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Cats gets hot midway to race past Apollos 91-79

Westview moves into second place in the Metro League race


by: MILES VANCE - TO VICTORY - Westview's Tiffany Zhao left the competition behind in winning the 100-yard breaststroke against Sunset last week at Sunset Swim Center.

CEDAR MILL — The Westview and Sunset girls swim teams took their best shots at each other last week, but in the end, it was the Wildcats who landed the most telling blows.

Tied 39-39 with the Apollos midway through the meet, the Wildcats outscored Sunset 30-16 over the next four events and used that edge to fuel their 91-79 win at Sunset Swim Center on Jan. 10. The victory lifted Westview’s Metro League record to 2-1 and gave it sole possession of fourth place, just one meet behind league-leading Jesuit’s girls team.

“I know that everybody’s trying as hard as they can, trying to push themselves to go faster so we can get as many points as possible,” said Westview sophomore Tiffany Zhao, who won the 200-yard individual medley and 100 backstroke, and also swam on her team’s winning 200 freestyle relay. “It’s one last push to give it my all.”

The Apollos, meanwhile, saw their Metro League record drop to 1-2 and fell to fifth place in league acgion, but knew they’d given the Wildcats a pretty good run for their money.

“It’s been very close. I think there was a point where we were tied,” said Sunset senior Marita Sailor, winner of the 200 freestyle, runner-up in the 100 free and anchor leg on her team’s winning 400 freestyle relay. I thought “it would come down to the relays. It was exciting.”

In the Wildcats’ dominant four-event stretch — which started with the 100 butterfly and continued through the 200 freestyle relay — they notched four straight wins, went 1-2 in the 500 free and 1-3 in both the butterfly and 200 freestyle relay.

Senior Michelle Cefal kicked off that stretch by taking top honors in the butterfly with a winning time of 57.19 seconds (teammate Angelina Kostenko was third at 1:08.69). Cefal came through again in the next race, winning the 100 free at 52.45, while sophomore teammates Rachel Kwong and Kendra Cheren took first and second in the 500 free, Kwong finishing in 5:58.76 to win and Cheren next in 6:05.48.

Westview capped that four-race stretch with a victory in the 200 freestyle relay, with Sophia Zhou, Tiffany Huang, Zhao and Cefal teaming up to grab first at 1:43.31. Teammates Cindy Chou, Kostenko, Maddie McGlone and Kwong added a third in that same race (at 1:54.73), helped push the Cats’ lead to 69-55 and set the table for their eventual win.

Zhao was the only other Westview winner, setting the pace in both the 200 individual medley (at 2:16.94) and again in the 100 breaststroke (at 1:10.36).

“They were pretty good swims considering my situation,” Zhao said. “I just wanted to go out fast and feel good about my race and I feel like I accomplished it. I’m pretty happy.”

Other top Westview finishers were Zhou in the 50 freestyle at 27.10, and Chou second in the 100 backstroke at 1:12.52.

Sunset held firm most of the way through the meet, winning five races, taking second in six and third in another five. The Apollos took top honors in two of the day’s three relays, with Camille Andre, Haley Fellows, Abby White and Emily Cheng winning the 200 medley relay at 1:59.45, and White, Nina Stitt, Cheng and Sailor leading the way in the 400 freestyle relay at 3:41.66.

“It’s definitely hard racing and training at the same time,” Sailor said. “But it’s always good having a lot of competition in these dual meets. It’s good just to get out there and race.”

Sailor notched her win the 200 freestyle with a mark of 2:05.96 (with Stitt second at 2:06.64), while the Apollos also got wins from Cheng in the 50 free at 26.85, and Stitt in the 100 backstroke with a mark of 1:05.84.

“It was pretty good,” Sailor said of her 200 free. “My legs were pretty tired from practice, but I liked racing two of my club teammates — one of them swims for Westview — and the other one who swims for us and that was a lot of fun.”

Other top efforts for Sunset came from: White, second in the 200 IM at 2:18.82; White in the 100 butterfly at 1:02.93; Sailor in the 100 free at 54.16; and Fellows in the 100 breaststroke at 1:12.72.

In upcoming meets, Westview will face Lincoln at Sunset at 4 p.m. today (Thursday), while Sunset will meet Southridge at Conestoga at 3 p.m. today.

To see a complete photo gallery from this event, please go to milesvance.exposuremanager.com.




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