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Lam, Apollo girls' swimming make good on district hopes

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Sunset girls swimmer Megan Lam won the 200 IM, took second in the 500 free and helped two of the Apollo relay teams take first at districts.

Megan Lam didn’t care if her Sunset girls’ swim team lost to Jesuit in a dual meet two weeks ago.

She saw who the Crusaders had on their roster on that bitterly cold night at the Beaverton Swim Center two weeks ago and was steadfast in her resolve. Lam said Sunset could beat Jesuit at the Metro League District Championship on Saturday and swore the Apollos would hold a trophy in their arms.

By the feet, hands and arms of Lam and a lot of help from her teammates, Sunset upheld that promise.

Lam won the 200 Individual Medley, took second in the 500 free and helped both of Sunset’s 200 and 400 free relays take top honors in their respective races to help the Apollos end Jesuit’s five-year reign as Metro champions, 378-318.

“We were able to spread everyone out so we had people in every event,” said Lam. “It wasn’t just one event we won. We have a lot of good people. We have a really big, strong team.”

Sunset won its first three events of the day, starting with the 200 medley relay with Lam, Angela Liu, Emily Cheng, and Nina Stitt. Cheng won the 200 free, then Lam took the 200 IM with simplicity. Though the Apollos didn’t notch a first place until the 400 free relay, they got second places from Lam in the 500 free, Cheng in the 100 free and Stitt in the 100 breaststroke.

“I feel like we were a lot more focused on what we were going to do,” said Cheng. “Last year I was (at districts), but I wasn’t really focused on the meet. This year, we all know what we’re doing. We were ready to win.”

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Sunset girls swimmer Emily Cheng won the 200 free and was part of two winning relays for the Apollos who won districts on Saturday.

Cheng, Lam, Stitt and Haley Fellows comprised the 400 free relay that punctuated the Apollos’ day with a 3:37 finish. “We’re all really excited to do so well,” said Cheng. “Last year we were really close to winning and didn’t. This year we were all trying really hard to win district. I feel like that optimism spread throughout our team and made us better.”

Lam said her 500 free second place ribbon didn’t go as planned because of a sore shoulder that gave out, but said she was OK with the silver. In her first year of high school swimming, the junior said she’s excited to see what happens when Sunset descends on Mount Hood Community College for the 6A state championships on Friday and Saturday.

“I think we’re good enough to win state, but it’s going to be close,” said Lam. “We’re definitely going to have to work very hard. It’s not something we’ll be able to get easily. We’re going to have to work for it. Today was a good way to go into state. It’ll help us be ready to try and win at state.”

Jesuit freshman Erin Cook said she kept her head down and pushed hard over the homestretch in the 50 free to get her fingertips to the wall (24.19) just ahead of Aloha’s Jordan Ashmore.

“You just have to give it all you got,” said Cook. “It was kind of nerve-wracking for me because I was trying to win, but I wasn’t sure if Jordan had out-touched me or not. I was trying to get past her the last 15 yards and get that last reach to the wall.”

Cook also had a thriller in the 100 free, beating Sunset’s Emily Cheng by .12 seconds in her first ever district meet. Jesuit might have had its five-year dominant Metro run end, but the Crusaders still got state-worth efforts from the 200 medley relay team of Emily Holman, Kenna Holt, Erin Perry and Zofia Zdanowicz that took third overall.

“It was a lot of fun,” said Cook. “My team had a lot of energy. They’ve been really supportive, and it’s just been a great atmosphere. Everybody tried their best and put out good times. “

Shaking off a 24-hour illness, Aloha’s Ashmore set a personal record by more than two seconds in the 100 backstroke, winning the event in 56.27. By focusing on her underwater flip turns off the wall and dolphin kicking beneath the surface for as long as possible, Ashmore broke a new barrier in her backstroke event.

“I finally took the initiative and did it today,” said Ashmore. “In practice they me have do underwaters back and forth across the pool. It gets you used to it, then when you come to the meets you just do what you’ve done in practice”

The final 50 yards Ashmore said she “was just trying not to die the second half of the race” and was able to maintain a huge lead for her second ticket to the 6A state championships this week.

“The kids I practice with said ‘When you go to state, Jordan, you’ll love it’,” said Ashmore. “I’ve been waiting three or four years of my life to go. It’s finally here.”

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Southridge freshman Caitlyn Wilson won the 500 free for the Skyhawks at the Metro League District Championships on Satuday.

Southridge freshman Caitlyn Wilson was the Skyhawks’ top honoree, winning the 500 free (5:01) and taking second in the 200 free (1:52). Southridge’s 200 medley relay team of Alison Engstrom, Stephanie Maeda, Christin Young and Wilson took home second place at 1:52.58. Engstrom picked up two second places in the 100 backstroke and 200 IM. Young took silver in the 100 butterfly.

The 100 breaststroke was Westview’s Tiffany Zhao’s focus event the entire season, the one race she poured most of her practice time and energy into. The emphasis paid out big, as Zhao sailed to a first place victory in 1:04.94.

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Westviews Tiffany Zhao won the 100 breastroke and helped the Wildcats 200 free relay team take first.

“It’s really nice seeing all the parts I work on come together into a nice race,” said Zhao, who also took third in the 50 free. “I wanted to go out a little bit faster than I did in prelims so that way I could get out, build up my lead and finish strong.”

Zhao, Tiffany Huang, Laila Kayfes, and Sophia Zhou were part of the winning 200 free team that fulfilled a season-long goal of reaching the 6A state championships.

“I’m so proud of my team,” said Zhao. “Every single one of them did amazing, I’m so proud of them. Everybody did better than we all expected. It was such a huge team effort.”




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