from Conner Webb and Scott Visscher to move into second place over the final two legs.

Still, David Douglas' support squad finished third, picking up the two points that proved to be the margin of victory at the end of the day.

The relay effort gave the Scots an eight-point lead with three events remaining. Clackamas won each of those final three races, with Mitchell Hopper coming in first in the backstroke (55.54) and Visscher taking first in the breaststroke (1:05.17), but second-place efforts from the Scots were enough to keep them ahead in the team tally.

The teams traded the lead three times during the first half of the dual.

The Cavaliers got a pair of 1-2 finishes from Hopper and Ethan Tran in the butterfly (54.92) and Owen Ngan and Quinlan Gould in the 500 free (4:54.52).

"That gave me a pretty good confidence boost," Gould said. "I was excited to swim. I really felt that team spirit."

Ngan also won the 200 medley (2:03.26) early in the day, while Visscher doubled up with a win in the 50 free (22.77).

Clackamas scored first-place points in 8 of the 11 races, but David Douglas relied on its depth for a 9-5 edge in third-place points.

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This story is slated for our Jan. 15, print edition.

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