Jesuit girls swimming wins second straight Class 6A title
At Jesuit, the swimming program is essentially a who's who of club swimmers, a cavalcade of all-stars who hail from all over the Beaverton/Portland area and come to Hillsdale campus mostly in search of avenues to the collegiate level.
The sport lends itself to self-absorbed ways, the individual looking out for his or her interests first and foremost. Swimming, unless it involves relays, errs on the side of an independent scholastic activity. Yet, when a young swimmer signs up to be a Crusader, it becomes bigger than ego and personal motives. Head coach Brian Butcher is a master at creating a college team-like culture, where family values are not encouraged, but required. Teamwork is a pillar of the foundation. Sacrifice is essential. Individual acclaim comes with team success.
At the Class 6A state championship meet, Jesuit didn't monopolize all the first-place finishes or sweep the relays as they did in past decades. But the Crusader girls were on the pool decks, screaming, cheering, clapping for one another, cheering each other's personal bests and breakout performances. When one teammate succeeded, everybody won as a whole. And by proxy, Jesuit defended its state title, taking home the gold with 110 points on Feb. 22 at Tualatin Hills Aquatic Center.
"It's nice to break from focusing on ourselves and come together as a team and focus on the team aspect rather than personal bests," Jesuit junior Emma Matous. "It comes over time. This is my third year, so as a freshman and sophomore it was kind of like 'Ok this is more about the individual'. But, as you get closer to your senior year, you kind of realize it's a family sport."
Matous, Fay Marie Lustria, Isabella Wallace and freshman Alaina Pitton started the day with a 200-yard medley relay for the Crusaders. Lustria took home a state title in the 100 butterfly and placed second in the 200 individual medley.
"It wasn't really important to necessarily win, but to be the best we could be," Lustria said. "We wanted to work on the details and be a strong family so that we could have a cohesive atmosphere. The juniors and seniors have shown me what family means."
The Crusaders crashed the finals with 13 'A' finalists. Jesuit had two finalists in five events: the 200 free, the 200 IM, the 100 fly, the 500 free and the 100 breastroke.
"Every year our captains make sure we're pushing it, that we're doing our best," Lustria said.
"I'm really excited," Matous said. "A lot of my friends are seniors, so it was a good ending to their high school swim careers. It's sad but good."
Sunset gave Jesuit a run for its money, taking the 200 free and 400 relays to go along with a first and second place finish from Tia Lindsay. Ultimately, it was the Crusaders' deep reservoir of talent and team cohesion that got the job done. Sunset took second place with 89.5 points.
"The environment here is so great because Sunset is that team to push us and make sure we don't become lax," Lustria said. "It's a great rivalry."
For more on the Class 6A state championship meet, please visit www.beavertonvalleytimes.com.
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