The district meet is up next for the Tigard swim teams

TIGARD — It was just a little friendly competition.

Two friends, teammates on the Tigard High School girls swim team, trying to best each other.

That friendly competition had Tigard sophomore Liz Irving trying to catch up to Tiger junior Kayla Wagenhofer in the 500-yard freestyle event when Tigard hosted Newberg in a Pacific Conference dual meet.

The motivated Irving, in third place for most of the race, slowly caught up to Wagenhofer. And, while doing so, she also caught up to Newberg’s Madi Kent-Harrington, who was leading the race.

Irving, finishing strong, powered her way past her Tigard friend and then outreached Kent-Harrington at the finish to claim first DAN BROOD - UP FOR AIR -- Tigard High School sophomore Liz Irving takes a breath during the 500-yard freestyle at last week's meet with Newberg. Irving came from behind to win the event.

“I was just trying to race Kayla,” Irving said after the race. “That was great.”

Irving’s come-from-behind win provided one of the highlights for the Tigard teams in the meet held last Thursday at the Tigard Swim Center.

The Newberg girls ended up edging the Tigers 90-79. Newberg finished the Pacific Conference regular season schedule with final mark of 5-2. Tigard finished its league slate with a 2-5 mark.

“This is a great team to be on,” Irving said. “We’re having a lot of fun.”

Irving, also a water polo standout at Tigard, seemed to have plenty of fun in getting her victory in the 500 freestyle.

“I was trying to catch Kayla, and I saw (Tigard coach) John (Ruzicka) point to the Newberg girl,” she said. “I sped up over the last 25 yards to try and catch her. I gave it everything I had left.”

Irving won the race in a time of 6 minutes, 23.44 seconds. Kent-Harrington was second at 6:23.81 and Wagenhofer took third place at 6:29.32.

Irving’s winning time bested her previous personal-best mark for the event by about four seconds.

“I don’t know where that came from,” she said.

Irving also had a second-place finish in the 200 freestyle with her mark of 2:22.23 and she, as well as Kasey Yoke and Emily Pfieffer, were part of Tigard’s winning 400 freestyle relay team.

Tigard freshman Molly Davis triumphed in the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:03.91 and she was second in the 200 individual medley with a mark of 2:18.68.

Also for the Tigard girls, Wagonhofer was second in the 50 freestyle in 28.64, sophomore Megan Ellis was second in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:15.88 and freshman Sage Wagehaupt swam to second place in the 100 breaststroke in 1:16.93.

The Tigard boys fell 100-70 to Newberg in last week’s meet. The Newberg boys finished the league slate at 5-1-1 while Tigard ended up at 2-5.

Tigard freshman Kyle Miller picked up a pair of victories at the meet. He triumphed in the 200 freestyle in 1:55.43 and he had a winning mark of 5:09.15 in the 500 freestyle.

Miller also teamed with sophomore Caleb Torgerson, freshman Jonathan Irving and senior Elliott Branen to win the 400 freestyle relay in 3:39.41.

Torgerson also sprinted to victory in the 100 freestyle in 52.37 and he had a winning time of 24.01 in the 50 freestyle.

Also for the Tigard boys, Irving was second in the 200 individual medley in 2:29.79 and Branen was second in the 100 butterfly in 1:05.34.

The Tigard teams will next be in action at the Pacific Conference district championships, which will be held Friday and Saturday at the McMinnville Aquatic Center. Action at the district meet will start at noon on Friday and at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Liz Irving said of the district meet, where she’ll most likely be competing in the 200 and 500 freestyle events. “Last year, I was 12th in the 200. I’m looking to move up this year.”

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