By NR Staff • 

Grizzly girls stay undefeated

The McMinnville girls swim team came away victorious against Tualatin, 85-83, on Tuesday to remain undefeated in their dual meet season (5-0).

Six points was the largest margin of separation between the two teams.

“The girls swam really well. It’s been several years since we beat Tualatin,” head coach Jason Hafner.

The Grizzlies were on short rest from the all-day, 14-team Skip Rumbaugh High School Swimming Invitational on Saturday.

Chloe Zinda, Mari Sato, Molli Hartzell and Rosie Porter helped Mac take the early lead by winning the 200-yard medley relay, beating Tualatin’s foursome by three seconds with a time of 2:00.81.

Mac took first in just three of the 11 events. Senior Erika Sato won the 200-yard freestyle in 2:04.93 and her sister, Mari, a freshman, won the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:15.54.

The Grizzlies’ depth was the difference maker. Mac’s ‘B’ squads easily took second place in the three relay races, earning two points in each.

The girls were down four points headed into the the second to last race, the 100-yard breaststroke. Jessica Noyes (1:22.14) and Kaelah Bakner (1:22.40) beat out Tualatin’s Felicia Zhang (1:24.38) to take second and third. Combined with Mari Sato’s first place finish, Mac earned 11 points to Tualatin’s five in the event to take a two point lead into the 400-yard free relay.

“It was a group effort just to keep the meet close,” Hafner said. “They really responded well to the pressure.”

Tualatin’s Kristian Kotchik outtouched Hartzell by five-hundredths of a second in the 100-yard butterfly. She also took second in the 100-yard backstroke

“I really like these close meets. I felt they got stronger as the meet went on,” Hafner said. “It helps them prepare for when we get to districts and to state.”

It was less dramatic on the boys side, as the Grizzlies (4-1) cruised to a 124-46 win over the Timberwolves.

The boys won every event, finished one-two in all three relays and took the top three spots in four of the eight events.

Hafner said a highlight was Sam Swenson’s lifetime best swim in the 100-yard backstroke. He finished in 1:04.60, good for second place behind teammate Tristan Versteeg (58.67).

The Grizzlies has a welcomed nine-day break from competition. Mac hosts Glencoe on Thursday. The meet starts at 3:15 p.m. at the McMinnville Aquatic Center.

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