Youthful Lake Oswego boys swimmers drop West Linn 97-72
The youth movement is alive and well on the Lake Oswego boys swim team.
The Lakers proved it against West Linn, getting wins from three freshmen and a sophomore on the way to their 97-72 win over the Lions at Lake Oswego School District Pool on Thursday, Jan. 11.
As one of the leaders and more experienced swimmers on the team, Lake Oswego senior Michael Bell likes what he's seeing.
"I felt like our team performed very well," said Bell, who finished third, fourth and fifth in his three individual events. "Fast times, great effort, and overall, a fun experience."
With the win, the Lakers improved to 2-0 in Three Rivers League competition, while West Linn fell to 1-1 in league.
Despite the loss, the Lions were happy with their efforts against the Lakers.
"I feel that West Linn gave a strong showing," said West Linn junior Nathan Rumsey, who won both his individual races and also swam on one winning Lion relay team. "All of our relays swam well and it was exciting to see everyone step up to race against LO's strong boys team."
The Lakers stepped up with a strong team effort that included six wins in the meet's 11 events, second-place finishes in seven races and thirds in nine. Along the way, Lake Oswego got victories in individual events from freshman Jiyu Yang in the 200-yard freestyle, freshman William Thistlethwaite in the 50 freestyle, freshman Jonathan Bell in the 100 free and sophomore Dohyun Kim in the 100 breaststroke.
Yang came through to win the 200 free with a time of 1 minute, 55.29 seconds (with freshman teammate Hudson Schneider second at 1:58.79), and later, took second in the 100 butterfly at 1:00.29. He also swam on the Lakers' winning 200 freestyle relay team, joining junior Steven Peng, Jonathan Bell and Kim to win with a 1:37.74.
Jonathan Bell took the 100 free at 52.89, took second in the 100 backstroke with a 59.56, and teamed with Peng, freshman Tylor Kim and sophomore James Kang to win the 400 free relay at 3:27.95.
Thistlethwaite broke through to take the 50 free at 23.84 (with West Linn junior Mason Self second at 24.10) and also grabbed second in the 100 freestyle with a time of 53.06. And Dohyun Kim topped the field in the 100 breaststroke at 1:06.93 and also took third in the 50 free.
"It was really fun swimming against West Linn," Michael Bell said. "They had some strong swimmers, fostering a competitive environment between the teams and prompting everyone to perform their best."
On their side of the ledger, the Lions fought back with two individual wins each from Rumsey and sophomore Adam Conrad, with Rumsey taking top honors in the 100 butterfly and 500 freestyle, and Conrad leading the way in the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke.
Rumsey notched a 53.35 to win the butterfly, went 5:00.23 to take the 500 free, and also teamed with Conrad, senior Clay Barbee and Self to win the 200 medley relay at 1:44.45.
"I was happy with my swims and was able to go the fastest I have this season," Rumsey said. "I'm excited to see what the season has in store for the team."
Conrad came through with a 2:03.78 to win the 200 IM (with Kang second at 2:09.88), then added a 56.70 to top the 100 backstroke.
"Many (of us) achieved personal best times, and that is incredibly impressive given that we are just out of winter training," Rumsey added. "I think this shows the potential we have later in the season."
Next up, the Lions face Lakeridge at Lake Oswego School District Pool at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16, while the Lakers swim against Oregon City at Oregon City Pool at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16.
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