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Crusaders cruise to another district championship with speed, stamina at THAC

TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Jesuit junior Marco Nosack won the 100-yard breaststroke at the Metro League district title meet.

As the Jesuit boys' swimming team continues to sequester Metro League district and Class 6A state championships the journey just seems to get...easier?

The Crusaders gladly welcome all comers and competitors. But Jesuit is simply too fast, too endurable, too deep for essentially any Oregon High School program to take down at this point.

Jesuit once again flexed and floored to a Metro district title, beating Sunset and Westview in the process, winning nine of the eleven events at Tualatin Hills Aquatic Center on Feb. 15. The four-time defending state champions are well in line for a fifth this Saturday at the 6A state championship meet back at THAC. This sophomore/ junior-laden squad is just getting started this year and for seasons to come.

"We're a young team, but we have a mindset that we can go and crush," Jesuit sophomore Matthias Kreutzer said. "We're pretty confident in our abilities and our relays. In most of our events, I feel like we could go one-two. We're pretty loaded in all of the strokes."

Only a program can lose an all-time stud like Trent Martinez and immediately replace him with an instant impact star such as Diego Nosack, the latest in a long line of Nosacks to come through the Crusader ranks. The freshman won his first district title in the 500 free and sports the best 6A time going into the state meet. Sophomore Nick Simons won the 100 backstroke and the 100 butterfly. Marco Nosack, Diego's older brother, won 100 breastroke and the 200 individual medley. The Crusaders took top honors in two of the three district relay events as well.

"We pretty much reload," Kreutzer said. "But we just worry about the task at hand, we don't worry about winning state. We just take it one race at a time."

TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - The Sunset boys 200-yard freestyle relay won the Metro League championship last weekend.

Though Kreutzer swept the 50 and 100 free, he and his teammates were more fired up for senior Rohan Lalwani, who swam a best time in the 50 free and took second place behind Kreutzer. Lalwani is one of the lone non-club swimmers on the Crusader roster and few non-club elite swimmers in Metro period. But he put in a ton of time practicing with the Jesuit program and made himself into a state caliber contender.

"It's just sweet seeing your teammate succeed," Kreutzer said with a smile. "As a group of guys, we were hyping him up to go get a best time. He's just been grinding in Jesuit practice. He has a great work ethic, he's a great guy and super funny. He's a great role model for our team."

The rest of the Metro didn't leave empty-handed, however. The Sunset boys' 200 free relay of seniors Jon Westlake and Regis Wang along with sophomores Kevin Lei and Kevin Park beat Jesuit by more than two seconds to take home a district title.

"We're the best group in Metro," Westlake said. "We're not even that similar in age, but we just vibe. It felt good, especially winning it with friends."

Jesuit is a juggernaut that could very well have the state title wrapped by the time 'A' finals commence on Saturday. But Sunset is very much in the running for second place, along with Westview and Lakeridge. The Apollo 200 free relay will have a big say in whether it can capture the so-called silver medal. Heading into the championship meet, that foursome has the third-best time in 6A and only trails McMinnville and Roseburg by milliseconds.

"We just have to trust ourselves," Westlake said. "You want to have fun, but you also want to do well."

Beaverton sophomore Elijah Purry won his first-ever Metro district championship, beating Park and Westview's Randon Hall by a sliver of second in the 200 free.

"I just wanted to get out there and have fun," Purry said. "I just wanted to race the people next to me and do the best that I could."

Purry has swum competitively for the past three years. He's a club standout who has the third-fastest time at the 6A level and is Beaverton's first district champion since Van Mathias took the district by storm a few years back.

"I'm glad that my name goes down as one of the best," Purry said. "I've just always loved the water. It's a great experience at Beaverton. Getting a new team and a new atmosphere is really exciting and new. I want to see how much faster I can go. It's all mental. If you can find that switch that keeps you going, you really start to see the results."

TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Beaverton sophomore Elijah Purry won the 200-yard freestyle at the Metro League championship meet.

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