Balanced swimming talent and teamwork lifted the Rogers Rams out of a field of nine teams to capture the sixth annual South Sound Relay on Saturday at The Evergreen State College.
Rams coach Heather Hoskins said the large-meet scoring helped her team to come out on top. While the Olympia Bears had more first-place finishers, her team’s balance brought in more points, she said.
Because the point system was different than in a dual meet, team members did not have to win every event to earn points. The 4A Rams picked up 865 points to edge Olympia, which had 812.
“We were able to pick up a lot of middle points,” Hoskins said.
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She added that not many of her swimmers were state qualified. Of the swimmers that were, one was unable to compete this weekend because of a school commitment. But “we have a lot of depth this year,” Hoskins said.
The all-relays meet originated for Sound South schools. Now the competition is wider, with more than 200 swimmers from nine teams, including one from Longview.
The Rams placed a couple of two-swimmer teams in the top-five finishers of the 400-yard freestyle relay.
In the 100-yard freestyle relay, Natalie Hert and Sophia Ko of Rogers took third place with a time of 57:5. Behind them were Brylney Shakespeare and Lauren Burch in fourth at 58:56 and Asia Strayhorne and Rebekah Bovenkamp in fifth at 1:00:57.
Olympia’s Maya Hansen-Tilkens and Honour Middleton had the fastest time at 54:49.
In the two-swimmer heat of the 400-yard freestyle relay, the Bears and Rams traded top finishers, first and thirdagainst second and fourth, respectively. Olympia’s Lacey Wright and Anya Dickinson-Cole had the fastest time at 4:27:37. Hannah Lewis and Natalie Hert of Rogers grabbed second place at 4:49:50.
In the four-swimmer heat of the 400-yard freestyle relay, Olympia’s Hansen-Tilkens, Melissa Ward, Middleton and Meagan Smith posted the top finish at 4:05:08. For Steilacoom, Rachel Forbes, Sarah Park, Hannah Park and Miranda Just came in at 4:16:00.
In both events, Olympia had the top finishers, but Rogers had more of them.
The only soft spot for the Rams was the medley relay. Rogers did not have a top finisher in any of the medley events.
Olympia’s Ally Norman, Lacey Wright, Melissa Ward and Anya Dickinson-Cole posted the best time in the 800-yard freestyle relay at 8:49:67. More than a minute back was the Rogers’ team of Rebecca Patterson, Laura Todd, MacKenzie Hill and Hannah Lewis.
The Rams made up for it in the two-swimmer 200-yard butterfly relay in which Olympia took first place, but Rogers had more finishers placing.
The final point totals were: Rogers 865, Olympia 812, Steilacoom 692, Shelton 636, Capital 586, Black Hills 470, Lakes 447, Mark Morris 442 and Emerald Ridge 438.