OREGON CITY – Marie Mason spends six days a week in the pool, swimming 4,500 to 6,000 meters a practice.
That hard work is paying off.
Mason, a rising eighth grader at Molalla Middle School, swam in her first individual state final on Thursday, July 25 at the Oregon Swimming 11-and-over long course championships.
"It was definitely high energy," Mason said. "It was fun hearing them announce your name. It was exciting."
Competing for the Oregon City Swim Team, Mason, 13, placed eighth in the 200-meter individual medley in 2 minutes, 48.79 seconds. Her prelims time of 2:47.62 was nearly 20 seconds faster than her best in 2018.
After qualifying for the long course championships in only the 50 freestyle a year ago, Mason swam 10 events, seven individual and three relays, at the 2019 meet.
She helped Oregon City's 200 free relay and 400 free relay place fifth. Mason also recorded the 10th fastest time in the 200 free as Oregon City placed eighth overall, its best team finish since 2012.
"I've been working hard and racing my friends in practice and it's really helped me improve a lot," said Mason, who was selected Oregon City's most improved swimmer.
Ben Talbott, the head age-group coach at Oregon City, said the award was about more than just Mason's accomplishments in the pool.
"We emphasize having great character and attitude," Talbott said. "She displayed a level of drive, commitment and positivity. She's always in a positive mood, encouraging her teammates in and out of the pool. It was a reflection of not just on her swims but also on how awesome of a teammate she's been all season."
Mason, who lives in Beavercreek, has trained in Oregon City since she was 8, working her way through the club's novice, explorer and competitive groups.
"I feel like all of my work has paid off," Mason said.
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