Swimming: Sherwood beats Wilsonville and Liberty to stay perfect in NWOC meets
by: JAIME VALDEZ, SHERWOOD SPLASH — Lady Bowmen swimmer Susan Folsom makes waves during the 200-yard individual medley race at last week’s meet.

TUALATIN - They might have been swimming 'off' events, but the members of the Sherwood girls swim team were certainly 'on' in last Thursday's three-way meet with Wilsonville and Liberty at the Tualatin Swim Center.

The Bowmen won nine of 11 events to beat Wilsonville 127-38 and swept the victories in a 131-21 win over Liberty to improve to 4-0 in the Northwest Oregon Conference standings.

With its team returning intact this season, Sherwood is poised to defend its district championship and improve on its seventh place finish at state. The Bowmen already defeated last season's district runner-up Hillsboro in a meet on Dec. 10.

'I'd like to win districts again,' senior Shannon Bradley said. 'I think we have a shot. We have a lot of depth on the girls side. All our relays should be strong. We have enough to field three good relays.'

Sherwood won each of the three relays against Wilsonville, finishing 1-2 in two of them including the 200 medley relay. The team of seniors Susan Folsom, Elizabeth Bushnell, Mollie Norby and Bradley won the meet-opening race in 2 minutes, 9.37 seconds.

Bushnell, Bradley, senior Casey Pollock and junior Mackenzie Bradley combined to win the 200 freestyle relay in 1:53.07. Norby charged hard in the anchor spot for Sherwood's 'B' team, which also included seniors Angel Woodard and Susan Folsom, and sophomore Brittni Steers, and finished just 0.30 seconds behind the 'A' team.

Freshmen Beth Norby, Carrie Dehning, sophomore Heather Menzel and Mackenzie Bradley joined forces to close the meet by winning the 400 freestyle relay with a time of 4:27.56.

'We're pretty deep,' Bushnell said. 'It's not just the seniors. We have some new people that are helpful.'

Everyone contributed against the Wildcats with Sherwood finishing 1-2-3 in the first two individual races. Pollock won the 200 freestyle in 2:10.27 with Dehning and Bushnell taking second and third. Mackenzie Bradley then won the 200 individual medley (2:32.38), while Folsom and Mollie Norby went 2-3.

Mackenzie Bradley added a victory in the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:14.28. Woodard took the 100 free in 1:02.88 with Steers finishing second. Menzel won the 500 freestyle by more than a lap in 6:06.32 and Beth Norby took second as Sherwood built a 75-30 lead.

Bushnell won a close 100 backstroke race in 1:11.73, holding off teammates Pollock and Folsom. Bushnell is usually a sprinter, but added some variety on Thursday as Sherwood coach Mark Maxwell mixed the lineup.

'I don't like it,' Bushnell said. 'Whenever we change something up, it's always the event I can't swim. It throws me off when I don't get to swim the events I usually do.'

Shannon Bradley did the same, but didn't mind much. She usually swims the distance freestyle events, but raced in the 50 freestyle, taking second, and the 100 breaststroke. Bradley led a 1-2-3 Sherwood finish in the 100 breaststroke, winning with a time of 1:19.38 followed by teammates Dehning and Molly Norby.

'It's nice to have a change,' said Shannon Bradley, who finished sixth at state in the 500 freestyle last season. 'I haven't swam the 50 free in awhile, so that was weird.'

The Bowmen won all 11 races against an undersized Liberty team, which started with six members before losing one that passed out due to low blood sugar and left the pool on a stretcher. Mackenzie and Shannon Bradley each won two events against Liberty. Sherwood took the top two spots in all three relays and nine events total and went 1-2-3 in three individual races.

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