Madras gains experience at 4A state swim meet
Though the MHS swimming team didn't stay long at state, they did gain some valuable experience for a few making their first appearances on the big stage.
At the 4A/3A/2A/1A Swimming State Championships inside Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, the White Buffalos had a team of Karson Hartman, Kyle Hartman, Teague Schierling and Grayson Dominguez entered in the boys 200 medley relay, plus Kyle Hartman in the boys 50 freestyle. Neither of the preliminary times was fast enough to crack the top six that earned.
But, for a team short on numbers going into the season, and uncertain if it would advance anyone to state, the Buffs felt accomplished in getting four to Gresham.
"Overall, it's just a good statement to a freshman, two sophomores and a senior even (to get) here," Madras head coach Tim Nelson said.
In the 200 medley relay, only Kyle Hartman improved on his split time from districts one week ago, and as a result, the Buffs clocked a time of 1 minute, 55.56 seconds, approximately one and a half second slower than their seed time.
Less than an hour later, Kyle Hartman, the Buffs' lone senior, clocked a 24.00, which was better than his district finals time of 24.11, though just short of the 23-second threshold he had hoped to reach.
"I had so much going into the turn, when I flipped it was a little weird," Kyle Hartman said. "There were a lot of waves coming in ... It was kind of hard coming off the wall."
This season marked the second time Hartman reached the state meet, and first time competing in an individual event.
"I remember coming here my sophomore year, I was scared, I was terrified," Kyle Hartman said. "Coming back, I was obviously nervous, but more than anything, I was ready to go. For the younger guys when they come back ... Getting that first race out of the way will be big."
Madras is looking forward to the next few seasons, when the team's numbers are expected to be bolstered from younger swimmers currently on the Madras Swim Team. They will join a group of young, though no longer inexperienced, swimmers who now have an idea of what it takes to reach state.
"If you can come here as a freshman or sophomore, by the time you're a junior or senior, it's just like another event," Nelson said. "We're going to get some swimmers over the next two years, and hopefully score in some events."
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