S’wood swimmers suffer first loss

  • Charlie Laughtland<br>Enterprise writer
  • Thursday, February 28, 2008 10:21am

MILL CREEK — The Western Conference 4A South Division is down to two undefeated girls swim teams. And Shorewood isn’t one of them.

Jackson clipped the upset-minded Thunderbirds 96-73 Tuesday afternoon at the Mill Creek Swim Club in a meet between the teams chasing high-powered Kamiak.

“I felt we had a chance, but all of the breaks would need to go our way and we’d have to swim our fastest in every race,” Shorewood coach Susie McDowell said. “I figured we’d have to take first and third in all the relays, which we could have done.”

The T-birds won the 200-yard medley relay to open the dual meet, but Jackson swept the 200 and 400 freestyle relays.

Shorewood senior Jackie Benson posted a state qualifying time of 1:10.34 in the 100 breaststroke and teammate Laura Hill lowered her time in the 200 freestyle to 2:05.28.

It was the second straight meet Hill chopped four seconds off her winning time.

“She gave all she had in that race,” McDowell said, “and I think she could feel it at the end of the meet.”

Jackson sophomore Amber Pleasant won the 50 and 100 freestyles in state-qualifying times and swam on the Wolfpack’s winning relays.

A spirited rivalry has developed between Shorewood (2-1 league, 3-1 overall) and Jackson (3-0, 6-0), who jockeyed for second place behind Kamiak in 2002.

“Both teams get really fired up for it and today that certainly was the case,” Jackson coach Drew Whorley said. “There was just an exceptional amount of energy on the pool deck.”

McDowell expressed dissatisfaction over the rushed pace of the meet, which was completed in roughly an hour and 15 minutes.

“It puts your kids in jeopardy. You can’t swim your best times,” she said. “It’s not normal circumstances for a meet. When we face Jackson, we see it as a chance to go for our best times.

“This isn’t sour grapes, though. Jackson still would have beaten us. They’ve got a great team.”

Despite the loss, McDowell is pleased with the progress her swimmers continue to make.

“I’m really happy with where we’re at,” she said. “In a lot of cases, we’re ahead of last year.”

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