- Miles Vance
- Beaverton Valley Times - Sports
Sunset's youthful boys team steps up to win its first state swim championship since '65
GRESHAM - It isn't easy making athletic history at a school that's been around for 52 years, but the Sunset boys swim team did just that on Saturday.
The Apollos won the Class 6A state championship with 139 points at Mt. Hood Aquatic Center on Saturday, marking just the second state title in school history and the first since way back in 1965. For this year's Sunset team, a team whose 2011 state crew included four sophomores and two freshmen, that seemed like a long, looonngg time ago.
'It feels great,' said sophomore Cole Hurwitz, who swam to second place in the 100-yard breaststroke and fourth in the 100 butterfly. 'It's the first time in 46 years that Sunset's got the title, so we're pretty excited.'
'We thought we had a good chance because we're all some of the fastest swimmers in district, so we were pretty excited,' said freshman Jonathan Zoucha, who swam to third in the 500 freestyle. 'Going into it, we thought we had a pretty good chance.'
'It's pretty fun,' said sophomore Cameron Stitt, who won the 500 freestyle for the second straight year and also took fourth in the 200 free. 'And we did it with six people. That's kind of fun too. Even though our team was really small, we got the win.'
The Apollos' numbers may have been small, but their impact was certainly great, racking up eight top-four finishes in Saturday's championship races, and using their quality depth to outpoint second-place Grant (125 points) by 14 points.
Sunset got things started with a third-place finish in Saturday's inaugural event, the 200 medley relay. There, Zoucha, Cole and Jordan Hurwitz and Stitt swam to a 1:38.53, trailing only event-winner Grant's 1:36.05 and Lake Oswego's 1:37.53.
Stitt scored next, notching a fourth-place finish in the 200 freestyle at 1:42.90, and the Hurwitz brothers added fourths in their first individual events, with Jordan Hurwitz going 1:57.25 in the 200 individual medley, and Cole Hurwitz posting a 51.42 in the 100 butterfly.
'I'm really happy,' Jordan Hurwitz said after the individual medley. 'I dropped time and that's all that matters. I think I represented Sunset well so that was good.'
Stitt and Zoucha then came through with their team's biggest points bundle in the 500 freestyle, with Stitt winning his second straight title in the event in a personal-best time of 4:36.93, and Zoucha adding key points in third place at 4:44.14.
'That was good. It was a good time,' Stitt said. 'I think I just got excited and was ready to swim fast.
'Once I got ahead, I was just working on pushing myself. It was pretty cool. I want to win next year again.'
Cole Hurwitz kept the points flowing in the 100 breaststroke, racing to second place behind Forest Grove's Gabe Rooker, with Rooker first at 57.02 and Hurwitz close behind at 57.48.
As it turned out, that swim - Cole Hurwitz's runner-up effort in the breaststroke - put the Apollos into the best position possible. With only one swim remaining - the 400 freestyle relay - the Apollos just had to complete the event successfully to secure their first state title in almost half a century.
Not that that fact didn't engender a few nerves of its own.
'I was really nervous because, as much as it seemed like 'We've just got to swim it,' I was really scared someone would do something stupid,' Jordan Hurwitz said.
'I didn't want to be the guy that lost the meet for Sunset,' Cole Hurwitz said.
But the Apollos swam home safely in that final race, with Zoucha taking the lead leg, Jordan and Cole Hurwitz going second and third, and Stitt bringing it in from there, eventually touching in sixth place at 3:18.23.
'I was a little disappointed with sixth place. That was not the greatest way to end the meet,' Jordan Hurwitz said. 'But to be honest, I was really happy we finished in one piece.'
In one piece, and in first place.