Girls win multiple district titles and place second as a team

by: VERN UYETAKE - Laura Laderoute cruised to a district title in the individual medley and is one of the favorites in the event at state. 
The West Linn girls swim team finished as runners-up at last week's district swim meet, an impressive feat considering how small its team is compared to other TRL powers.

West Linn took home plenty of hardware, winning multiple events during the two-day event at Lake Oswego's district pool and should be primed to make a legitimate run at the state title Friday and Saturday.

The Lions opened Saturday's finals with a resounding win in the medley relay. West Linn's squad of Laura Laderoute, Brie Balsbough, Kylie Norris and Brianna Dyrdahl won in 1:51.46, just off its season-best time but a mark that has them seeded No. 2 in the state behind Sunset.

Two events later, Laderoute would cruise in the medley relay, winning by more than three seconds over a pair of Lakeridge swimmers who were fast enough to qualify for state. Laderoute's time of 2:06.08 has her seeded first heading into state.

In the 50 freestyle, Balsbough fended off Lakeridge's Keaton Blovad with a season-best time of 23.50 seconds, a district record and a time that has her seeded second in the state.

West Linn would win its second relay of the day in the 200 freestyle. The team of Balsbough, Sara Cooper, Dyrdahl and Robin Pinger broke its previous bet mark of the season by half a second and Pinger out-touched Lakeridge at the wall to win the event by seven-hundredths of a second.

That time has West Linn seeded No. 2 in the state.

In the backstroke, Laderoute finished as the district runner-up behind Clackamas standout Lainey Visscher. Ladeorute shattered her best time of the season to date, posting a 56.70, a time which has her ranked No. 3 in the state in the event.

In the breaststroke, the Lions finished 1-2 in the event and it wasn't close. Pinger and Balsbough battled neck and neck in the race and it was Pinger emerging with a season-best time of 1:05.81. Balsbough took second in 1:05.41 and the pair are ranked third and fourth in the state.

In the 400 freestyle relay, West Linn took second behind Lakeridge. Norris, Cooper, Pinger and Laderoute finished in 3:44.96, a time that has them seeded ninth heading into state.

In the boys event, Parker Kilstrom punched his ticket to state in the 100 butterfly.

Kilstrom took third at districts but his season-best time of 55.07 was enough to earn a wild card slot at state.

Kilstrom was also third in the 200 freestyle. Kyle Vu was fourth in both the individual medley and the backstroke.

The state competition will be Friday and Saturday at Mount Hood Community College. The finals will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday.

The West Linn girls finished third in state last year and hope to move up this weekend. The Lions are also the defending state champions in the medley relay.

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