Tigard girls top Lake Oswego for first league win
It was the last home meet of the season.
It was the last race of the last home meet of the season.
And, for the Tigard High School girls swim team, it all came down to this.
The Tigers, looking to get their first Three Rivers League dual meet victory of the season, needed to win that last race of the last home meet of the season.
That's just what Tigard did.
The Tigers, picking up a first-place finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay, came away with an 89-78 win over Lake Oswego in a league dual meet held in front of a Senior Night crowd on Jan. 30 at the Tigard Swim Center.
"It was really exciting, because this year has been a building year," Tigard junior Paige Colligan said after the meet. "We lost a lot of seniors from last year, and that kind of took a toll on our team, so I think this year, with this being our last home meet, and Senior Night, this was a great way to end it."
"It feels really good, because we hadn't won at all this season, so it's just a nice, warm feeling," Tigard freshman Shannon Liang said.
With the loss, Lake Oswego moved to 0-6 on the league season. The Tigard girls improved to 1-5 in league meets with the dramatic win.
"I think we're all just super stoked about this, and it's a great way to end the season," Colligan said. "It makes it more special. It was a good last home meet for the seniors, and we're going to miss them a lot."
"It gives the seniors a good memory," Liang said. "This was really fun. We're going to miss the seniors a lot."
Going into the last race of the meet, the 400 freestyle relay, the Tigard girls held a slim 77-76 lead over the Lakers. That meant that whichever team won the 400 freestyle relay would win the meet.
With that in mind, the motivated Tiger team of Liang, sophomore Kate Houston, Colligan and sophomore Abbigale Elliott went out and took control of the race from start to finish, winning in a time of 4 minutes, 5.03 seconds, clinching the team victory for Tigard.
"It was just exciting, because that was the defining race," Colligan said. "We were only up by one, so that made the difference. That was the deciding factor for the meet, so that was pretty exciting. It was the last time here this season, so that was really exciting."
"That was really exciting," Liang said. "It felt really good."
Not only did Tigard win the 400 freestyle relay, but another Tiger team, consisting of junior Caileigh Flowers, Dayna Guerra, junior Mackenzie Guentert and senior Emma Vu, finished in second place in 4:14.91.
In addition to the 400 freestyle relay, Liang also sprinted to victory in the 100 freestyle, winning that race in a time of 58.84.
"It felt really good," Liang said. "It was a nice win."
Liang also finished second in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:07.53.
Elliott won a pair of individual events. She triumphed in the 200 individual medley in 2:21.61, and she had a winning mark of 1:15.06 in the 100 breaststroke.
Guentert took first place in the 200 freestyle in 2:16.13, and she finished third in the 100 backstroke in 1:10.56. Colligan was second in the 500 freestyle in 6:02.75, and she was second in the 100 breaststroke in 1:17.99. Houston was second in the 200 freestyle in 2:20.75, and she was third in the 100 freestyle in 1:03.67. Vu was second in the 50 in 27.98, and she was third in the 500 freestyle in 6:32.52. Flowers was second in the 100 butterfly in 1:12.27, and she was third in the 100 breaststroke in 1:22.40.
The Tigard 200 medley relay team of Liang, Colligan, Elliott and Vu placed second with a mark of 2:01.83.
"This was so fun," Colligan said. "It was a great meet, with it being Senior Night, and we're about to do our belly flop contest, this was so fun."
The Tigard boys fell 127-42 to Lake Oswego at the meet. The Lakers improved to 5-0 with the victory, while the Tigers moved to 1-4.
Nathaniel Whitehead continued his big junior season for the Tigers, as he won the 200 individual medley in 2:00.46, and he had a winning time of 54.74 in the 100 backstroke.
Tigard junior Jaden Nguyen finished second in the 100 breaststroke in 1:03.62. He was also third in the 100 butterfly in 59.36, which put him less than a second behind race-winner Hudson Schneider of Lake Oswego.
Tiger sophomore Joseph Oldham was third in the 200 freestyle in 2:08.09.
The Tigard teams will finish their regular-season schedule on Thursday, when they face rival Tualatin in a Three Rivers League dual meet starting at 4 p.m. at the Tualatin Swim Center.
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