Julia Bush, and the Sherwood teams, are making big waves

by: DAN BROOD - WINNING FORM -- Sherwood High School sophomore Julia Bush is on her way to victory in the 100-yard freestyle event during the Bowmen's Northwest Oregon Conference dual meet with Wilsonville. Bush also triumphed in the 200 freestyle. TUALATIN — Julia Bush was recovering from a bad cold.

But that didn’t appear to slow her down.

That shouldn’t really come as a surprise — because nothing has seemed to slow her down at all this season.

Bush, a Sherwood High School sophomore, continued her impressive season with a strong performance during the Bowmen teams’ Northwest Oregon Conference dual meet with Wilsonville, held last Thursday at the Tualatin Swim Center.

Bush was a four-time winner at the meet. She triumphed in the 100-yard freestyle race in a time of 54.53 seconds and she had a winning time of 1:58.28 in the 200 freestyle. Bush also swam a leg for the Lady Bowmen’s winning 200 medley and 200 freestyle relay teams.

“I’m recovering from a cold right now,” Bush said following her victory in the 100 freestyle. “But that wasn’t a bad time for this time of year. It’s OK.”

It’s easy to say that Bush, who won a state championship in the 100 freestyle and placed second at state in the 200 freestyle last year as a freshman, is having more than just an OK sophomore season.

“Julia has been having an incredible season,” Sherwood coach Robbert van Andel said.

Among her season accomplishments so far this season was a school-record time of 5:13 in the 500 freestyle.

“That’s been a good event this year,” Bush said.

“She has also been very strong in both the 200 free and 100 free,” van Andel said. “She is aiming for an All-American time in the 200, which will require her to finish in 1:51.57 for consideration and 1:49.67 for automatic qualifying. For the 100, she would have to go 51.67 for consideration and 50.91 for automatic qualifying. She’s within striking distance for both. Luckily, she’s only a sophomore, so if she doesn’t get it this year, she’s got two more years to make the time.”

In a club meet up in Federal Way, Wash., the weekend before the meet with Wilsonville, Bush set new personal best times with her marks of 52.59 in the 100 freestyle and 1:52.82 in the 200.

“It’s been good,” Bush said of her season.

And she’s hoping for even better times as the season goes on.

“If I get my best times at state (in the 100 and 200 freestyle events), I’ll be happy,” she said.

Meanwhile, she’s having fun swimming with her Sherwood teammates.

“I love high school meets,” she said. “There’s so much energy. We’ve been training real hard this season. Especially since we lost Sam (Oliszewski) and Hailee (Brownell).”

Oliszewski, who, along with Brownell, graduated last year, is still with the team as an assistant coach.

“That’s been really cool,” Bush said.

And Bush has been really fast.

“Julia is a very versatile swimmer who can swim any event on the high school meet schedule,” van Andel said. “Swimmers that come with her talent and work ethic only come around every so often. I’m lucky to have two of them on my team this year, as I have Julia and (Sherwood senior) Emily (Stevens).”

In the 200 medley relay at last week’s meet, Bush and Stevens teamed with senior Kaela De Kar and freshman Amy McAravey to win in a time of 2:07.34. In the 200 freestyle relay, the Lady Bowmen team of Stevens, junior Hannah Christensen, senior Moriah Schleif and Bush had a winning mark of 1:53.11.

“I love them,” Bush said of the relays. “They’re a great part of the team. We’re all working for a common goal.”

Stevens, who also is having an impressive season, had a pair of solid individual winning swims at the meet. She won the 100 butterfly in 1:01.98 and she triumphed in the 100 backstroke in 1:01.40.

Those victories helped the Sherwood girls score an 89-81 victory over the Wildcats. With the win, the Lady Bowmen improved to 5-1 in league meets, putting them in a tie with St. Helens for second place in the NWOC standings. Wilsonville moved to 3-3 in league meets with the setback.

The Sherwood boys remained unbeaten in league meets by scoring a 134.5-35.5 victory over Wilsonville. The Bowmen improved to 6-0 in NWOC meets with the win, keeping them ahead of both Liberty and St. Helens, who are 5-1. Wilsonville fell to 1-5 in league with the loss.

Sophomore James Heinlein and freshman Carter Howard each had a pair of victories for the Sherwood boys.

Heinlein sprinted to victory in the 100 freestyle with a personal-best time of 54.34. He also won the 100 backstroke with a mark of 1:07.25.

Howard picked up a victory in the 200 freestyle in 2:03.15 and he won the 500 freestyle in 5:27.81.

Also for the Sherwood boys, junior Hao Tan won the 100 butterfly with a personal-best mark of 1:02.72. Junior Ryan Ax had a winning time of 24.67 in the 50 freestyle, senior Steven Dowdle triumphed in the 200 individual medley in 2:24.43 and senior Tanner Varin won the 100 breaststroke in 1:12.75.

The Sherwood boys also won all three relay events.

In the 200 medley relay, the team of Heinlein, Varin, Ax and Tam had a winning mark of 1:51.05. In the 200 freestyle relay, the same foursome triumphed with a season-best time of 1:39.33. In the 400 freestyle relay, the team of Dowdle, junior Chris Kuiper, freeshman Nicholas Beeks and Varin had won in 4:03.08.

The Sherwood teams will finish their regular-season dual meet schedule today (Thursday) with a meet at St. Helens.

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