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Pacers take aim at records

by: Vern Uyetake, 
Lakeridge’s Julia Dahl takes a breath during one of her races in Tuesday’s dual meet against West Linn. Last week in a meet against Redmond, Dahl was part of a medley relay team that set a new school record with a time of 1:54.76. Also joining Dahl on that team were Emily Lightcap, Amy Wiley and Lydia Burris.

Lakeridge swim coaches Justin Lindsey and Robert Wilson recently saw something happen which had only occurred once before in their eight years of being involved with the team.

A school record was broken in a dual meet. Records falling is not a particularly uncommon things, especially given Lakeridge's recent success in the pool. However, when that record is shattered in the first dual meet of the season, before swimmers are traditionally in the best shape, it's a rare occurrence.

So rare, that the only other time it has happened in eight years was in 2001 when Wilson's sister Emily did it.

But, in the very first race of the season against Redmond, the Lakeridge girls 200 medley relay team of Emily Lightcap, Amy Wiley, Lydia Burris and Julia Dahl bested the three-year old school record with a blistering time of 1:54.76, beating Redmond's top relay team by over 18 seconds.

Ironically, the record had been held by a team that included Burris' older sister Jessica.

'To set a school record in a preseason dual meet is unheard of. It's quite an accomplishment,' Lindsey said.

Needless to say, the record-breaking swim got the Pacers off to a terrific start which helped both teams win the dual meet.

The girls won handily, 107.5-59.5 and received good swims from virtually everyone on the team.

Freshman Wiley was impressive, capturing the 50 freestyle and the 100 breaststroke, an event in which she could be among the best in the state by the season's end.

'She's one of the fastest in the state in the breaststroke and could make the finals,' Lindsey said.

Burris and Dahl are also two premiere sprinters for the Pacers which means that its freestyle relay could be one of the best in the state as well. It also means that other school records are likely in danger this year.

Lakeridge's top distance swimmer, Emily Lightcap, dominated the 500 freestyle, winning by nearly 35 seconds in a time of 5:22.37.

'We have three or four girls who are looking to be swimming on the second day at state. For Emily, there's not a race long enough for her. She's a miler and so the 500 is like a sprint for her,' Lindsey said.

The boys' meet was closer but the Pacers were able to come away with the 90-80 victory.

'It was really a team effort. Each one of those second and third place finishes made a big difference,' Lindsey said.

Freshman Andrew Heymann took second in the 200 freestyle in a time of 1:57.94, edging out teammate Jason Lou. Lou also took second in the 100 butterfly despite not feeling well during the meet.

Sprinter Brian Cha captured the 100 freestyle in 52.21 and also won the 100 breaststroke against a very strong Redmond swimmer.

Joey Bora took second in the 100 freestyle and won the 50 freestyle in 24.32 seconds. Keahi Horowitz also hit a personal milestone in the event, cracking the one-minute barrier in the 100 backstroke for the first time en route to a second-place finish.

Lakeridge then went on to bury West Linn in its first league meet of the year, losing only one event on the evening. The Pacers took first, second and third in the 200 freestyle, paced by Lightcap, Dahl and Emma Goehler.

Brittany Anderson won the 200 individual medley handily and also won the 100 breaststroke.

Alison Grundy also had a solid evening, capturing the 50 freestyle.

The boys won every event, including first and second place finishes in the 200 freestyle, 200 I.M., 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly.

Heymann won the 50 and 500 freestyle races for the Pacers.

This year, Lakeridge boasts one of its deepest teams in years which could bode well in the Pacers' quest to capture a league title. In years best, the team has had epic battles with Lake Oswego but the Lakers have held the upper hand.

'We're really solid from top to bottom. I think we stack up better than we have previously,' Lindsey said.

Lake Oswego will again be Lakeridge's toughest competition in league this year but the Pacers might have to be considered the favorites.

And, with a good showing at the district meet, the team could also bring home some hardware at state.

'I think the girls team has a chance to move into the top-10 and we could even move up to the top-five but it would take a heck of an effort,' Lindsey said.

The Pacers now have a long break and won't compete again until after the Christmas break.