Century, Glencoe and Hilhi clash in a three-way dual meet to determine city swimming supremacy

Tuesday afternoon was an all-Hillsboro showdown at the Shute Park Recreation & Aquatic HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: AMANDA MILES - Century junior Ellie Thornbrue swims to victory in the girls 500-yard freestyle at Tuesday's Pacific Conference swim meet that featured all three Class 6A Hillsboro-area schools.

To determine the best Class 6A team in town, Glencoe, Hilhi and Century took each other on in double dual Pacific Conference swimming action. After all the splash had settled, the Jaguars girls and boys emerged a combined perfect 4-0, while the Crimson Tide girls and Hilhi boys picked up one win apiece.

The Century girls defeated Glencoe 109-59 and Hillsboro 111-59, while the boys team turned back the Crimson Tide by a score of 98-71 and Hilhi by a 100-70 mark. Those results upped the girls’ season record to 3-1, while the boys leveled their mark to 2-2.

The Tide and the Spartans, meanwhile, took turns beating each other by the narrowest of margins. Glencoe’s girls won by a score of 85-82. The boys’ affair was even tighter, with the Spartans prevailing 85-83 after a 1-3 finish against the Tide in the final event of the meet, the 400-yard freestyle relay. Scores were determined by scoring each team against another, with the third team’s results not included.

So dominant were the Jaguars that they raced to victory in every single girls event and in nine of the 11 boys races.

“We’ve had almost a month off between our last dual meet against Newberg and this one,” Century coach Sarah Holman said. “It was exciting for us to get back in the water and back to competing.”

The Jaguars were clearly ready to get back to business. On the boys’ side, three Century swimmers finished as the overall winners of two events apiece. Liam Metzsch, a junior club swimmer out for the high school team for the first time this winter, won the 200 individual medley by more than six seconds in 2 minutes, 3.37 seconds. Later in the meet, he took the 500 freestyle in 5:04.92.

Brant Edwards earned his victories in the 100 butterfly (55.52) and 100 backstroke (1:00.08), and sprinter Josh Galbraith cruised to wins in the 50 free (23.15) and 100 free (50.57).

“For him to at 50-point at a dual meet at this point in the season after some really hard winter break training, that definitely is a good place for him to be looking toward the end of the season,” Holman said about Galbraith, a senior mainstay for the Jaguars.

Galbraith, Edwards and Metzsch also teamed with Kyle Berquist — the 100 breaststroke victor — to capture first place in both the 200 medley relay (1:44.31) and 400 free relay (3:24.72).

For the Century girls, Ellie Thornbrue, Hannah Galbraith and Sara Metzsch were two-time winners, and sisters Logan and Riley Neal each captured one event and finished second in another.

Metzsch picked up wins early and late in the meet, winning the 200 freestyle (2:02.27) and 100 breaststroke (1:19.09). Like her big brother, Galbraith prevailed in the 50 free (27.96) and 100 free (58.96).

Thornbrue, the two time-reigning Class 6A 200 freestyle state champion, took first place in the 200 IM (2:14.28) and 500 free (5:17.92).

Though Thornbrue was a bit off of her best times in both events, she still enjoyed how the three biggest Hillsboro schools got the chance to mix it up amongst themselves at the meet.

“It’s really fun, actually, to have Glencoe, Century and Hilhi, especially because we have all these other people from our club team that we get to race too,” Thornbrue said. “We’re teammates with them, but we’re still kind of rivals with them.”

Logan Neal, a junior, took the 100 backstroke in 1:04.67, and she finished second in the 100 butterfly to freshman sister Riley, who added a runner-up result in the 500 free (5:28.25).

“That was kind of a fun race, not only to go 1-2, but to watch the sisters swim head-to-head,” Holman noted about the butterfly event, the first in which the sisters raced each other in a high school meet.

The Jaguars also swept all three relays. Galbraith, Metzsch, Logan Neal and Nicole Lemieux finished first in the 200 medley relay in 2:02.32. The Neal sisters, Lemieux and Thornbrue were the winning 200 relay quartet in 1:46.63, and Thornbrue, Galbraith, Riley Neal and Sara Metzsch easily won the 400 free relay by more than 15 seconds in in 3:55.16.

Hilhi and Glencoe may not have matched Century in terms of wins, but they still had plenty of highlight performances.

Though some Tide swimmers were battling illness, coach Amy Powers was pleased with the effort her team put forth. The Glencoe boys picked up their win in the 200 free relay. Stone Westergaard, Josh Burton, Josh Ray and Elijah Blair took that race in 1:44.38.

Individually, Logan Frank and Nathan Bennett led the way with two runner-up finishes apiece. One of those battling illness, Bennett was second in the 50 free (24.48) and the 100 free (56.21), while Frank achieved his placements in the 200 IM (2:09.69) and the 500 free (5:12.00).

“Logan always is an excellent swimmer,” Powers said about Frank, a consolation finalist at state last year in the 500 free. “He’s very competitive, but he’s also such a smart swimmer. He just knows how to compete.”

Also for the Tide, Brendan Andersen was second in the 100 backstroke (1:05.05).

For the Glencoe girls, Hannah Ahluwalia (200 free, 2:11.18), Lucy Ellis (200 IM, 2:28.49), Anna Pagel (50 free, 28.38) and Maya Ahluwalia (100 back, 1:09.11) all picked up second-place finishes. The Ahluwalias and Pagel also teamed with Amy Benedict to take second in the 200 free relay (1:52.89).

As for the Spartans boys, Dylan Fisher (1:53.44) and Matthew Arnold (1:54.43) went 1-2 in the 200 free. Also going second for Hilhi were Nathan Tuy in the 100 fly (1:00.97) and Andrew Peterkort in the 100 breast (1:10.20). Along with Ryan Clark, Fisher, Tuy and Arnold also took second in the 400 free relay (3:42.56).

Among the top performers for the Hilhi girls were Emma Ellis and Mycha Ellis. Emma Ellis finished second overall in the 100 breast (1:21.59) and third in the 200 IM (2:28.64), while Mycha Ellis was a close second to Hannah Galbraith in the 100 free (59.36) and was third in the 100 back (1:11.05). Leslie Huerta added a fourth-place effort in a quick 500 free (5:52.19).

In all, it was quite a show from some of the top swimmers in the city — a number of whom know each other through club swimming.

“It’s fun and it’s tough. It’s fun for the most part,” Hilhi coach Laurie Chesler-Clark said about the three programs getting together to duke it out. “These are kids who literally are friends, train together, know each other’s faults and weaknesses.”

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