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Julie Schwam and Hannah Walker combine for 90 points, lead Scots to first place

PMG PHOTO: DAVID BALL - David Douglas' Hannah Walker reacts after hitting the wall first in the 200-yard freestyle relay. She joined teammate Julie Schwam with a meet-high 45 points.

MHC district meet

Team (top 3) Score
1. David Douglas
2. Clackamas
3. Barlow

The David Douglas girls swim team relied on a tag-team effort to claim Saturday's Mount Hood Conference district title.

The Scots won all three relay races and came up a half-point shy of 300 points for the meet — 27 ahead of their nearest pursuer Clackamas.

David Douglas set the tone out of the gate with a split-second win over Clackamas in the 200-yard medley relay.

The Scots followed with their two biggest events of the day. Hannah Walker came in second in the 200 free, followed closely by teammates Victoria Cornejo-Lopez and Anna Bagaric for 38 team points.

David Douglas would do a step better in the next race with Julie Schwam winning the 200 medley, while teammates Trinity Caudle and Wendy Rios also scored in the finals.

"I felt pretty good transitioning from the breaststroke to the freestyle. The adrenaline kicked in, and I could feel myself pick up the pace," Schwam said. "Every race is important. We need to score every point we can get."

Through three events, the Scots were 26 points clear of their biggest challenger Clackamas.

A false start in the 50 free would open the door for the Cavaliers to slip in front during the middle stages of the meet.

But David Douglas charged in front to stay after Walker's hard-fought win in the 10-lap distance freestyle.

The early stages of the race saw a line of three contenders, Walker, Barlow's Kenna Quirke and Clackamas' Mia Smith, making waves in the middle lanes. Heading into the second half of the race, Walker had stretched out a two body-length gap only to feel Quirke closing in over the final few laps.

"The three of us have been club teammates in the past, so I knew how they liked to swim the race," Walker said. "I was nervous, but I had to shut off my brain, let muscle memory take over and just go."

Quirke was tickling Walker's toes coming out of the final flip turn, but the David Douglas senior maintained her edge to the wall and touched in a full second in front.

PMG PHOTO: DAVID BALL - David Douglas Victoria Cornejo-Lopez prepares for her leg of the Scots winning 200-yard freestyle relay at Saturdays district swim meet.

David Douglas got an expected breather in the upcoming event after Clackamas saw its 200 freestyle relay suffer a disqualification in Friday's prelims. Not only did that open the door for the Scots to pick up first-place points, but it shut out the Cavaliers in a relay race where team points are doubled.

"It's not the way you want a meet to be decided, but it eased things up knowing we didn't need to be perfect coming into today's finals," David Douglas coach Jim Bowe said.

The Scots came out of the relay with a 35-point gap at the top of the leader board and would maintain a comfortable margin the rest of the way.

Schwam would add a runner-up finish in the backstroke, while her and Walker would also swim legs on the winning 400 free relay at the end of the day. The teammates finished with 45 points apiece to share the district scoring lead.

Holly Lippert tied for second in the butterfly, and Trinity Caudle was third in the breaststroke.

Barlow came in third in the team tally with 201 points, led by Megan Maroon with a win in the butterfly and a second-place finish in the medley.

PMG PHOTO: DAVID BALL - Barlow's Megan Maroon crashes through the waves on her way to a win in the butterfly.

The reigning two-time champion Emma Gould out of Clackamas held a slight early lead in the butterfly only to see Maroon open up a body-length lead heading into the final lap. Maroon typically brought her head out of the water every other stroke, but for her finishing push she kept her face buried in the waves for three strokes before coming up for air.

"You create drag every time you come out of the water. I knew if I kept my head down I'd get a faster time — the less oxygen, the faster you go," Maroon said with a laugh. "I knew if I stayed with her over that first 50, I would be able to beat her that second 50."

Barlow also saw Lauren Kenoyer pick up a win in the 200 free, while Kaselyn Markell was runner up in the 100 free.

Centennial rookie Elle Moir was second in the freestyle sprint, and Gresham's Maria Fesik took second in the breaststroke.

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This story is scheduled for our Tuesday, Feb. 18, print edition.

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