St. Marys stays among the MHC swim leaders with a 92-78 win at Reynolds

by: PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: DAVID BALL - St. Mary's Miranda Alf-Hyuhn comes out of the water during her winning effort in the breaststroke Thursday. The Blues clinched the team victory with a 1-2 finish in the event.

TROUTDALE — The St. Mary’s swim team used a big finish to escape a scare from Reynolds 92-78 on Thursday afternoon.

The Blues moved ahead to stay when Sarah Madison won the 50-yard freestyle (28.64) by 0.2 tenths over Reynolds’ Morgan Mattice. St. Mary’s took a 33-29 lead into the intermission and carried a slim margin through the rest of the meet, as the teams traded first-place points throughout the day.

Reynolds made its move during the middle stages of the dual when Christy Hartenstein won the 500 freestyle (5:45.78) in impressive fashion, lapping the entire field shortly after the halfway point of the 10-lap race.

But in her wake a tight battle was shaping up for second-place points. Raiders’ teammate Emily Barnett found herself in last place midway through the race, but slowly picked off each of the St. Mary’s swimmers ahead of her over the last five laps. She overtook the Blues’ lead swimmer on her final stroke, stretching with her fingertips to touch the wall .05 hundredths in front.

“I passed that first swimmer and it inspired me to keep going,” Barnett said. “I started going faster and fell into a nice rhythm.”

Her surge from fifth to second caused a six-point shift in the team score and brought the Raiders within 57-53 with four events left.

Reynolds caught a break in the next race when St. Mary’s came to the wall with a 1-2 sweep in the 200 freestyle relay only to learn that its ‘B’ team was disqualified for an early exchange heading into the anchor lap. That allowed Reynolds to move up a spot and stay within reach in the team dual.

Reynolds took full advantage when Abby Maricle won the backstroke (1:08.20), followed by teammate Adrienne Herzog who out touched the Blues’ top swimmer by .36 hundredths to claim second.

The 1-2 finish brought the Raiders within two points late in the meet, but St. Mary’s would win the last two races to secure the dual victory.

The Blues clinched the dual with a 1-2 sweep of its own in the breaststroke where Maranda Alf-Hyuhn hit the wall in 1:13.01, followed a few body lengths back by teammate Natalie Kowell.

St. Mary’s ended the meet in dramatic fashion when Rory Kearns splashed into the pool and powered a comeback win in the 400 freestyle relay. Reynolds led the tag-team race through the first three legs only to see Kearns slowly close the gap before moving into the lead coming off the final turn. She touched in at 3:58.72 — 0.2 tenths ahead of the Raiders.

St. Mary’s also got wins from Kearns in the 200 free (2:11.12) and 100 free (1:00.39), while Hartenstein won the 200 medley (2:22.89) and Maricle won the butterfly (1:00.98) for Reynolds.

The win keeps the Blues (3-1) ahead of Reynolds (3-2) in the race for second-place in the Mount Hood Conference.

View a photo gallery from the meet at …

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