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Forest Grove swimmers tune up for district meet

Lady Vikings beat Glencoe in both teams' final dual meet before districts this week


by: NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: AMANDA MILES
NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: AMANDA MILES
NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: AMANDA MILES
NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: AMANDA MILES - Forest Grove's Alondra Martinez will go into this weekend's district meet seeded fourth in the 200 freestyle and ninth in the 100 backstroke.The Forest Grove girls are about as ready as they will ever be.

Last Tuesday, the Lady Viking swim team tuned up for this week’s Pacific Conference district championships with its final dual meet of the season. Continuing its late season roll, the squad used seven event wins and four runner-up finishes to earn a 98-71 home victory against Glencoe, its fourth dual win in a row.

The result meant that the girls team wrapped up the league dual meet portion of its schedule at 4-3. The small Forest Grove boys team — with just a dozen or so swimmers — fell 91-65 to the Crimson Tide and wound up at 0-7.

“Went 0-3 at the beginning when we didn’t have everybody here,” Forest Grove coach Tabor Waterstreet noted about the girls team. “The last four meets, we had everybody here, so surprise, surprise — won the four meets.”

As they have all season, Prudence Rooker, Oriene Shiel and Alondra Martinez led the Vikings in Tuesday’s dual. Rooker and Shiel both won two individual events, while Martinez picked up a first- and a second-place finish. Rachael Van Loo added a second-place finish and a third, and Forest Grove also won two of the three relays.

Rooker breezed to victory in 1:08.69 in her specialty, the 100-yard breaststroke, to finish more than nine seconds ahead of Glencoe’s Amy Benedict (1:17.89). With a time of 59.36, she was also an easy winner in the 100 butterfly, more than six seconds faster than Glencoe’s Hannah Ahluwalia.

Shiel earned her two victories in the 500 freestyle (5:32.80) and the 100 backstroke (1:06.27).

In the 200 free, Martinez (2:07.03) edged the Tide’s Anna Pagel by just .46 of a second. Martinez followed up her win with a 28.48 clocking in the 50 free, good for second place behind Benedict (28.00). Van Loo added a close second in the 100 free (1:00.77) and a third in the 200 individual medley (2:38.33).

Chloe Janko added third-place results in the 100 back (1:14.67) and 50 free (30.40), while Chelsea Christison picked up a third in the 500 free (6:29.38).

Shiel’s win led a 1-3-4 finish in the 500 free. That result, combined with a 1-2 finish by the Vikings’ A (1:48.77) and B (1:58.32) squads in the 200 free relay, finally gave the home team some breathing room late in the meet. The Vikings led the Tide just 51-44 going into the 500 free, but they stretched that lead to 74-50 after the relay, with just three events to go.

Jon Faris led the Forest Grove boys — who were missing one of their top swimmers in the ill Trevor McGougan — with an individual win as well as a second-place finish. Jake Alton added some depth with two runner-up results of his own.by: NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: AMANDA MILES - Forest Grove's Prudence Rooker will look to defend her district title in the 100-yard breaststroke.

Faris prevailed in the 100 breaststroke, finishing in 1:11.48 and winning by more than two seconds against Glencoe’s Elijah Blair (1:13.87). Faris also took second in the 50 free in 24.50.

Alton picked up a second place in the 200 free (2:02.93) and added another later in the meet in the 500 free (5:38.87), while Alex Rios was second in the 200 individual medley (2:41.47).

In the relays, the Vikings’ 200 free relay quartet picked up the squad’s only other win, finishing in 1:30.46. The 400 relay team finished second in 4:51.89 while the 200 medley relay was second in 1:59.09.

“Jake was a little under the weather today, so his swims were off,” Waterstreet said. “But most of the other boys really held up pretty good. They swam strong. They’re getting best times, so they’re still going faster, which is good.”

Next up for Forest Grove is the Pacific Conference district meet, slated for Friday and Saturday at the McMinnville Aquatic Center.

With the top seed in the 100 breaststroke, Rooker will look to set herself up to defend her Class 6A state title from last season. Also the state runner-up in the 200 free in 2013, the senior will use the 100 butterfly for her second individual event this year. She goes into the district meet seeded first in that event as well.

Shiel will be seeded third in the 50 free and fourth in the 100 free, while Martinez is seeded fourth in the 200 free and ninth in the 100 back. Van Loo will join Shiel in the 100 free, where she is seeded 14th, and she will also be seeded 10th in the 500 free.

Preliminaries will be staged on Friday starting at 12:30 p.m., with the championship and consolation finals on Saturday. Junior varsity swimmers also will race on Friday. The 200 medley relay kicks off finals that day at 2 p.m. Admission is $6 adults and $4 students.

“The girls should really end up doing well again,” Waterstreet said about his girls team, which he recalled tying for fourth in 2013. “Maybe the girls can move up another spot from last year.”

Event winners will automatically qualify for the Class 6A state meet, scheduled for Feb. 21-22 at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham.




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