NHS swim beats a beleaguered Century squad
The Newberg boys and girls swim teams continued their streaks of success against lesser opponents with a pair of victories against Century on Jan. 24. The Tiger boys won 112-45 and the girls 126-38.
A sizeable victory came as a result of Century not matching Newberg's depth across multiple swims. While the Jaguar boys have one of the best swimmers in the state in Luke Thornbrue, they only had one or two experienced swimmers on both the girls and boys teams.
"He's a great swimmer," Sampson said of Thornbrue. "Other than that, their boys were pretty light. Our boys took it easy as far as effort goes, but handily out-swam everybody because of the depth of our team.
"They're really getting ready for state. Because of the way the boys have been training, we're looking at the state meet much more so than the district meet."
The boys took the first three spots in the 100 meter fly, with Elijah Clements (53.47), Grant Stilp (1:01.10) and Rashun Hoskins (1:04.01) besting the competition with ease.
Not only did Century not have enough swimmers to compete from a points perspective – the majority of the swimmers on its roster just couldn't compete with the Tigers.
The girls picked up another sizeable victory despite depth issues of their own. The Tigers' top swimmers shined, however, winning nearly every event and exposing the lack of personnel on the other side.
Nikki Rubottom (26.66), Natalie Kisling (28.12) and Morgan Hubbard (32.19) finished first, second and third in the 50 free. The trio anchored much of the girls team's success as it dominated Century.
"The girls keep showing some improvement, and we saw more of that in this meet," Sampson said. "I'm proud of how these young swimmers are responding and excited to see what they can do going forward. This meet was a great one for them."
The Tigers finished off their regular season with a dual meet at home against Sherwood on Tuesday night after The Graphic went to press. Sampson anticipated that the meet would be competitive, particularly on the boys' side, where the Bowmen match the Tigers in terms of depth, but lack the kind of top level swimmers that he said his team has.
The Pacific Conference district championships are Feb. 8-9 in McMinnville. After that, Sampson's squads will prepare for state competition and the boys hope to get on the podium when all is said and done. For now, though, they will settle for beating up on lesser league opponents as the season enters its twilight.
"We've been swimming well in the last few weeks," Sampson said. "Our guys are ready for what comes next, and we have our minds on state."