by: Vern Uyetake, Lake Oswego’s Stacey Ellis propels herself to victory in the 200-meter individual medley during last Thursday’s swim meet against West Linn. Lake Oswego won every event in both the girls and boys meets. The girls won their meet 119-51 while the boys won 115-48. See results on Page A16.

In previous seasons, the Lake Oswego swim teams could have expected a challenge from West Linn and it generally provided an opportunity for a tune-up before the annual showdown against Lakeridge.

This year, the meet wasn't even close. Part of the reason for the blowouts was the fact that Lions are rebuilding this year, but perhaps an even bigger factor is that both Laker teams are loaded.

'Our kids are really fired up for it being this early in the season,' coach Don King said.

The Laker girls have the potential to finish in the top five at state and they showed their strength last Thursday. The team won handily, 119-51, and captured every event.

Alex Farrar took first in the 200 freestyle, nearly cracking the two-minute barrier with a time of 2:00.19. That was quickly followed by a phenomenal swim in the 200 individual medley by Stacey Ellis, who won the event in a time of 2:21.10.

'If you had five Stacey Ellis's you could retire. She's just a gifted, positive, hard-working kid,' King said.

Jeli Nixt easily took home the 50 freestyle, winning the short event by nearly three whole seconds. Nixt also won the 100 breaststroke by a huge margin.

Mackenzie Luick was equally impressive in the 100 freestyle, winning with a time of 56.83.

Anne Barrington dominated in the 500 freestyle, winning by over 20 seconds. Lake Oswego also won all three relays handily and actually finished first and second in those events.

'What's amazing is that our girls team is still fairly young. We only have a few seniors on the team,' King said.

The boys were equally dominating, winning their meet 115-48.

'Our boys team isn't huge but it's kind of our own version of Band of Brothers. They all hang in there together,' King said.

After a 1-2 finish in the 200 medley relay, Johnny Urstadt won the 200 freestyle in impressive fashion, finishing in a time of 1:57.60. Urstadt also won the 50 freestyle, edging out teammate Wendel Raymond.

'We put Johnny in a few different events and he was great. He's a tremendous athlete,' King said.

The Lakers then placed first, second and third in the individual medley with Cody Deacon winning, followed by Brendan Liu and Bryant Huang.

Tamas Thibeau touched out teammate David Johnston in the 100 butterfly, winning by a quarter of a second and the Lakers swept the 100 freestyle with Issac Hayden turning in a winning time of 52.52.

Josh Freidman won the 500 freestyle by over 45 seconds while Liu continued his dominance in the backstroke this season, winning the event by over 10 seconds with a blistering time of 57.58.

Once again, the Lakers won all three relays as well, capping an all-around terrific night for both teams.

Next up for the Lakers is Clackamas before the big Lakeridge meet on Jan. 18, which will be held earlier than usual.

'The kids always get up for Lakeridge. I think we'll keep pushing up to that meet before backing off a bit heading into districts,' King said.

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