Tualatin girls get emotional win over rival Tigard
It was an emotional day for the Tualatin High School swim team.
It also was a winning day.
The Timberwolves, featuring a strong group of seniors, competed in their final home meet of the season, and came away with a 110-60 win over rival Tigard in a Three Rivers League dual meet held I front of a Senior Night crowd at the Tualatin Swim Center.
"It's been very emotional," said Tualatin senior Brittney Muralt, who was a four-time winner on the day. "It was really good. I won all of my events, individual and relays, we had a blast, I cried some, I hugged a lot of people, it was really fun."
"I can't believe it's my last home meet," Tualatin senior Taylor Cockrell said. "I've been swimming with some of these girls for nine or 10 years now, and, finally, it's our last time. We did really well. I didn't expect us to do this well, and I'm really proud."
With the loss, Tigard finished its TRL dual meet schedule with a 1-6 record. The Tualatin girls improved to 6-1 in TRL meets, putting the Timberwolves in second place in the final league standings.
"We just have a lot of camaraderie and team spirit," Cockrell said. "A lot of the new freshmen definitely made our team a better team. We're more together this year, and more of a group. We have a lot of fun. Fun is one of the most important things we have here. It's not a good meet if we don't have fun."
Up next for both teams is the Three Rivers League district championships, which will be held Friday and Saturday at Mount Hood Community College in Gresham. Each event winner at the district meet, as well as those swimmers and relay teams that reach state qualifying standards, or earn wild-card bids, will advance to compete at the Class 6A state meet, which will be held Feb. 21-22 at the Tualatin Hills Aquatic Center in Beaverton.
"I'm so excited," Muralt said of the upcoming district meet. "I'm going to be doing the 500 and 100 breaststroke. Team-wise, I'm hoping we get second. West Linn is really good. I want to come back strong and, I'm undefeated so far in the 100 breaststroke, so I'm hoping to win district for the first time. That's really big motivation. I'm excited to race really hard at district."
"We're looking forward to it," Cockrell said. "I'm swimming the 200 free and the 100 free. We're really hoping to qualify our relays to state."
Muralt should take plenty of momentum to the TRL district meet, coming off her four-win day in the regular-season finale. Muralt, in her individual events, first won the 500-yard freestyle in a time of 5 minutes, 35.59 seconds.
"I was about 15 seconds off my best time, which was good," Muralt said. "I've been sick. It was fun racing my club teammates, and my school teammates."
In the 100 breaststroke, Muralt won in a time of 1:13.67, edging Tigard sophomore Abbigale Elliott, who was second at 1:15.64.
"That was really fun, too," Muralt said. "I love racing Abbi. She's on Dolphins, I'm on TTSC, we get to race in club, and it's fun racing in high school."
In the 200 medley relay, Muralt teamed with senior Abbi Karsseboom, senior Erika Farring and junior Izzy Ehmig to pick up a win in 1:58.45. In the 400 freestyle relay, the Tualatin team of Karsseboom, Cockrell, Farring and Muralt triumphed in 3:56.24.
Ehmig won a pair of individual events for the Tualatin girls. She sprinted to victory in the 50 freestyle in 26.98, and she had a winning time of 1:06.69 in the 100 backstroke.
Also for the Wolves, Cockrell won the 200 freestyle in 2:13.63, Farring took first place in the 100 butterfly in 1:02.54, and the 200 freestyle relay team of junior Grace Oh, Cockrell, junior Esther Ho and Karsseboom won in 1:52.16.
"Today was really special," Muralt said. "Everyone was cheering behind our blocks and lanes. That really meant something."
For the Tigard girls, freshman Shannon Liang was a two-time winner at the meet. Liang won the 200 individual medley in a time of 2:21.25, and she had a winning mark of 58.63 in the 100 freestyle.
In boys competition at last week's meet, Tualatin scored a 112-55 win over Tigard. With the loss, the Tigers finished their TRL slate with a 1-5 record. The Timberwolf boys finished the TRL dual meet season at 3-3.
Freshman Kent Pham was a four-time winner for the Tualatin boys at the meet. Pham sprinted to victory in the 50 freestyle in 24.29, and he had a winning time of 55.01 in the 100 freestyle. In the 200 medley relay, Pham teamed with freshman Logan Mendez, freshman Ben Glasser and sophomore Mustafa Siddiqui to win in 1:52.58. In the 400 freestyle relay, the same foursome won in 3:47.09.
Also for the Wolves, Siddiqui had a winning time of 2:20.20 in the 200 individual medley, Glasser took first in the 100 butterfly in 1:00.79, freshman Colton Hof was victorious in the 500 freestyle in 5:48.87, Mendez won the 100 backstroke in 1:04.09, and the team of freshman Remus Repcak, sophomore Will Steward, junior Porter Lan and sophomore Noah Aicher won the 200 freestyle relay in 1:45.89.
For Tigard, which competed without junior standout Nathaniel Whitehead, who missed the meet due to illness, junior Jaden Nguyen won a pair of events. Nguyen won the 200 freestyle in 1:56.07, and he had a winning mark of 1:03.55 in the 100 breaststroke.
Action on Friday at the Three Rivers League district meet is slated to start at 8:45 a.m. Saturday's championship finals will begin at 9 a.m.
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