FG Dragons compete in the pool
Five Forest Grove High School and Forest Grove Dragons swimmers recently returned from the Arena Western Zone Senior Championships, held Tuesday, July 30, through Saturday, Aug. 3, and Forest Grove High School head swim coach Tabor Waterstreet was excited by their effort.
Forest Grove 2019 graduates Hunter Bartoo and Daphne Janko, along with seniors Luci Brenner and Alex Moehnke and sophomore McKenzie Brennan were among 700 swimminers under the age of 19 to compete at the Clobis Aquatics Complex in Fresno, California. Janko competed in both sprint and distance freestyle events, along with the 50-, 100- and 200-meter butterfly, placing fourth in her heat in the 400-meter freestyle and knocking seven seconds off of her best time, finishing in 9:55.98.
"Daphne had recently lost all of her stoke for distance s wimming and hadn't competed in a distance event for the Dragons in over two years," Waterstreet said. "But she showed a little spark for the distance events again and broke 10 minutes, throwing that distance gorilla off of her back in her final individual swim."
Bartoo, also swimming in his last meet for the Dragons before heading to George Fox University to swim for the Bruins, competed in five events including the 50- and 100-meter freestyle, 100- and 200-meter breaststroke, and 200-meter individual medley, posting best times in all five. He knocked 0.4 seconds off his best 50-meter freestyle time, three seconds off his 100-meter free, five seconds off his 200-meter backstroke, two seconds off his 200-meter IM and two seconds off his 100-meter breaststroke in his final race of the meet.
"Hunter came into his last meet as a Dragon with positive energy and a mad stoke to finish strong," Waterstreet said. "And he did."
Waterstreet said Brenner had been struggling of late, but found her form and technique in California, swimming cleaner races and posting best times in both the 200-meter freestyle and 100-meter butterfly.
Moehnke, like Bartoo, finished with best times in all of her events, improving her previous marks by 14 seconds in the 400 IM, six seconds in the 200 IM, a second-and-a-half in the 50-meter freestyle and just under five seconds in the 100-meter backstroke. With her 50 and 100 freestyle times, Moehnke is now second on the Dragons' top-10 list.
Brennan competed in three events, the 50, 100 and 200 freestyles, but struggled due to both shoulder and foot injuries that literally required the sophomore to use crutches to get to the blocks. Waterstreet praised Brennan and spoke glowingly of the effort she displayed despite not being at her best.
"Kenzie competed with grit, determination and bravery," the coach said. "She did not reach any best times, but her willingness to tough it out shows her resolve as an athlete and gave the three other girls a chance to swim some relays."
Speaking of relays, the Dragon girls competed in two relays, the 400 and 800 freestyle. While Waterstreet said they struggled in the 800, the team swam well in the 400, finishing second in their heat and besting the team record by five seconds.
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