Regular season or short season, winter or spring, pandemic or no, it's always a big deal when the Lakeridge and Lake Oswego swim teams get together for their annual Battle of the Lake.
That was certainly the case on Tuesday, June 15, when the Lakers and Pacers girls teams got together at Lake Oswego School District Pool. And while there were no team scores recorded, Lake Oswego and Lakeridge got after it big-time.
The Pacers swam off with six wins in the day's eight events, not to mention three runner-up finishes and another three thirds.
"The meet saw some amazing swims by all our athletes, some of whom won events, others who got best times and our newer swimmers who swam their first varsity races," said Lakeridge coach Stacey Dennett, who came out of retirement with fellow coaches Derek Abbott, John McCommish and Mike Self to help ensure the Pacers' 2021 season.
"I thought my team did awesome," said Lakeridge senior Amy Frinell, who finished third in the 100-yard freestyle and fourth in the 50 free. "We all give our best effort, have lots of fun and have great sportsmanship."
For the Lakers, just getting to end their season with the traditional crosstown rivalry meet and the sense of normalcy that brought meant a lot.
"I thought the team did really well," said Lake Oswego senior Elizabeth Bell, who finished third in the 50 free and also swam on two runner-up relay teams. "The girls don't have many swimmers so we are automatically at a disadvantage, but everyone tried their best and I'm super proud of them."
Lakeridge saw four different swimmers — junior Rachel Barba, sophomore Emilie Croteau, sophomore Sophie Robinson and sophomore Riley McDowell — win individual events, while the Pacers also took top honors in both relays.
Barba did her part in the 50-yard freestyle, winning the event with a time of 26.63 seconds, while LO's Brooke Birdsall placed second at 28.24. Croteau took the 500 free with a mark of 7:32.62 (she was the lone entrant in the event).
Robinson topped the 100 backstroke with a winning time of 1:09.68, while teammate Munroe Blem placed second at 1:11.28. And McDowell set the pace in the 100 breaststroke at 1:15.78, while teammate Mia Stonelake was second at 1:17.63.
In the 200 medley relay, it was Lakeridge's Blem, Stonelake, McDowell and Barba in first at 2:04.67. And in the 200 free relay, Pacers Barba, Stonelake, Blem and Robinson won the event at 1:52.76.
"I am so proud of our swimmers that came out to swim this season," Dennett said. "Their work ethic and dedication to improve, along with their joy and enthusiasm made this swim season a success."
Lake Oswego's two individual victories came from sophomore Deeya Arora and freshman Addison Smith, with Arora racing to victory in the 100 butterfly at 1:21.84 and Smith topping the field in the 100 free with a time of 59.80 to edge Lakeridge's Robinson at 59.81.
In their runner-up relays, Bell teamed with Catherine Marshall, Smith and Birdsall in the 200 medley at 2:16.30, and in the 200 free, it was Birdsall, Bell, Marshall and Smith who took second at 1:56.84.
"I tried my best in all of my individual events, but I don't really swim for my times since I quit club," Bell said. "Instead, I like to focus on uplifting the team and letting them know that the high school swim team is about coming together and not a time on a watch."
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