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Points achieves state championship goal

Swimming: The Tualatin girls claim the second-place trophy at state for the second straight year
by: DAN BROOD, NICE RACE — Tualatin junior Hannah Points (left) and Barlow’s Jacqueline Leung congratulate each other following the 200 individual medley race. Points won the race in a time of 2:04.68.

GRESHAM - It's always nice to achieve your goal.

And it must be a special feeling when that achievement is a state championship.

Want to know how special it is? Just ask Hannah Points.

Points, a Tualatin High School junior, reached her objective by winning the state title in the 200-yard individual medley at the Class 6A state swimming championships.

'This has been my goal ever since my freshman year,' Points said after receiving her medal. 'I finally got it. I've never won a state title before, so this is special. I'm pretty happy right now.'

Points' championship swim was one of many highlights for the Tualatin girls at the OSAA Class 6A state meet, which concluded Sunday at Mt. Hood Community College.

The Wolves, for the second year in a row, finished second in the team standings and, for the second year in a row, they finished second to Westview. This year, Westview edged Tualatin for the title by a 142-132 margin.

'The girls are doing really, really well,' Tualatin sophomore Jessica Medvec said during the meet. 'We all worked hard all year for this.'

For Points, that hard work paid off in the form of a state championship.

She entered the 200 individual medley finals as the No. 2 seed behind Barlow junior Jacqueline Leung. And, through the first two legs (butterfly and backstroke) of the race, she found herself trailing Leung by nearly a second.

But Points came storming back in the breaststroke leg to take the lead by almost a second. She then held off Leung over the final 50 yards of the race to win in a time of 2 minutes, 4.68 seconds. Leung was second in a time of 2:05.30.

'My backstroke was probably the key,' Points said. 'It's my weakest stroke, but I kept up.'

It also helped that Points was swimming next to Leung, who is somebody she said she 'swims against a lot.'

'That gave me some extra motivation. I like racing people I know - I have extra incentive to beat them,' Points said with a smile.

After her victory, she was congratulated by many teammates and friends - giving high-fives to most of them.

'I know a lot of people here,' she said.

In addition to her championship in the 200 individual medley, Points also finished second in the 500 freestyle, behind Leung, with a time of 5:00.26. Leung had a winning time of 4:59.46.

Junior Maggie Alexander also turned in a big swim for the Wolves as she raced to second in the 200 freestyle.

'That was really exciting,' Alexander said after the race. 'I thought everyone would go fast, but it was so fast it blew my mind.'

Alexander had a time of 1:53.26. That put her behind only Canby standout Morgan Scroggy, who won the race in 1:50.62.

'My first reaction was `wow,'' Alexander said. 'That's the highest I've placed at the high school state meet. I started off strong and tried to keep it going.'

Alexander also had a third-place finish in the 100 backstroke with her time of 58.81.

Medvec also earned a spot on the award stand thanks to her fourth-place time of 53.99 in the 100 freestyle.

'I really wanted the time I got,' Medvec said. 'Going into the race as the sixth seed was tough, but coming out fourth was good.'

Medvec also helped the Tualatin team effort with a second-place finish in the consolation finals of the 50 freestyle. Senior Abbi Gerstmar raced to third place in the consolation finals of the 500 freestyle.

The Wolves also shined in the relay events. The team of Medvec, sophomore Amy Herbst, senior Sarah Hunter and Alexander finished in fourth place in the championship finals of the 200 freestyle relay in 1:40.45.

The Tualatin team of senior Amber Wahlstrom, Points, Gerstmar and Hunter was second in the consolation finals of the 200 medley relay in 1:54.75.

All of that helped set up a winner-take-all final event of the night, the 400 freestyle relay. Westview entered the race with a four-point lead over Tualatin, meaning whichever team won the race, would win the team title.

Westview's team of Jordan King, Kelsey Pinson, Abigail Lindstrom and Michelle Needam won the race in 3:32.65, edging the Timberwolf team of Medvec, Points, Herbst and Alexander, which was second in 3:33.96.