Swimming: Karsseboom triumphs in 500 freestyle - again
Abbi Karsseboom was determined.
The Tualatin High School senior was determined to finish ahead of a good friend.
She was determined to fight off injury.
And she was determined to keep her championship.
Behind that determination, she did all three.
Karsseboom triumphed in the 500-yard freestyle event, marking the third straight year that she's won that event, at the Three Rivers League district swimming championships, held Friday and Saturday at Mount Hood Community College in Gresham.
"It's really good. I'm glad I got to keep my title," Karsseboom said during Saturday's district finals. "I was just out there to beat my friend, (St. Mary's Academy sophomore) Eleanor (Snyder), she's my biggest competitor. I've been injured for most of this season, but I thought that I just needed to get out there and win."
Karsseboom, and many of her Timberwolf teammates, will next be competing at the Class 6A state meet. Each event winner at the district meet, as well as those swimmers, or relay teams, that reach state qualifying standards, or earn wild-card bids, advance to the state meet, which will be held Friday and Saturday at the Tualatin Hills Aquatic Center in Beaverton.
Karsseboom will be going to the state meet as a three-time district champion in the 500 freestyle. But getting the three-peat wasn't easy. Karsseboom, holding off hard-charging West Linn freshman Kaitlyn Rumsey, won the race in a time of 5 minutes, 13.09 seconds. Rumsey was second at 5:13.83, and Snyder was third at 5:18.78.
"It hurt, a lot. But it was good," Karsseboom said. "It was my best time this season."
Karsseboom also qualified for state in the 200 individual medley. In that race, Karsseboom, who was the No. 5 seed after Friday's preliminaries, came on strong to finish in second place in 2:11.26, which bettered the state qualifying time for that event.
"It was really good," Karsseboom said of the individual medley. "I was seeded fifth. It wasn't where I wanted to be, but my friends helped me get pumped. We were dancing in the water. That really helped. I always dance before my races, and my team is always there. I'm probably the weird one in the water, dancing."
Karsseboom also qualified for state in a pair of relay events. In the 200 medley relay, she teamed with junior Izzy Ehmig, senior Britney Muralt and senior Erika Farring to finish in third place in a time of 1:52.92, which bettered the state qualifying standard.
In the 400 freestyle relay, the Tualatin team of Karsseboom, Farring, senior Taylor Cockrell and Muralt finished fifth at 3:48.76, which gave the team a wild-card berth to state.
Karsseboom, who placed third in the 500 freestyle at state a year ago, is now looking to finish up her senior year with a strong performance at state.
"I'm hoping to do better than I did last year in the 500," she said. "I just want to place higher."
The Tualatin girls finished in a tie with Oregon City for fourth place in the team standings at the district meet with 165 points, putting the Wolves just one point behind third-place Canby. West Linn finished in first place with a score of 249.5. St. Mary's was second at 177.
The young Tualatin boys team is sending three swimmers, all freshmen, to the state meet.
"We've got awesome coaching," Tualatin freshman Ben Glasser said of the team's success.
Glasser earned a trip to state with his second-place mark of 54.37 in the 100 butterfly, putting him behind only West Linn junior Nathan Rumsey, who won the race in 51.60.
"It means a lot," Glasser said of his second-place finish. "It was really fun. I've been racing Rumsey a little bit now, and he's an awesome dude. It's my best time by a little bit. My stroke was alright, but I think the pool was the big factor. It was a fun race, I like the butterfly."
Glasser is now looking forward to his first trip to the state meet.
"It's really cool," he said. "It widens the area I get to swim in, and the amount of people I get to race. It will be a good experience."
Tualatin freshman Logan Mendez earned a trip to state with his third-place mark of 5:01.79 in the 500 freestyle. Timberwolf freshman Kent Pham garnered a state berth with his fourth-place time of 50.21 in the 100 freestyle.
The Tualatin boys finished in fifth place in the team standings at the district meet with 127 points. Lakeridge finished in first place with a score of 286.
Friday's preliminaries heats at the Class 6A state meet are set to begin at 1:45 p.m. Saturday's championship finals are slated to start at 1:15 p.m.
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