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Crusaders close out unbeaten Metro League run


Jesuits girls beat Sunset for their sixth straight Metro victory

by: MILES VANCE - FREESTYLE WINNER - Jesuit's Blaise Wittenauer-Lee races to victory in the 500-yard freestyle against Sunset last week.

CEDAR MILL — For the Jesuit and Sunset girls swim teams, the question last week was this — why wait for district?

Two of the Metro League’s best teams got together for a pre-district showdown at Sunset Swim Center on Jan. 24, and while the Crusaders left with a solid 94-78 victory, both teams left encouraged by their performances.

The win lifted Jesuit’s Metro record to 6-0 and guaranteed it sole possession of a fifth straight league championship, as well as extending their long Metro winning streak to 29 straight. Now, the Crusaders are setting their sights on the upcoming district and state meets and a chance to extend their four-year winning streak in both of those meets.

“We’re all doing really good, swimming fast, getting ready for championship season,” said Jesuit senior Blaise Wittenauer-Lee, winner of both the 500-yard freestyle and 100 breaststroke against Sunset. “It’s been a long season, but it’s really rewarding.”

Sunset saw its league record drop to 2-3, but believes good things are ahead after notching seven wins against the talented Crusaders. The Apollos close out the regular season with a home meet against Beaverton at 4 p.m. today (Thursday).

“It was pretty good. I think we did well,” said Sunset freshman Abby White, winner of the 100 butterfly. “We were actually missing two of our better swimmers today so we were hoping to do a little better, but we’ve done well.”by: MILES VANCE - SUNSET SENIOR - Sunset's Marita Sailor splashes to victory in the 100-yard backstroke against Jesuit last week.

While the Crusaders won just four of the day’s 11 races, they took two of the points-heavy relays, took second in eight events and third in another eight to pull away.

Wittenauer-Lee was at the forefront of Jesuit’s success, swimming to victory in the 500 free with a mark of 5 minutes, 14 seconds (Sunset’s Nina Stitt was second at 5:29.39), then adding another first in the 100 breaststroke at 1:08.60 (with teammate Caitlin McMahon second there at 1:15.78).

“It felt good, nice and relaxed,” said Wittenauer-Lee, the reigning Metro and 6A champion in the 500 free. “I was just trying to work on a couple specific areas I need to work on.”

Jesuit’s other two wins came in the relays, with McMahon, Wittenauer-Lee, Erin Perry and Kelsey Forster going 1:52.70 to win the 200 medley relay, and Forster, Meghan Harper, Perry and Wittenauer-Lee posting a 1:43.59 to run away with the 200 freestyle relay.

Sunset’s girls matched Wittenauer-Lee’s success by getting two individual wins each from Emily Cheng and Marita Sailor, and additional victories from Stitt and White. Cheng scored in the 200 individual medley with a winning time of 1:59.21 (Jesuit’s Aimee Piercy was second at 2:29.82) and came back later in the 100 freestyle to win at 54.77 (with Forster second at 58.35).

Sailor did her part in the 50 freestyle and 100 backstroke, taking the 50 at 25.37 (Forster was second at 25.86) and winning the backstroke with a mark of 1:01.35 (with Harper second at 1:03.12).

Stitt’s win came in the 200 freestyle at 1:59.21 (Harper was second there at 2:01.24), while White swam 1:00.11 to take the 100 butterfly (with Perry second at 1:04.09).

“The fly’s my best” event, White said. “In high school meets, that’s my best (time). In club, my best is 59, but today was still pretty good.”

The Apollos also won the day’s final race, the 400 freestyle relay, with Stitt, Camille Andre, Cheng and Sailor coming home in 3:43.33.

The 2013 Metro League district meet is set for 3 p.m. Feb 8 and 3 p.m. Feb. 9 at Tualatin Hills Aquatic Center with the Class 6A state meet set the following week.

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