6A swimming — Tiger boys roll 137-41, while the Vikings capture the girls meet 102-67

Unfortunately for the Newberg girls and Forest Grove boys swimming teams, the dual meet between the two schools Jan. 16 at the Chehalem Aquatic Center featured few highlights.

The flip side of that coin was that the Tiger boys and Viking girls rolled to easy victories, with Newberg prevailing 137-41 on the strength of an overwhelming depth advantage, while Forest Grove used its high-end talent to devastating effect in a 102-67 SETH GORDON - Making a splash - Senior Bjorn Larsen cruises to first place in the 100 backstroke Jan. 16 versus Forest Grove at the Chehalem Aquatic Center. The Tigers won all 11 events to thrash the Vikings 137-41.

On the boy’s side, the Tigers captured all 11 events, recording two 1-2-3 finishes and three 1-2-4 finishes in individual events.

With a roster of just 12 swimmers, the Vikings were outnumbered and outgunned, their most competitive race being the 400 free relay in which they trailed Newberg’s winning foursome of Cameron Kisling, Evan Bell, Tyler Bell and David Flores Juarez (3:38.61) by less than two seconds.

With the odds so heavily stacked in his team’s favor, head coach George Sampson took the opportunity to shake up his lineup and said he was pleased with how his swimmers responded.

He was especially happy with the 1-2-4 finish of Craig Beecher (2:11.94), Gavin Gleaves (2:17.39) and Zach Schrage (2:32.56) in the 200 individual medley, as well individual performances by Gleaves in the 100 butterfly, in which he placed second in 1:03.36, Evan Bell in the 200 freestyle, setting a PR to take third in 2:06.48, and Cameron Kisling in the 500, touching in 5:46.92 to finish third.

“They are swimming very well right now, even though they are tired,” Sampson said. “They’re working hard and competing no matter what I put them in. We swam a lot of off events.”

Beecher was one of four Tigers to win a pair of individual races, adding a first in the 100 breaststroke (1:07.59) to his victory in the 200 IM. Also earning two wins were Corbin Day in the 50 (23.52) and 100 freestyles (51.70), Bjorn Larsen in the 100 fly (58.13) and the 100 back (1:02.23), and David Flores Juarez in the 200 (1:59.26) and 500 freestyles (5:08.07).

Rounding out the relays were Flores Juarez, Beecher, Larsen and Day in the 200 medley (1:50.91), with Larsen, Spencer McMaster, Day and Beecher winning the 200 free relay in 1:35.28.

“The boys are starting to swim fast,” Sampson said. “All the back-up guys are picking their game up and improving every week, especially at the shorter distances.”

The Newberg girls picked up their lone win of the meet in the opening 200 medley relay, as Madi Kent-Harrington, Casey Jentges, Shannon Gamble and Elizabeth Andrews touched in 2:10.31.

Sampson sang the praises of Andrews for her consistency after the sophomore placed second in both the 50 (26.56) and 100 freestyles (1:00.08) in addition to joining Jentges, Gamble and Katrina Reichenbach on the runner-up 200 free relay (1:54.36).

“She’s been lifting weights since her freshman year and it’s made a huge difference on her strength and endurance,” Sampson said. “She’s swimming at lifetime bests in the 100 and the 50 almost every time she goes up.”

Kent-Harrington also placed second in the 200 (2:18.86) and 500 freestyles (6:20.78), while Jentges was runner up in the 100 fly (1:15.80) and the 100 breast (1:19.30).

Rounding out the effort was the 400 meter relay team of Grace Brockie, Tia Lattanzio, Reichenbach and Claire Boenisch, which finished second in 4:32.60.

The Tigers have just three dual meets remaining, beginning with a trip to Hillsboro Thursday, before they head to McMinnville for the perhaps the last-ever edition of the Pacific Conference district championships with conference realignment on tap for the 2014-2015 school year.

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