GIRLS FINISH 5TH AT STATE
In a field of 19 girls 4A, 3A, 2A, 1A high school swimming programs, the Outlaw (27) girls team finished in fifth place behind Marist (52), North Bend (43), Philomath (34) and Cascade (28).
With top three seeds in all relays, the girls could not quite elevate their game enough to hold on to their positions coming into the State Championships.
However, in a highly charged 200 yds medley relay finals swim, the Outlaws (2:03.25) managed to move up from 5th place in prelims (2:04.19) to fourth behind Marist (1:58.47), North Bend (1:59.54) and Philomath (2:02.08). Philomath, who had lost to the Outlaws in Districts by 0.23 seconds in this event, came back to show their outstanding skill and will in the water.
LaGrande was fifth (2:03.70) and LaSalle sixth (2:04.00). Cottage Grove, initially seeded 4th , did not make the finals in this event.
Seeded second after prelims (1:48.58), the foursome of Michelle Young , Tia Berg , Katie Stewart and Courteney Satko gave another valiant effort to clinch a state title in the 200 yds freestyle relay. Inspite of outstanding splits and an overall new Sisters High School record (1:47.20), Young (26.51), Berg (27.98), Stewart (27.10) and Satko (25.61)could not beat North Bend's time of 1:46.78.
The last relay of the State Championships, the 400 yds freestyle relay, almost had the Outlaws on the podium for a silver medal, when Taft's Ali Viles made her move as anchor of the Taft Tigers. Viles' split of 51.20 sec. was four seconds faster than the winning time in the 100 yds. freestyle by Marist's Alexis Mollahan (55.85) and good enough to make up a substantial Outlaws lead to catch Satko (56.91) at the touch pad.
Marist won the event (3:53.08) with Taft in second place (3:59.15) and the Outlaws with Stewart (1:00.20), Young (59.32), Berg (1:03.68) and Satko (56.91) in third.
Courteney Satko added an additional podium finish to her medal collection when she placed fourth in the 50 yds freestyle event (25.97), barely missing Fe Pledger's Sisters High School record by 0.01 seconds. Philomath's Barry McLaren, who Satko had beaten by 0.41 seconds at Districts, won the event in a time of 25.46, followed by Cottage Grove's Demi Maus (25.63) and Henley's Kristin McBride (25.87).
Michelle Young finished 9th in the 100 yds backstroke event (1:06.85). Philomath's Annette Marinello clocked a winning time of 1:02.80.
33 teams from 4A, 3A, 2A, 1A high schools with a total of 307 active or alternate competitors represented the best of the best in Oregon High School Swimming.
BOYS BREAK HIGH SCHOOL RECORD AND FINISH TOP 10 AT STATE
Having barely squeaked into the 12th qualifying slots in the 200 and 400 yds freestyle relays at State Championships, the Outlaw boys made their move during preliminaries at State Swimming Championshps at Mt. Hood Community College on February 19.
Seeded 10th for prelims, Holden Sellentin and Tyler Baldessari swam the only individual Outlaws boys qualifying events, the 50 yds freestyle and 100 backstroke respectively. Sellentin shaved 0.25 seconds off and ended up 7th overall with a time of 23.68. Colin Eaton, a sophomore from Portland Lutheran, set a new 4A State record in a blistering time of 21.27, followed by Sweet Home's Kieran Schaefer (22.58) in second place. Bronze went to North Bend's Matt Johnson (22.76) with the rest of medal positions in the 23+ second range.
Tyler Baldessari tied for 10th place (1:02.03) with Dylan Christensen from North Marion. Isaac Hewitt from Corbett won the event with a new State record and All American time of 51.86.
In their first of two attempts to improve upon their district relay times and 12th seeds in prelims, the foursome of Jake Miller (24.68), Billy Sampson (25.40), Justin Duvenick (25.24) and Holden Sellentin (23.62) were successful and tied for 7th place with Astoria in the 200 yds freestyle relay in 1:38.94. A swim-off between the Outlaws and the Fishermen put Astoria in 7th and the Outlaws in 8th place. Only top six finishers advanced to finals the next day.
The North Bend bulldogs with James Verger (24.01), Will Winfield (23.81), Matt Johnson (22.31) and Kevin Waller (21.82) won this prelim relay in an incredible time of 1:31.95 putting them into first position for finals.
Even though the Outlaws also came up short to swim for medals in the 400 yds freestyle relay, the squad with Jake Miller (56.46), Justin Duvenick (55.19), Tyler Baldessari (55.80) and Holden Sellentin (52.44) broke the Sisters High School record with a massive time drop from a 3:43.95 to 3:39.89 into 9th place overall.
Sweet Home with Jayce Calhoon, Michael Simmons, Zach Pearce and Kieran Schaefer advanced to finals in the top spot and won the event with a new State record of 3:18.59.
Sweet Home successfully defended its men's team title with 83 points ahead of North Bend (55), Cottage Grove (47) and Junction City (22).