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Swimmers off to a fast start with win over Wildcats

The Sandy girls win a series of lopsided races to down Wilsonville


by: SANDY POST: PARKER LEE - Sandys Hannah Gupton comes up for air during her winning effort in the 100-yard butterfly Thursday.After a disappointing showing at last season’s state meet, the Sandy girls’ swimming team couldn’t wait to dive back in the pool. With a target on its back and a chip on its shoulder, Sandy took the first step toward redemption by motoring past Wilsonville 109-61 in Thursday’s season opener.

“Things went better than I expected, everyone did extremely well,” Sandy sophomore Hannah Gupton said. “We have to be focused right from the start and keep that going all the way through so that we can perform better at state.”

The Pioneers knew they didn’t have much of chance against Wilsonville’s Christie Halverson in the 200 individual medley and 500 free, but they took care of business and won the other six individual events to leave the Wildcats in their wake.

Asha Gatchell got the meet moving in the right direction for Sandy in the 200 free. She smoothly jetted out to a five-yard lead by the first turn and kept up the pace to the end as she blew everyone in the field away by more seven seconds with her time of 2:16.5. Jennifer Burns helped the Pioneers’ team score by taking second (2:23.72).

Gupton then took to the water in the 50 free and 100 fly, and everyone else was just swimming for second place. In the 50 free, Gupton had the early lead at the turn, then used the wall to propel herself well out of reach. She was the only swimmer to break the 30-second mark with her finish of 26.43 seconds.

Gupton hardly looked like she was trying in the 100 fly, but still won by 18 seconds over the next fastest swimmer as she touched the wall at 1:02.65. Her swim, which was more of a warm-up without anyone pushing her, would have been the third-fastest at last season’s district meet.

Sandy came through with more big points in the 100 free as Cherie Schaffer and Jennifer Burns finished one-two. The pair stayed even for most of the race, but Schaffer (1:05.47) out-touched out Burns (1:06.34) in the stretch for the wall.

Shaffer came back later and took second in the 100 back (1:14.84), eight seconds behind teammate Shelbi Hayzlett (1:06.88). As expected, Zayna Salveter swam her way to victory for Sandy in the 100 breast, five seconds ahead of the closest competitor (1:23.31).

The Pioneers also won two of the three relays to pad their overall score.

“The heart the girls showed in the first meet out was refreshing,” Sandy coach Jamie Paul said. “They just went out and had fun, but still had the confidence that they would win.”

They are back action for another home meet on Thursday against Liberty.