Oregon City girls place ninth at 6A state swimming championships
Senior Alayna Connor anchored Sunset's 400-yard freestyle relay team to a winning time of 3:25.69 as the Apollos clinched a second consecutive OSAA Class 6A girls swimming state championship Saturday at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham.
Sunset trailed Jesuit by 4.5 points through 10 events, but the Apollos dominated the final relay race and finished more than eight seconds ahead of second-place Jesuit, giving the Apollos the team title with 207 points to the runner-up Crusaders' 205.5.
Lakeridge was third with 158 points, while Oregon City finished ninth with 39 points.
Oregon City freshman Jane Shroufe scored seven team points in two individual events, placing eighth in the 100 breaststroke and finishing 11th in the 200 individual medley.
The Pioneers scored the bulk of their points on the strength of their three relays teams, which accounted for 32 team points.
Oregon City's 200 medley relay team of Samantha Brich, Jackalyn James, Olivia Watt and Shroufe went into the state meet seeded No. 10, then stood ninth after Friday's preliminaries, and held steady at ninth in the finals, finishing in 1:54.25.
The Pioneers' 200 freestyle relay of Sidney Chan-Orcutt, Grace Zarosinski, Brich, and Watt finished seventh in 1:43.02, while the 400 freestyle relay of Grace Gunderson, James, Shroufe, and Zarosinski placed eighth in 3:44.79.
The 10 team points in the final event helped Oregon City jump two spots to ninth, overtaking both West Albany and Aloha as the reigning Mt. Hood Conference-champion Pioneers cracked the top 10 at state for the first time since 1987.
"Jane Shroufe swam impressively, and although she didn't quite match her best times, she had a very good first showing in the state championships," Pioneers coach Bryan Watt said. "To my knowledge, it has been over a decade since we have had all three relays qualify for state. So, I am pretty thrilled about that and also have great expectations as we look to the future."
Clackamas got on the scoreboard when junior Talia Caldwell placed 12th in the 100 freestyle in 55.22 seconds, trimming 33-hundredths of a second off her qualifying time from Friday's preliminaries.
The Cavaliers missed opportunities to score in four other events as Emma Gould finished 15th in the preliminaries of the 100 butterfly and was 18th in the 100 backstroke, Caldwell placed 15th in the 200 freestyle, and the 400 freestyle relay of Allison Ruth, Amber Suh, Caldwell, and Gould finished 16th.
In the 6A boys' meet, Jesuit won a fourth consecutive team title with 157 points to runner-up Sunset's 140.
Clackamas' boys finished with 14 points after the 200 medley relay team of Mitchell Hopper, Max Larson, Max Tackett, and Scott Visscher placed eighth in 1:42.36, and then Hopper added an eighth-place finish in the 100 backstroke (55.81) and Larson finished 12th in the 100 butterfly (54.56).
Oregon City's Ian Watt put the Pioneers on the scoreboard in his state meet debut with a 12th-place finish in the 50 freestyle. The Pioneers' sophomore clocked a 22.22 in Friday's preliminaries and then came back with a 22.54 in Saturday's finals.
In other state meet highlights:
-- La Salle Prep senior Sydney Nakagawa made her way to the Class 5A girls' awards podium twice Saturday, finishing fifth in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 54.39 seconds, and then coming back to place third in the 100 backstroke in 59.49.
In Friday's preliminaries, Nakagawa swam an identical 54.39 in the 100 freestyle to edge Wilsonville's Abigail Maoz by 75-hundredths of a second for the sixth and final spot in the finals.
-- Gladstone junior Aidn Williams swept Friday's two mixed para-athlete events, winning the 50-yard freestyle in 29.85 seconds, and then coming back to win the 100 freestyle in 1:10.24.
Williams, whose family was instrumental in lobbying the OSAA for the inclusion of disabled athletes in high school championship competition, shattered his winning times at last year's state meet when he won the 50 free in 32.24 and the 100 free in 1:16.05.