Swimming: The Bowmen use their depth to get wins over Wilsonville and Liberty
by: JAIME VALDEZ, WINNING FORM — Sherwood junior Nathan Ranno is on his way to victory in the 200-yard freestyle.

TUALATIN - Three weeks without competition did nothing to slow the Sherwood boys swim team.

Superior depth enabled the Bowmen to beat Wilsonville 101-71 and Sherwood also cruised past Liberty 123-40 in the three-way meet held last Thursday at the Tualatin Swim Center. With the wins, the Bowmen are now third in the Northwest Oregon Conference standings at 3-1.

Wilsonville won more events (6-5) but Sherwood took second in all 11 races and third in nine to power past the Wildcats, who are 2-2 in league meets after also beating Liberty 112-48. Junior Nathan Ranno led the way for the Bowmen, winning two events and leading a 1-2-3 Sherwood finish in each against Wilsonville.

Ranno, who normally swims the 100-yard backstroke and the 100 freestyle, showed some diversity by touching in first in the distance races. Ranno won the 200 freestyle by nearly 10 yards with a time of 1 minute, 55.57 seconds. He returned to the pool to more than lap the competition in the 500 freestyle, winning in 5:16 48.

'It's hard when you don't have any competition,' Ranno said. 'You want someone next to you to push you faster. Lots of times you just have to put blinders on. That's especially helpful in days like today.'

As was Sherwood's strength in numbers. Sophomores Shane Jensen and Brendon Dowdle finished second and third behind Ranno in the 200 freestyle. Juniors Jordan Bigam and Eric Hardman did the same in the 500 freestyle, helping the Bowmen build a 70-42 lead with four events left.

Senior Sam McAravey earned his victory in the meet's closest race, winning the 100 fly in 1:06.45. Despite having just swum the 50 freestyle and taking second in 26.41, McAravey held off a Wildcat swimmer and teammate Jensen (third in 1:06.68) for the win. Freshman Chance Woodard followed by taking first in the 100 free in 55.77 with Bigam second in 56.43.

Ranno, Woodard, Jensen and Bigam closed the meet by winning the 400 freestyle relay with a time of 3:43.74. Ranno, Woodard and Bigam each swam on the 200 relay team that took fourth at state last season, as did junior Galen Peterson, who is out for the season with a torn ACL.

Including Peterson, the Bowmen returned all but one member of last year's team and would like to get a relay or two back into the state finals again this season - and be healthy when they get there.

'Half the team was sick last year,' said Ranno, who had pneumonia at the state meet. 'I keep telling myself that I'm not going to get sick this year. It's time to regroup and build off last season.'

Sherwood won 10 off 11 events and all eight individual races to coast past Liberty. In addition to Ranno's two victories, Woodard won the 200 individual medley (2:17.66) and 100 freestyle, Sam McAravey won the 50 free and 100 butterfly, junior Ben McAravey won the 100 backstroke (1:13.73) and freshman Noel Scudder won the 100 breaststroke (1:15.69).

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