Wins in the 200-meter freestyle relay, 100 backstroke and 400 freestyle relay carried the Camas High School girls swimming team to an 87-83 victory against Mountain View Thursday, at Cascade Athletic Center.
“This was the start of our championship season,” said head coach Mike Bemis. “It took us a while to take that to heart. It was a fabulous way to end the day on that last relay.”
Sierra Colletto, Alexandra Hall, Anna Panebianco and Eugenia Beale clinched first place for the Papermakers in the 400 free relay with a time of 3 minutes, 59.74 seconds.
“It felt fan-freaking-tastic,” Colletto said. “It was such a good race. I think everybody wanted to win.”
Colletto and Hall kept Camas in the lead, before Panebianco dove in and created some breathing room. Beale delivered a strong final lap to secure the victory.
“Just get as far ahead as I could,” Panebianco said. “That’s all I was focusing on.”
Panebianco also placed first in the 50 freestyle (26.63) and the 100 backstroke (1:05.51). She also helped Brooke Kelly, Sophie Jones and Hall claim second place in the 200 medley relay.
“It’s always a good feeling to be able to come back strong after a slow start,” Panebianco said. “We were building momentum throughout the meet. Once it got started, we just kept on going.”
Hall, Colletto, Beale and Jessica Rouske earned first place in the 200 free relay (1:53.61). Beale also grabbed second place in the 500 free and fourth place in the 200 individual medley. Colletto claimed second in the 100 free and third in the 50 free. Rouske took second in the 200 free.
Camas defeated Evergreen 125-42. The Papermakers challenge Union and Heritage today, at YMCA. Racing starts at 4 p.m.
“We have to be at full strength and swimming really well for our kids to beat Union,” Bemis said. “It’s going to come down to whoever wins the most fifth places.”
Colletto and Panebianco have given so much love and passion to this program, but now their high school swimming careers are almost over.
“It probably won’t set in until after the season,” Colletto said. “This is the last time I will ever swim for Camas.”
“You spend all this time working your way up, and you see all the people ahead of you,” Panebianco said. “Now, it’s like ‘wow, I made it.’ It’s amazing.”