Lakeridge girls swimmers speed past Lake Oswego 107-63
There's no give in the Lakeridge girls swim team.
Not now with the biggest meets of the year on hand.
The Pacers closed out the regular season last week with an impressive 107-63 win over Lake Oswego in the annual Battle of the Lake at Lake Oswego District Pool on Feb. 1. That win also sets Lakeridge up for the coming Three Rivers League District Meet at Mt. Hood Community College Aquatic Center, with preliminaries beginning at 8:45 a.m. Friday and finals at 9 a.m. Saturday.
"I think it's great positioning for the district meet," said Lakeridge senior Katie Manzione, who won two events and also swam on two winning relay teams. "It's a great way to ramp up the entire team before we get to our championship meets at the end of the season."
"(Our coaches) have prepared us so well and they always see district as our climactic meet and they're always striving to get us to be our best by district," said Pacer junior team captain Gigi Harn, who swam on one winning relay and had two top-six individual finishes. "I think we'll do pretty well. We just have to taper well and work hard at 'til then. It will be a great meet."
With the win, the Pacers closed out the regular season with a 6-1-1 Three Rivers League record, while the Lakers lost for just the second time in league and ended their TRL campaign at 6-2.
Despite the loss, Lake Oswego's swimmers said they enjoyed the competition and knew it would help prepare them for this week's district meet.
"It's great to have this meet right before district because everybody gets their spirits up and it really carries over to (district)," said Lake Oswego junior Madeline Eller, who placed second and third in her two individual swims.
"It went pretty well. It gives us a real good feel for where their best swimmers are, where ours are and how we can adjust to attack it better in the future at district," added Lake Oswego senior team captain Annie Rodgers, who finished fourth and fifth in her two individual swims and also swam on one second-place relay.
With all that as pretext, the Pacers were just too good to lose last week. In addition to Manzione's two wins (in the 200- and 500-yard freestyle races), Lakeridge also saw senior Mara Newman and junior Elli Jew win twice each — Newman in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke, Jew in the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke — and swept the day's three relays.
Manzione got things started with a win in the 200 free at 1 minute, 59.53 seconds (Lake Oswego's Alyssa Gustaff was second with a 2:04.45), then came back later to take the 500 free at 5:25.95 (with Gustaff second again with a 5:32.08).
"Every dual meet is just an opportunity to swim and race, especially at this meet because there's a lot of people from my club team on (Lake Oswego) so it's just fun to get out and race with them," Manzione said. "Even our club coach came and watched this. At the end of the day, we are all happy for each other and it's just fun."
Newman came through to win the butterfly by more than six seconds at 58.13 (Laker junior Haily Oldham placed second at 1:04.28), then won the backstroke by more than seven seconds with a 56.83 (LO junior Maya Clydesdale took second at 1:03.93).
Jew stepped up with a 2:09.45 to grab first in the 200 IM (with Eller second at 2:20.04), then came back to take the breaststroke at 1:05.30 (with LO junior Grace Marshall second at 1:08.94).
In the relays, Lakeridge senior Nicole Gooding, teamed with Jew, Newman and junior Skye Buck to win the 200 medley relay at 1:51.21. In the 200 freestyle relay, the Pacers saw junior Veronica Hansen, Buck, Manzione and Jew win with a 1:42.87. And in the 400 free relay, Gooding, Hansen, Manzione and Newman swam 3:52.26 to win again.
That said, the cupboard wasn't entirely bare for Lake Oswego. The Lakers got wins from both Marshall and Clydesdale, with Marshall winning the 50 freestyle at 25.85 (with Lakeridge's Buck second at 26.08), while Clydesdale topped the field in the 100 free with a 57.18 (with Lakeridge's Hansen second at 59.33).
"It's great to have this meet at the end of the year," Eller said. "It's so much fun. They're all good swimmers and I know so many of them from swimming with them on my club team."
"It's always stressful because it's senior night and there's the pressure of your friends watching, too, and a lot of … people's families, but we just wanted to swim as hard as we could and have fun while doing it," Rodgers added.