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Cougars scrub Demons clean

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By Brian Forbes

Lexie Malazdrewicz has potential as long as her name.

The Evergreen freshman already has enough low times to raise expectations, but she’s thinking more of the big picture. Winning a state title is a goal, but her current concerns are helping her team.

“It’s a lot more different than club, for sure,” Malazdrewicz said of varsity swimming. “Everyone is so friendly. Everyone is so team oriented and wants to do everything for the team, which is nice.”

Malazdrewicz won two events and swam on two winning relay teams Jan. 22 as the Cougars defeated Golden 100-86 in their home pool.

Malazdrewicz, who’s best event is the backstroke, won the 200 individual medley with a time of 2 minutes, 19.93 seconds, and took the 100 freestyle with a time of 56.15. She also swam the anchor leg of both the 200 and 400 freestyle relay squads.

The Cougars won all but three events, in addition to sweeping the 200 individual medley and diving.

Carrie Latimer won the 50 freestyle with a time of 25.76 and also won the 100 backstroke with a dominating run of 1:04.97. Melissa Karres narrowly won the 100 butterfly and Holly Fortik cruised to a comfortable first-place finish in the grueling 500 freestyle.

The Demons began the Class 4A dual meet by winning the 200 medley relay and 200 freestyle ahead of Fortik and Lindsay Johnson.

The Cougars responded by sweeping the 200 individual medley, with Haley Newkirk and Renee Gutberlet finishing in order behind Malazdrewicz.

With the team score tied heading into diving, the Cougars would pick up 13 points behind Lily Werthan, Annalise Murphy and Karie Phelps.

Werthan remained unbeaten in three standard meets this season as she scored 159.80 points. More impressively, the senior gymnast is diving competitively for the first time and now has her eye on jumping off the board in college.

“It’s a lot tougher. In some ways, it’s easier,” Werthan said of diving compared to gymnastics. “In some ways, it’s a lot more painful. I think it’s fun, because in gymnastics it takes a really long time to train skills to get them perfect, but in diving you can just throw it, because the worst that happens is you smack.”

Added Werthan: “It’s fun to do your stuff and not have as much as a risk.”

Johnson placed third in the 100 butterfly and Gutberlet was second in the 500 freestyle. Newkirk placed second in the 100 backstroke and Karres was third in the 100 breaststroke.

The quartet of Johnson, Hailey Davey, Karres and Malazdrewicz took the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:51.08, while it was Latimer, Fortik, Johnson and Malazdrewicz combining to win the 400 freestyle relay in the final event.