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Indians earn a number of first places, standout performances on district stage

PMG PHOTO: DEREK WILEY - The Scappoose boys swimming team took second at the Northwest Oregon Conference District meet.

The cardinal goal going into this season for the Scappoose boys' swimming team was to win a Northwest Oregon Conference district championship.

In that sense, the Indians came through royally and then some. Scappoose ended up splitting the NWOC with La Salle as the Indians shared the dual meet championship with their conference counterpart while the Falcons won the NWOC district championship meet at Parkrose High School on Feb. 15. Scappoose was crowned co-dual Meet Champions with LaSalle after going undefeated during the dual meet season and tying them at 85 points each back in December. The shared district crown was something head coach David Richmond surprised his team with in the aftermath of the district meet.

A sweep would have been awesome, surely. But keep in mind the Indians are still in their infancy as a Class 5A program. What they've done the past two seasons and the two years before that at the 4A level is nothing short of exceptional.

"This group (many of them seniors) has been special for the past four years," Richmond said. "They have won a championship in some way or another each year and have accomplished so much in their time at Scappoose. They leave a great legacy and they have certainly set the standard for future teams. I am proud of all of them. They had a memorable year."

The highlights and standouts for both the boys and girls were copious. The boys 200 medley Relay set a school record and earned a state wildcard this coming weekend. Will Blair reset his 50 freestyle record for the third straight year and will compete at state as the NWOC champion for the second straight year. Bryant Sharp completed the sweep in the 50 freestyle and will join Blair at state.

Sharp and Blair earned state berths in the 100 freestyle as well. Cadmen Posvar set a new school record in the 500 freestyle. He has been chasing the mark for at least two years.

"It may have been the race of the day," Richmond said. "He moved up from fifth to third overall and took off 14 seconds from his previous personal best. We knew he was on track throughout the race as he kept hitting his target times. Our parents and family in the crowd all rose to their feet in the last 75 yards or so. We were all behind him cheering him on."

Posvar swam a 48-second 50 freestyle in his first attempt as a freshman and scored 0 points that year. He swam an average of 33-second splits 10 consecutive times on Saturday and scored over 200 points for the Indians team this year.

"He's been an amazing young man and a great inspiration to many of his peers," Posvar said. "He's a great story."

The boys 200 freestyle relay won the district title for the second consecutive year. Nash Wilson set the 100 backstroke school record and earned a state berth in the event.

"Nash has been gunning for this school record for three years," Richmond said. "He almost set it his sophomore year at state but was right off. In the meantime, his teammate Will Blair broke it last year and almost again this season."

Richmond said Wilson was swimming around 1:02 and 1:03 meet after meet. The two talked about the final and agreed he just needed to go out as fast as he could.

"He had nothing to lose and I told him it might be his last shot at it," Richmond said. "I didn't even look at my watch the last 25 yards. I just hoped to look up at the scoreboard and see a new record. His shocked look said it all. He had almost a two-second personal best and shattered the record by almost a second."

PMG PHOTO: DEREK WILEY - The Scappoose girls swimming team took seventh at the Northwest Oregon Conference District meet. Emma Jeppesen was the top girl performer at thrd in the 100 breaststroke and fifth in the 200 Individual Medley. Kelsey Ela swam to sixth in the 100 freestyle and swam her best splits in the 200 medley relay and 400 free relay.

"She has worked her tail off, I was very pleased to see her end her career on such a high note," Richmond said.

Anna Cox was sixth in the 500 freestyle in a four-second personal best. Jeppesen, Ela, Amanda Walsh, and Rachel Lauridsen swam their seasonal-best in the 400 relay and to a fourth-place finish.

Now, Scappoose will see if it can split the difference and finish higher than the Falcons at the 5A state championship meet this Friday and Saturday at the Tualatin Hills Aquatic Center.

"The state meet is an exclusive and special meet," Richmond said. "It's incredible we have been there year after year for the past 15 seasons. It is a fast year and won't be easy, but it's something the swimmers enjoy and know they have absolutely earned. They don't take it lightly. They swam well last year so for those returning I think that ups the confidence level even more."

Richmond said Scappoose moves into state believing every one of its swimmers and relay teams has a legitimate chance to get to finals. The Indians had a huge practice on Monday night and they swam impressively the entire time, according to Richmond.

"They are ready to go and they are all fast enough to (get to the finals)," Richmond said. "There are many ways for them to be successful even if that does not happen including lowering school records and setting more personal bests. They need to mentally prepare for that. The training we do this week will matter some, but how they approach the meet means a lot. They need to believe they can accomplish their goals."

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