Shore Club defeats Edgebrook to keep streak alive

Mercerwood Shore Club swimmer Caitlin Aylward swims the third leg of the girls 15-and-over 200-medley relay. - Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter
Mercerwood Shore Club swimmer Caitlin Aylward swims the third leg of the girls 15-and-over 200-medley relay.
— image credit: Chad Coleman/Mercer Island Reporter

During the Mercerwood Shore Club swim team’s 27-meet winning streak, one rival has always challenged the Manta Rays. Edgebrook has nearly 100 more swimmers than the four-time Midlakes champions. Each meet during the past four years has been close, and Thursday’s match-up was no different in competition level or outcome as the Shore Club won number 28, 389-323.

“This meet was not just about the swimmers who take first place,” said Mercerwood Shore Club coach Alice Godfred. “This is a total team effort. We needed everyone to place as high as they could. It is a real team effort.”

That team unity has given the Shore Club a record of 4-0 and a shot at a fifth league title in as many years.

“This meet against Edgebrook is a different kind of rivalry,” said Godfred. “This has a totally different atmosphere than when we face the Beach Club or Country Club.”

That atmosphere allowed some swimmers to dominate. Islander Grace Wold won the girls 13- and 14-year-old 50-meter backstroke by nearly four seconds. Jennifer Pak won the girls 15-and-over 100-meter freestyle by nearly six seconds.

“I love the atmosphere in these meets,” said Pak, who also competes for Mercer Island High School. “It gives me racing practice on the blocks. In the high school season, I am much more nervous.”

Pak and Wold were among seven Mercerwood swimmers to win two individual events. Rachel Godfred was the only swimmer of the meet to win three individual events.

But it was the relays where the Manta Rays pulled away from Edgebrook.

“We are missing a couple of 10-and-under girls relays that hurt us,” said Godfred.

The loss of a few relays hurt the Shore Club heading into the second half of the relay events, as they held a slim 8-7 lead in relay victories. But the Manta Rays won the final five relays to clinch the win and keep their streak alive.

“This is like a chess match,” said Godfred. “You put your pawn down to block theirs and hope they can’t counter. This will be our toughest competition at A champs, and it gives us a chance to see what they have.”

Beach Club on a roll

The Mercer Island Beach Club continued to improve this week with a 384-326 victory over Newport Hills. The Beach Club only took first in 11 of 20 relay events but dominated the top spot in the individual swims. Five swimmers took first twice and the Beach Club collected 24 individual first-place finishes. The Beach Club pulled its season record event at 2-2. The Beach Club hosted the Mercer Island Country Club in the final meet of the year between Island Clubs. The Mercer Island Country Club faced Samena but results were not available at press time.

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