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Luick defends state title, Pacer girls take 5th

by: Miles Vance, 
Mackenzie Luick takes a breath during the finals of the 100 breaststroke last Friday. Luick was a heavy favorite to defend her state championship in that event and didn’t disappoint. The junior beat her nearest competitor by over three seconds, pulling away in the event’s final 25 yards for the victory.

State records seemed to be falling with the completion of every race at last week's 6A state swim meet. And Lake Oswego's Mackenzie Luick did her part.

The junior shattered the previous 6A record in the 100 breaststroke, which she also happened to own, by over a second and beat her closest competitor in the finals by over three seconds capping a solid meet for the Lakers and Pacers' teams.

'It was a solid swim. This is a pretty fast pool and it was a great atmosphere,' Luick said.

She entered the event as the top seed and was a heavy favorite to repeat as state champion. But, considering the competition at the meet this year, nothing was a foregone conclusion.

Luick held a slim lead for the majority of the race and then pulled away during the final 25 yards for a dominating victory and she will look to become a three-time state champion in the event next year.

'I just have to keep training hard. There's always going to be good competition,' Luick said.

Luick also recorded a ninth place finish in the 200 individual medley, and helped the Lakers' medley relay team to a fourth place finish.

In that same event, the Lakeridge medley relay team of Julia Dahl, Brittany Anderson, Lydia Burris and Amy Wiley, continued to drop time and came in third place with a personal best time of 1:51.17.

The Lakeridge girls had one of their best showings in recent years finishing in a tie for fifth place overall with McNary.

'We're very happy. The kids had an incredible meet and it was nice to finish on such a strong note,' Pacer coach Justin Lindsey said.

The finish in the medley relay got the Pacers started and Burris followed when she placed in the finals of both of her individual races.

Burris had a terrific day in the prelims, turning in top-six times in both the 50 freestyle and the 100 butterfly.

Burris dropped another tenth of a second in the final of the 50 freestyle, taking sixth in 24.74. Then, in the very next event, Burris picked up a fifth place finish in the 100 butterfly to keep momentum going for the Pacers.

'Lydia was very excited. She was ninth in those events last year and it was a great way to cap her senior year,' Lindsey said.

Also in the 50 freestyle, Burris' teammate, freshman Amy Wiley, picked up points when she qualified for the consolation finals, cracking 25 seconds in the event.

'To score points as a freshman bodes well for the future,' Lindsey said.

Emily Lightcap also qualified for the finals in the 500 freestyle, swimming a personal best time in the prelims and took sixth place overall. Lightcap picked up points when she qualified for the consolation finals in the 200 freestyle. Brittany Anderson also earned an important point for Lakeridge in the 100 breaststroke.

The Pacers qualified their 200 freestyle relay for the finals as well and came in fifth place with a time of 140.37.

The Lake Oswego medley team of Luick, Alex Farrar, Kelsey Rueppell and Christina Turner scored the bulk of the Lakers' points, aside from Luick's finish but both freestyle relay teams qualified for the consolation finals.

Rueppell also picked up points for the Lakers in the 100 butterfly, taking 11th place

In the boys' meet, the Lakers got a strong showing from Brendan Liu who qualified for the finals in both the 200 freestyle and the 100 backstroke.

In the freestyle, Liu took fifth place and he finished in sixth in the backstroke. Isaac Hayden also qualified for the consolation finals in the 100 freestyle as did the team's 400 freestyle relay and 200 medley relay team.

The Lakeridge boys saw Brian Cha take 10th place in the 100 freestyle and the 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams qualified for the consolation finals as well.

'All of the boys on the relay teams had good swims and turned in really solid splits,' Lindsey said.

The Lake Oswego boys tied for 12th in state as a team while Lakeridge finished in 20th. The Laker girls took 13th.

A large percentage of swimmers who participated at state for both schools will return next season which, obviously bodes well for the future of each program.