Local swimmers showout at the Pacific Conference District Swimming Championships
Swimming isn't easy. It's early mornings, sometimes late nights, and always hard work both in and out of the pool. So when a swimmer has a chance to make that hard work pay-off — they do so in spades.
That's what the big meets are about, and one of those meets was the Pacific Conference District Swimming Championships last Friday and Saturday, Feb. 14-15, at the McMinnville Aquatic Center in McMinnville.
The home Grizzlies did yeoman's work as a team, taking home both the boys' and girls' team titles with the boys clearing second place Sherwood by 212 points, and the girls 209 points clear of runner-up Newberg. But while Mac may have stole the show, Forest Grove, Glencoe, Century and Liberty were well represented.
The Vikings qualified two kids for state, led by Levi Jorgenson.
Jorgenson won the 50 yard freestyle and placed third in the 100 freestyle, the former with a personal best time of 21.94. The senior who finished fifth at in the 100 free last year at state, was pleased with his performance across the board, but was particularly impressed with his 50 free, which resulted in a groundbreaking time for the standout.
"I'm excited," Jorgenson said. "Those are best times in both events, but that 50 was great. I've been trying to get under 22 (seconds) for years, so I was hoping something like this might happen. I'm pumped for state."
Joining Jorgenson at state will be senior Luci Brenner, who along with finishing fourth in the girls 100 freestyle and helping the Vikings 400 yard freestyle relay team to a second place finish, won 100 yard backstroke with a time of 1:01.
Other notable Forest Grove finishers included: Hannah Bartoo third in th 500 yard freestyle and fourth in the 200 yard freestyle, Alayna Gilliland second in the 100 yard butterfly, and Ryan Perez third in the 100 yard backstroke.
Glencoe boasted two winners, including Alys Grover who in addition to finishing second in the 200 yard freestyle, won the 100 yard butterfly with a time of 59.30. Along with Grover, sophomore Daren Sehorn won the boys 100 yard butterfly, breaking the school record with a time of 53.72.
"Alys has been around for four years and has been a great leader for us, and had never broken one minute before in the fly so I'm really excited about that," Glencoe coach David Trasen said. "And Daren just gets better every time he swims. He's so enthusiastic, but breaking the team record was totally unexpected. That was a shocker and that record has stood since 1989."
Sehorn too was excited.
"I thought I had a chance to win the race, but I went faster than I expected," Sehorn said. "Breaking the school record was news to me, but this gives me confidence and now that I have the opportunity to go to the state meet, I'm excited."
That same excitement wasn't limited to Sehorn and his coach either, for Grover was equally pleased with her races and is eager to continue on at this coming weekend's state event.
"I'm so happy," she said. "I've been trying to break a minute all season, so I'm very happy. I didn't really see this coming. At least not at this point in the season, but now I'm excited for state and I'm going to see if I can bring that 59 down to a 58."
Other notable Glencoe swimmers included: Nick Palmer who placed third in the 200 yard IM, A.J. Steiner who placed third in the 200 and 500 yard freestyle, Alucia Palmer who finished fourth in the 500 yard freestyle, and Haley Nida who was second in the 100 yard backstroke.
Century was led by senior Franklin Chu who placed first in the boys 100 yard breaststroke with a time of 1:02.52. Chu also placed fourth in the 200 yard IM, and was joined on the list of notable Jaguar finishers by Cassidy Hendren who was third in the 100 yard breaststroke.
Liberty was led by junior Kyle Fratini who placed second in the boys 500 yard freestyle with a time of 4:59.68.
The OSAA State Swimming Championships are scheduled for this Friday and Saturday, Feb. 21-22, at the Tualatin Hills Aquatic Center.
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