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Depth comes through for Timberwolf girls

Swimming -- Tualatin opens the season with a 93-77 home dual meet victory over Jesuit
by: JAIME VALDEZ, WINNING SMILE — Tualatin’s Amy Herbst swam to first place in the 50-yard freestyle in last week’s meet.

TUALATIN - Despite missing some of its top swimmers, Tualatin showed it has plenty of depth among its ranks.

Though Jesuit won more events, the Wolves filled the scoring spots to open its girls swimming season with a victory over the Crusaders 93-77 at the Tualatin Swim Center.

Tualatin broke open a close meet when it earned three of its five victories after the halfway point to pull away. Junior Connie Shobaken began the late push when she held off Jesuit's Gab Nansen to win a highly contested 500-yard freestyle race.

Shobaken and Nansen swam side by side throughout most of the distance event before Shobaken moved into a slight lead before the final lap and held on for the win with a time of 5 minutes, 9.60 seconds.

'We were pacing against each other,' Shobaken said. 'It's always good to have competition next to you because it's more of a mental race.'

The Wolves extended their lead to 68-56 when Amy Herbst, Sarah Hunter, April Robinson and Alysha Recore combined to win the 200 freestyle relay in 1:47.74.

Amber Wahlstrom followed with a victory in the 100 backstroke, overcoming an early deficit to win in 1:05.53. Amanda Welter also slid in front of Jesuit's top competitor late in the race to take second and give Tualatin a 79-61 lead.

Each team was without a few members who were competing at the Husky Invitational, a club meet in Federal Way, Wash. The Wolves showed no ill effects, outscoring the Crusaders six events and tying them in two despite Jesuit earning wins in six of the 11 races.

The Crusaders took an early lead after placing first and third in the meet-opening 200 medley relay. The Wolves evened the score in the next event with Shobaken (2:06.47) and teammate Vanessa Gerstmar (2:07.84) finishing first and second in the 200 freestyle.

Tualatin went 2-3-4 in the third race, the 200 individual medley, to move ahead for good. Herbst and Hunter earned the top two spots in the 50 freestyle with Herbst winning in 26.51 and Hunter edging a Jesuit swimmer to the wall to finish as the runner-up with a time of 26.90.