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Rafalski powers Gresham boys past Reynolds

SWIMMING - Gophers sweep boys and girls meets
by: David Ball, Gresham sophomore Rachel Troutt comes up for a breath during her winning effort in the 100 freestyle Thursday afternoon.

The Gresham swim team earned a boys and girls sweep against Reynolds on Thursday afternoon, pulling away in the second half of both meets.

The lead flip-flopped a couple times in the girls meet before Gresham started to pull away after earning a close victory in the 200-yard freestyle relay. The Gophers held a slight lead going into the final lap, but Amber Dahlke made a deep dive into the pool that allowed Reynolds to almost pull even. But Dahlke quickly recovered and sprinted away after the final turn to win the race by three body lengths. The win put Gresham in front 66-57 with three races left.

'I went a little too deep and almost got stuck, but I kicked strong and pulled out of it,' Dahlke said.

Gresham secured the team victory when Rachel Troutt made a late charge to beat Reynolds' Lily Gall by a split-second in the 100 breaststroke. The Gophers won the meet 95-74.

The Gresham boys earned a 96-73 victory in large part due to the effort of Ben Rafalski. The sophomore put the Gophers in front to stay by winning a tight race against Reynolds' Jared Maricle in the 100 butterfly. Maricle used long underwater pushes to keep close, but Rafalski held him off with a powerful stroke on the surface, beating him to the wall by a split second.

Rafalski also put on late surges for come-from-behind wins in the 200 medley relay in the 400 freestyle relay.

Look for extended swim coverage in the Saturday, Dec. 9, issue of the Gresham Outlook.