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The boys and girls squads are ramping up training intensity in January, seeing times drop

COURTESY PHOTO: DAVE RICHMOND - Scappoose star Will Blair and the Indian boys swimming team is winning at a high clip this season.

Seconds off of personal records are flying off, like unwanted pounds following somebody dedicating themselves to a New Year's resolution diet.

Training regimens are ramping up, so that by the time February rolls around, even better performances can transpire. Everything seems to be on schedule for the Scappoose swimming teams as the new year begins. The Indians continue to win, shatter their own top times and best of all keep proving they're far from peaking any time soon.

Both the Scappoose boys and girls swept Gladstone and Seaside in a three-way dual meet on Jan. 3, with another 41 personal bests between individual and relay splits. Head coach David Richmond said Scappoose mixed it up this meet and made it more a workout meet. Several kids in back to back or back to back to back events to push their limits a little. Every meet it seems like Scappoose is shattering individual personal records at a record clip, something Richmond attributes to hard work and dedication.

COURTESY PHOTO: DAVE RICHMOND - Scappoose head coach Dave Richmond is ramping up his teams training as January gets underway. "If they prioritize practice, put in a commendable effort each day, and listen to what we're asking of them, they're going to improve," Richmond said. "Sometimes it's a mindset, but most of the time it's just a matter of being willing to adjust a bit here and there and then pushing your limits when it comes to race day."

Late December and most of January is often where the rubber meets the road during the high school swim season. The Indians ramped up their workouts over the holiday break and will continue to do so for the next month to build up their base. Richmond said they are trying to get the yardage up a bit now with an eye toward next month when the postseason is at stake.

"We need to train our bodies to push the limits so that when it comes to February, we can push it to the max," Richmond said.

There were many double winners and others that stepped up to win their race against Gladstone and Seaside. Richmond was impressed with Emma Jeppesen, Amanda Walsh, Jenna Seagondollar, Anna Cox, and Mara Wilson this meet. They had really nice performances as did Emma Hinsvark who had a big personal best in her 200 individual medley. Richmond has also been putting some of the young swimmers in the harder events to get them more experience and increase the team's depth.

"I would like to see the girls continue to gain more and more confidence," Richmond said. "They are swimming well and I want to see them get a little more fired up and continue to push each other. We are continuing to stretch kids in their events to give us better depth."

As for the boys, there were also many strong performances. Brisyn Maller really stood out in the 100 breaststroke and dominated that event.

"He has been looking great in everything he has done this year so we wanted to see where he was at in breaststroke and he showed us again that he can excel in anything," Richmond said.

The head coach said he was pleased with Bryant Sharp's 100 butterfly and all the boys who battled through back-to-back events and still came out victories.

"That is what the expectation was, and they did a great job accomplishing that," Richmond said.

Cole Bakkensen had a strong meet taking 14 seconds off his 200 free time and another second off his 100 breaststroke.

"He has been very motivated this year as a senior and is doing a great job of contributing," Richmond said of Bakkensen.

Richmond explained Aiden Becker also keeps showing his versatility to swim all events which is always a benefit for the team. Maller swam the 'A' Medley relay for the boys in place of Owen Reynolds and Gustavo Villaluazo swam the 'A' relay of the 400 for Reynolds.

The boys' squad is loaded to the gills with performers who love the bright lights and high-spirited competition. When their best is required, this team is more than willing to give to the cause. But Richmond hopes his group will perform not just on the big stage, but at the so-called "smaller" events where focus and dedication can often lead to better performance against elite competition down the line. Scappoose is talented enough to take down most of the Northwest Oregon district by showing up and racing, but its head coach doesn't want the squad to skip steps. Take pride in putting an opponent away with power and treat every meet with the same level of intensity and focus.

"What I really want to see from the boys is bringing great effort every meet and not just the big meets," Richmond said.

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