The Lions came out hard.
The West Linn boys swim team, facing Oregon City in their Three Rivers League opener, stepped up to win all 11 events against the Pioneers and powered to a 117-48 victory at Oregon City Swimming Pool on Thursday, Dec. 9.
"I loved the effort that this team put on display at the meet," said West Linn sophomore Matthew Sexton, who won the 200-yard individual medley and 100 backstroke, and also swam on two winning relays. "They had the right mindset and intensity to put up some great times. That effort certainly showed itself in the final results. And there were always people cheering one another on, and I know that this team is only scratching the surface of what they can do."
With the win, the Lions improved to 1-0 in Three Rivers League action, while the Pioneers lost for the second straight time and fell to 0-2 in league.
"Even though we didn't win, I think we all swam great," said Oregon City senior Wilson Riley, who finished second in both the 100 breaststroke and 50 freestyle. "Everyone's been working hard in practice and it's starting to show. We swam hard against West Linn and had a great time."
The highlights came in bundles for the Lions. Sexton, senior Zachary Cozart and sophomore Gabriel Schreiber won two individual events each and West Linn swept all three relays.
Sexton got it done in the 200 IM with a winning time of 2 minutes, 12.98 seconds (with Oregon City's Aidan Colvin second at 2:51.31), and again in the 100 backstroke with a 1:03.19 (with Colvin second again at 1:21.84).
"I felt my individual performances were right where they should be to start the season," Sexton said. "They weren't spectacular swims, but they were just where I thought that they should be at this point in the season. There's still a lot more room for improvement in both my 200 IM and 100 back, but the season is of course far from over."
Cozart did his part in the 200 freestyle and 100 free, taking the 200 free with a time of 2:06.86 (with teammate Eric Golgotiu second at 2:09.68) and winning again in the 100 free at 59.35 (with teammate Max Parisio second at 1:04.18).
Schreiber, meanwhile, set the pace in the 100 butterfly and 100 breaststroke, taking the fly at 1:04.27 (with teammate Christian Keller second at 1:10.40) and the breaststroke at 1:11.78.
In the relays, West Linn's Sexton, Schreiber, Keller and Cozart topped the 200 medley at 2:31.80. In the 200 free relay, Lions Timothy Varga, Cozart, Keller and Tyler Angell finished first at 1:54.26. And in the 400 free relay, West Linn's Sexton, Schreiber, Alexander Tye and Varga took first at 4:00.73.
The Lions' other individual wins came from Varga in the 50 free at 27.70 and Golgotiu in the 400 freestyle at 4:45.31 (with Tye second at 5:13.78).
While the Pioneers didn't win an event, Wilson stepped up to finish second in both the breaststroke and 50 free, notching a 1:21.31 in the breaststroke and a 27.76 in the 50 free.
"I have been struggling this season with a health issue and haven't swum very well, but I was super happy with how I swam in my relays and the 50 freestyle," Wilson said. "My strokes felt great."
Colvin added runner-up finishes in both the 200 IM and the 100 back, while the Pioneers took second in the 200 medley and 400 free relays, with Noah Graf, Emmett Espinoza, Garrhett Bell and Logan Lamb going 2:22.39 in the medley, and Lamb, Payton Solarski, Alex Bell and Garrhett Bell posting a 5:01.83 in the 400.
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