The Sandy girls cruise past Parkrose to finish 7-0 in league duals

by: THE POST: PARKER LEE - Sandy's Hannah Gupton pushes ahead during her winning effort in the butterfly Thursday against Parkrose.

When Jamie Paul took over as Sandy swimming coach before the season, she thought the girls’ team would be good. She didn’t know it would be this good.

The lady Pioneers breezed by Parkrose, 106-61, in Thursday’s conference finale to finish the regular season undefeated.

“For them to do that in my first year is a big deal, and it means a lot to me,” Paul said. “There were a few meets I was unsure about and that I thought would be nail-biters, but none of them were that close. It has been really exciting.”

Sandy’s perfect conference record was never in danger against Parkrose. The Pioneers had four girls win individual races, with Hannah Gupton, Asha Gatchell and Amanda Snodgrass winning two races each.

The Pioneers officially clinched victory when Snodgrass won the 100-yard backstroke. Her time of 1:11.13 was a personal best in the event. Snodgrass also touched the wall first in the 50 freestyle (27.41).

Gatchell’s wins in the 200 free (2:10.72) and 500 free (6:03.16) both came by more than a full length of the pool.

Gupton, who won the 200 medley (2:29.00) and the 100 butterfly (1:07.97) by more than 14 seconds each, finished the regular season as Sandy’s top varsity point-earner. She said going undefeated brings with it a sense of redemption and satisfaction.

“Last year we tied in one meet, so it was one of our main goals to go undefeated this year,” Gupton said. “It definitely gave us more motivation.”

The biggest challenge for these swimmers is to carry their momentum forward into the district meet on Friday and Saturday.

“They have to remember that district is a whole different ball game,” Paul said. “Everybody will bringing the best they’ve got, so we need to know that nothing is going to be given to us. We still have to fight for it.”

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