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Win in 200 freestyle relay gives Scots just enough for two-point dual victory

PMG PHOTO: DAVID BALL - David Douglas Dawson Brummet launches himself off the starting block to send the Scots to a quick lead in the 200-yard freestyle relay Thursday against Clackamas.

Mount Hood Conference

Team Score
David Douglas

PORTLAND — The David Douglas boys swim team came into Thursday's dual meet knowing that the 200-yard freestyle relay would likely decide the meet. The Scots led start-to-finish in the tag-team race to squeak by Clackamas 86-84 in an early-season showdown of Mount Hood Conference favorites.

David Douglas' Dawson Brummett 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," Brummett said. "I extend as far as I can through the air, and when I hit the water I'm already ahead of everyone."

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," Brummett 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, but second-place efforts from Brayden Franzke in the backstroke and Daniel Wong in the breaststroke kept the Scots ahead in the team tally.

The teams traded the lead three times during the first half of the dual with Brummett winning the 200 free (1:55.95) and Vuong winning the 100 free (52.91). The Scots also picked up a vital early point when Jeremiah Birch edged a Clackamas swimmer by a split-second for fifth place in the 200 medley.

Mount Hood Conference

Team Score
David Douglas

The David Douglas girls led most of the way before falling 90-80 to the Cavs, who took their first lead with two races left on the docket. The Cavaliers secured the team dual when each of its relays edged their David Douglas counterparts by slim margins for a 1-3 finish in the 400 free relay.

PMG PHOTO: DAVID BALL - David Douglas teammates cheer Marlene McCoy into her final lap of the 500-yard freestyle race.

The Scots held a 41-37 lead when Julie Schwam (200 medley), Kadyn Skipper (50 free) and Holly Lippert (butterfly) combined to win three consecutive races.

Two races later, David Douglas held its biggest lead at six points when Hannah Walker cruised to an easy victory in the 500 free (5:38.42).

The real excitement in the race came with two swimmers competing for fourth place on opposite sides of the pool. About halfway through the 10-lap race David Douglas' Marlene McCoy took a peak to her right and spotted Clackamas' Sophie Robinson about a body length ahead.

McCoy's teammates were also well aware of the battle, packing the end of the pool not only to count the laps, but also to cheer loudly.

"That made me feel powerful," McCoy said.

She slowly gained ground on her Clackamas counterpart, edging in front late in the race and keeping her face buried in the water for about four strokes heading to the finishing wall.

"It makes me go faster if I hold my breath. I knew I was almost to the end and that I would be okay," McCoy said. "On the second to last lap, I moved ahead of her and I knew I had to keep going at the same pace."

Schwam picked up her second win of the day in the backstroke (1:03.02), while Trinity Caudle won the breaststroke (1:13.42).

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

David Douglas scored first-place points in 7 of the 11 events, including wins in all five specialty-stroke races.

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This story is slated for our Tuesday, Jan. 14, print edition.

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