Tribe senior Sam Herscovitz set a new school record in the 100 butterfly in the finals on Friday, and won a berth in the state meet in the 100 backstroke

by: JOHN WILLIAM HOWARD - Sam Herscovitz swims the 100 butterfly during the preliminaries of the district championships on Friday, Feb. 14. Though his preliminary time was slower than expected, he was able to rebound on Saturday to break the school record in the 100 butterfly during the finals.It was a weekend up ups and downs for Scappoose senior Sam Herscovitz. Over the last several weeks in the pool competing for the Indians' swim team, he had knocked off several seconds from his 100 butterfly time, and was breathing down the school record. If things kept up, he was set to break the time in the preliminaries at the district championships on Friday afternoon.

Warmups looked good. He stood on his block, waited for the flashing light and blair of the horn, and set off. About a minute later, though, he was further from the school standard than he'd expected.

“Not even close,” head coach David Richmond mentioned over his shoulder after the race.

Though Herscovitz was off the pace he was hoping for, he still had made the next day's finals. There was still a chance, if only he could take advantage.

And take advantage he did, swimming a 1:01.20 to break a school record in the 100 butterfly, and qualifying for the OSAA Swimming Championships in the 100 backstroke.

Even early in the race, it was clear Herscovitz was doing far better than his previous performance. The first split, which had him at :28.2 for a projected time of :56.40, put him far below the school record, and given his competitive, hard-working nature, Richmond knew there was a chance.

“Sam's a finisher,” said Richmond. “He's been doing it at the end of workouts all season. I just reminded him one time prior to the start of Saturday. He has shown excellent determination and grit all season. Everyone is happy for him and to do it in his last 100 fly of the season added some drama to the day.”

Low numbers on the boys' team kept them from contention for the team title, finishing in seventh with 83 points, but the highlight performances from Herzcovitz and freshman Dakota Poppenhagen in the 500 freestyle turned a few heads at the district meet.

Poppenhagen, who finished with a time of 6:53 in the preliminaries, raced his way to an eighth place finish with a time 37 seconds faster, making him easily the fastest freshman in the event. He also had vast improvement in his 200 freestyle time, taking 12 seconds off between the preliminaries and the finals.

On the girls' side, where the Indians finished fifth with 129 points, it was junior Stefany Alvarez making waves once again. Alvarez took fourth in the 200 freestyle and third in the 100 butterfly, as well as swimming the final leg of the girls 400 freestyle relay. The relay team took third, finishing four seconds ahead of Astoria, but 21 seconds behind Taft.

While no members of the girls' team qualified for the state championships – Alvarez just barely missing a bid in both her individual events – there were a number of positives the team came away with.

Senior Mary Rotter, who was the only other swimmer to finish in the top six other than Alvarez, set a new personal record in her leg of the medley relay, in which she swims the backstroke. Lindsey Marquardt finished with two new personal bests in the 500 freestyle and 100 butterfly, and had a season-best time on her leg of the 200 freestyle relay.

Kiara Single, part of the third-place 400 freestyle relay team, set a new personal best in the 200 freestyle and her opening leg of the relay in the finals.

Freshman Macy Gray was another bright spot for the Indians, making the finals of the 500 freestyle with a 14-second personal best in the preliminaries.

“Macy is going to be an excellent swimmer,” said Richmond. “She is new to the sport, but has so much upside, she will be fun to watch in the coming years.”

For now, Richmond says he's pleased the season isn't quite over.

“I'm happy to say we have one more week of swimming with Sam making the OSAA state meet in the backstroke,” he said.

The preliminaries for the boys 100 yard backstroke are scheduled for 8:19 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 21 at the Mt. Hood Community College Aquatic Center in Gresham. Tickets can be purchased for the 4A/3A/2A/1A preliminaries just after 6 p.m. at the door to the aquatic center, and parking is free. The event can also be watched online, but with a subscription fee.

Team scores:

Boys meet

1 – Newport 299

2 – Seaside 284

3 – Tillamook 184

4 – Rainier 132

5 – Taft 115

6 – Astoria 115

7 Scappoose 83

Girls meet

1 – Tillamook 239

2 – Seaside 228

3 – Astoria 215

4 – Newport 176

5 Scappoose 129

6 – Taft 117

7 – Banks 28

8 – Rainier 23

Individual results:

Boys: 200 Medley Relay – 7th, Scappoose (Trace Sweeney, Jacob Harley, Sam Herscovitz, Kenny Klippel), 2:06.51. 50 freestyle – 8th, Kenny Klippel, 26.73. 100 yard butterfly – 3rd, Sam Herscovitz, 1:01.20. 500 yard freestyle – 8th, Dakota Poppenhagen, 6:15.90. 200 yard freestyle relay – 7th, Scappose (Trace Sweeney, Dakota Poppenhagen, Cody Zelmer, Jacob Harley), 1:56.27. 100 yard backstroke – 2nd, Sam Herscovitz, 1:03.95. 400 yard freestyle relay – 5th, Scappoose (Kenny Klippel, Dakota Poppenhagen, Cody Zelmer, Sam Herscovitz), 5:15.60

Girls: 200 Medley Relay – 6th, Scappoose (Mary Rotter, Stefany Alvarez, Kayla Miller, Kiara Single), 2:23.85. 200 yard freestyle – 4th, Alvarez, 2:20.27, 11th, Mary Rotter, 2:54.73, 12th, Lauren Herscovitz 2:55.55. 200 yard Individual Medley – 8th, Kiara Single, 3:24.98. 50 yard freestyle – 12th, Hailee Holmason, 36.05. 100 butterfly – 3rd, Alvarez, 1:15.67, 10th, Lindsey Marquardt, 1:36.04, 100 yard freestyle – 12th, Lauren Herscovitz, 1:19.18. 500 yard freestyle – 8th, Lindsey Marquardt, 7:35.58, 9th, Kiara Single, 7:44.32, 11th, Macy Gray, 8:01.58. 200 yard freestyle relay – 5th, Scappoose (Lauren Herscovitz, Macy Gray, Lindsey Marquardt, Baylee Maloney), 2:20.6. 100 yard backstroke – 6th, Mary Rotter, 1:22.39, 9th, Kayla Miller, 1:28.04, 10th, Hailee Holmason, 1:36.41. 100 yard breaststroke – 10th, Macy Gray, 1:43.70, 12th, Alisha Reisinger, 1:59.75. 400 yard freestyle relay – 3rd, Scappoose (Kiara Single, Mary Rotter, Kayla Miller, Stefany Alvarez), 4:50.32

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