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Apollo girls swim to eighth at 6A state meet

Sunset and Southridge's girls make their marks in the first Class 6A meet
by: MILES VANCE, METRO’S BEST — Sunset sophomore Lauren Zehner races to third in the 500-yard freestyle at the Class 6A swim meet on Sunday.

GRESHAM - The stakes were higher than ever at the first Class 6A girls state swim meet last weekend, and while Westview swam off with the team title for a third straight year, the Metro League's other schools had their moments in the spotlight too.

Sunset's girls, the Metro League's regular season and district champions, swam to eighth at the state meet, held Friday and Sunday at Mt. Hood Aquatic Center, and Southridge's girls were ninth. The Apollos finished with 74 points in the team standings (Westview was first with 142) while Southridge scored 72.

Sophomore Lauren Zehner played the most prominent part for the Apollos, powering her way to third place in the 500-yard freestyle, adding a seventh in the 200 freestyle and swimming on Sunset relay teams that placed fifth and seventh.

After her success in the 500 free, Zehner said that while it wasn't her best time, she appreciated the chance to race against the state's best.

'I was pretty happy with it. It kind of hurt, but I just wanted to get through it at least,' she said. 'These are the same people I race in club swimming. It's helpful to race people I know and they're really fast too.'

Also scoring for the Apollos on the individual front were: Victoria Hartman, eighth in the 100 freestyle and 11th in the 100 backstroke; Carissa Burke, 11th in the 200 freestyle; Hailey Bambusch, 11th in the 100 freestyle and 12th in the 50 free; and Megan Elliott, 12th in the 200 IM.

In the relays, Sunset was fifth in the 400 freestyle with Zehner, Burke, Hartman and Bambusch finishing in 3:40.49, seventh in the 200 free with Lindsey Zehner, Laura Burros, Burke and Lauren Zehner notching a 1:43.31, and ninth in the 200 medley with Hartman, Shideh Andideh, Lindsey Zehner and Bambusch at 1:55.40.

For Southridge, it was senior Keri Holmstrom and freshman Sarah Cruzan who did the most damage, with Holmstrom racing to fifth in the 50 freestyle at 24.74 and fifth again in the 100 free at 54.05. Cruzan, meanwhile, raced to sixth in the 100 backstroke at 1:00.19 and ninth in the 200 IM. Teammate Elica Sharifinia also notched a seventh in the 100 breaststroke.

In relay action, Southridge was sixth in the 200 freestyle with Christina Thomsen, Cruzan, Sharifnia and Holmstrom touching in 1:41.17, and the 200 medley team of Cruzan, Sharifnia, Boonyapa Purt and Holmstrom seventh in 1:54.00.

Beaverton senior Natalie Walker was the only other local swimmer to reach a state final. She raced to a fifth-place finish in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:57.22, and later took seventh in the 500 free at 5:08.47.

'It wasn't as good as district, but it was OK,' she said after the 200 free. 'It just kind of felt off all the way through. I felt great in warm-ups, but sometimes you dive in and it doesn't happen.'