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Skyhawks battle to split against Lions in district tune-up

The Southridge boys roll past West Linn while the girls are close


by: MILES VANCE - SKYHAWK SPLASH - Southridge sophomore Matt Braun races to a win in the 100-yard freestyle during his team's non-league win over West Linn at Lake Oswego Swim Center on Jan. 31.

LAKE OSWEGO — It was just a tune-up for this week's Metro League district meet, but you wouldn't have known it by the way the Southridge swim teams raced against West Linn last week.

The Skyhawks, facing West Linn in a non-league meet at Lake Oswego Swim Center, battled the Lions all day long before finally settling for a split, with the Southridge boys winning 123-46 and the Skyhawk girls coming up short by an 87-82 mark.

Next up for both teams is the Metro district meet, which starts with preliminaries at 3 p.m. Friday at Tualatin Hills Aquatic Center and continues with championship finals at 3 p.m. Saturday at T-Hills. District event winners and any other swimmers who match or beat automatic qualifying times in their events will qualify for the coming Class 6A state meet Feb. 15-16 at Mt. Hood Community College.

Southridge sophomore Matt Braun, who won the 50 and 100-yard freestyle races against West Linn, is hoping to be at his best for the coming district meet.

“I think I can make it to state, but it will be close,” Braun said. “My fastest this year (in the 50 freestyle) has been a 22.3, so I'm hoping with a little tapering I can go under 22, but it will all come down to how everybody else does.”

Likewise, Southridge freshman Kristin Young — winner of the 100 butterfly against the Lions — is aiming for bigger and better at district.

“I was just trying to get ready for district today, Young said. “I'm hoping to go my best time or better (at district) and I hope to get to state.”

In the Skyhawk boys win, Southridge took top honors in 10 of the day's 11 events, that effort highlighted by Braun's win the 50 freestyle with a time 23.44 seconds.

“Coming off water polo, I actually felt like I was going a little slower for a while,” said Braun, who was battling a cold last week. “But I feel like I've gotten over a hump and now I'm getting faster again.”

Braun came back later in the meet to take the 100 with a victory at 51.06.

The Skyhawks, who finished third in the 2013 Metro race at 4-2, also took first in all three of the day's relays, as well as in the 200 individual medley, 100 butterfly, 500 freestyle, 100 backstroke and 100 breaststroke. Senior Max Yakubovich was also a two-time winner in the meet, taking the 100 butterfly with a time of 52.28 — he's the reigning Metro League and Class 6A state champion in the event — and coming back later in the meet to win the 100 back at 56.75.

Like the boys, the Skyhawk girls — who finished the Metro season in a third-place tie with Sunset and Lincoln — also competed well against the Lions. West Linn won nine of the day's 11 events (they got two victories each from Laura Laderoute, Brie Balsbough and Robin Pinger), but the Skyhawks countered with Young's win in the butterfly and a second in the 200 IM, and a win by the Hawks' 200 freestyle relay team.by: MILES VANCE - SKYHAWK SPLASH NO. 2 - Southridge freshman Kristin Young swims to second place in the 200-yard individual medley during her team's non-league loss to West Linn at Lake Oswego Swim Center on Jan. 31.

In her butterfly victory, Young swam a 59.45 to win by more than five seconds. And in the 200 IM, Young notched a 2:19.61 to finish just behind Pinger's 2:18.46.

“I'm good at the 100 fly and I'm just trying to reach my goal because I haven't reached that for a while,” Young said, adding that in the IM, “I'm trying to break my own record, but I haven't really got to it yet. I need to go out faster and work on my breaststroke.”

Southridge also finished second in eight of the day's 11 races and third in six to stay close to the Lions.

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



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