By AARON COE
SNOHOMISH – The Meadowdale girls swimming team backed up its dual meet championship by winning the Western Conference 3A meet Wednesday at Hal Moe Pool.
Lauren Johnson won two events and swam on two winning Meadowdale relay teams as the Mavericks compiled 116 points.
Jackson, which was second with 99 points, might have won the meet if it hadn’t been disqualified in the 200-yard individual medley relay. The Timberwolves stood a solid chance to win the event, which would have given them 14 more points. Meadowdale, which won the event, would have lost four points for finishing second.
“That’s an 18-point swing,” coach Ron Martin said. “We won by 17.”
Though the meet does not determine which swimmers advance to the Nov. 3-4 Northwest District meet, Johnson was pleased with the team victory.
“It’s a relief,” said Johnson, who won the 50- and 100-yard freestyle races, and swam on Meadowdale’s winning 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams. “I was kinda scared. We worked hard for this.”
Jackson’s Maito Hoshino won the 200 individual in 2:16.58, but the race wasn’t without drama.
Hoshino’s 10-foot lead midway through the event was cut in half by Meadowdale’s Meridith Storey during the breaststroke leg. But Hoshino pulled away down the stretch of the freestyle portion. Hoshino also won the 100 backstroke and swam on the Wolves’ winning 200-yard relay team.
Stephanie Aasland also won a pair of events for Jackson. And anchored Jackson’s 200-yard relay team.
The 50-meter freestyle race came down to the final touch with Johnson (26.33) edging Tanya Pater of Lake Stevens (26.38). Pater also stayed right with Johnson for much of the 100 free, but Johnson pulled away down the stretch and posted a time of 57.09.
Shelby Hill of Meadowdale dominated the 100-meter butterfly with a time of 101.55, finishing more than five seconds ahead her closest competitor. Hill, much like most of the event winners, didn’t swim her best times of the year, but still posted state meet qualifying times in two events.
“This is more of a fun meet,” Hill said. “It’s not really about getting your best times, but you want to place. I’m excited for our team.”
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