Lakeridge boys fifth, Lake Oswego 11th at Class 6A state swimming
After a long regular season of beating up each other — not to mention the rest of the Three Rivers League's best swim teams — the Lakeridge and Lake Oswego boys finally turned their sights on the rest of the state.
By the time the smoke had cleared at the end of the Class 6A state meet — held Friday and Saturday at Mt. Hood Community College Aquatic Center — the Pacers had finished fifth with 80 points while the Lakers placed 11th with 43 points. Jesuit won the team title with 157 points while Sunset's boys took second at 140.
Pacers swim to fifth
The Pacers, after taking third in the TRL meet a week earlier, came back strong at state, their efforts there led by senior Matt McComish, winner of the 100-yard backstroke title.
Earlier in the meet, McComish finished just sixth in the 100 freestyle, a result that left him hungry and determined to focus for his shot in the backstroke.
"In the 100 free, the nerves got to me. I got caught up in all the hype, my pre-race system was off and I wasn't ready to swim," McComish said. "In the 100 back, I just tuned everybody out 10 minutes before my race. I told myself I can only control what goes on in my lane and not to pay attention to everything else."
Whatever the process, it certainly worked for McComish. He swam to victory with a winning time of 51.15 seconds to beat runner-up Alex Hatzikos of Central Catholic by more than two seconds.
"I still believe I can go faster, but I felt strong and confident and was able to hold on," McComish said. "It's hard not to let it all get to you (so) I felt proud of how I performed under the pressure."
The Pacers opened Saturday's finals by taking fifth in the 200 medley relay, with McComish, sophomore Robert Jiang, sophomore Jay Heymann and junior Grant Lautze posting a 1:41.60. Next up, Heymann won the B Final in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:45.58.
McComish followed next with his sixth-place finish in the 100 freestyle at 47.87, and Heymann added a fifth-place finish in the 500 free with a 4:45.63.
And finally, the Lakeridge 400 freestyle relay team swam to sixth place, clocking in with a time of 3:21.17. That team included Heymann, Lautze, senior Terran Walker and McComish.
"The team did great. I'm really proud of the guys," McComish added. "Our team has always been able to step up at district and make it happen, but it was really cool to be competitive at state this year despite not having many representatives from the team there."
Lakers swim to 11th
While the Lakers' successes were fewer in number, they still put together some strong swims and earned a place among the state's best teams.
Foremost among Lake Oswego's finishes was senior Doug Heymann's third-place effort in the 200 freestyle. Heymann started strong in his finale and stuck with Jesuit junior Trent Martinez throughout the first 100 yards.
But when Martinez — the 2017 state champion in the event — put the hammer down in the back half of the race, he left the rest of the field behind to win at 1:39.00, with South Eugene's Anzo DeGiulio second at 1:42.71 and Heymann third at 1:43.56.
"It was a lot like last year," said Heymann, who finished second in 2017 at 1:44.16. "I went out with Trent and we were pretty much tied at the 100, but he's a really fast back-half swimmer and he can really finish the race and that's where I struggle a little bit."
While he obviously would have liked to have posted a faster time and finished higher, Heymann nonetheless left satisfied with his effort.
"Looking back at the season, I did what I could do and I got the result that I was expecting," he said.
The team's other highlights included: a sixth-place finish at 1:31.08 by the 200 freestyle relay team of Heymann, freshman Chase Richardson, senior Matthew Bell and senior Daniel Duran; and Heymann's win in the B Final of the 100 freestyle at 47.88.