Swimming: Molalla opens season at home against strong Silverton teams
Molalla's swim team opened the season on Friday in their home meet against Silverton and saw some strong competition from a solid swim program.
The Indians saw moderate success as they took 12 top-three finishes, including one first-place finish as sophomore Cori Oster clocked a time of one minute, 10.99 seconds in the girls' 100 Yard Backstroke. Senior Alisha Issa finished just behind Oster with a time of one minute, 13.85 seconds to secure a strong finish for the Indians in the event.
Oster and Issa, along with Jaycee Gago and Abby Harth, helped the 200 Yard Freestyle Relay team grab a second-place finish with a time of two minutes, 6.13 seconds, with Oster and Issa swimming the fastest legs at 28.63 seconds and 29.17 seconds, respectively.
The girls' 200 Yard Medley Relay team grabbed third place with a time of two minutes, 17.54 seconds as well, as Harth and Issa swam the fastest legs with times of 30.66 seconds and 29.86 seconds, respectively.
Oster also grabbed second in the 100 Yard Breaststroke as she finished with a time of one minutes, 23.03 seconds, while Issa took third in the 50 Yard Freestyle with a time of 28.41 seconds in a close race that saw Silverton's Marie Tolmachoff earn first place with a time of 27.68 seconds.
Issa's performance is an impressive one, considering she hasn't swam in about eight months since she quit club swimming.
"I think for that it's going pretty well so far," Issa said after swimming her heat in the 50 Freestyle. "I'm hoping I can get close to my times that I got last year, but if not, I'm hoping to have fun and have a good season."
Issa said she's excited about having a good number of new swimmers on the team this year.
"I think it's really good to have new swimmers, because they'll get more exposed to it and hopefully bring in more people, and the bigger a team gets, the better, because you can't have too many people on a team."
On the boys' side, sophomore Linden Mackenzie earned a third and fourth place finish on the day as he swam the 100 Yard Freestyle in one minute, 2.37 seconds for third place and clocked a time of 25.93 seconds in the 50 Yard Freestyle for fourth.
Mackenzie, along with Peter Mueller, Garrett Abeln, and Bryce Webber, helped the boys' 200 Yard Freestyle Relay team grab third place with a time of one minute, 53.43 seconds; Webber swam the fastest leg at 26.39 seconds while Abeln swam his leg in 28.91 seconds.
The boys' 400 Yard Freestyle Relay team also took third place with a time of four minutes, 25.46 seconds.
Webber took second in the 200 Yard Freestyle with a time of two minutes, 21.91 seconds, less than three-quarters of a second behind Silverton's Isaiah Turner, who took first with a time of two minutes, 21.91 seconds.
After clocking his time in the 50 Freestyle, Mackenzie said he's excited to have improved on his time at the beginning of his previous season by half of a second.
"I'm hoping to end the year with a good time, and I'm happy because I'm a sophomore so I have a lot of time to improve and shave some seconds off," Mackenzie said. "This year, I'd like to swim around a low-24 in the 50 [Freestyle]; I'm looking into the Individual Medley as well and thinking of doing that."
"I'm glad more people came out this year, that's exciting, and hopefully next year we'll have even more," Mackenzie said.
Next up for Molalla is the Scappoose Invitational on Friday, Dec. 8 beginning at 4:15 p.m. at Scappoose High School.
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