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MHC SWIMMING: Brayden Kato leads Pioneers with wins in the medley and backstroke

PMG PHOTO: DAVID BALL - Sandys Brayden Kato builds a lead over Central Catholics Nick Dentel during the breaststroke phase of the 200 medley race Thursday.

Mount Hood Conference

Team Score
Central Catholic Rams
Sandy Pioneers

GRESHAM — The Sandy boys swim team scored first-place points in three events, but it wasn't enough in a 92-61 league loss to Central Catholic on Thursday.

The Pioneers kept it close early when Barry Eaton and Parker Sharman combined to finish second and third in the 200-yard freestyle. That was followed by Brayden Kato leading start-to-finish in the 200 medley (2:22.21), clocking in less than half-a-second ahead of Central's Nick Dentel.

Kato got out to a body-length lead in the opening butterfly leg and maintained a slim edge through the breaststroke, which he describes as the weakest part of his race. Dentel made a push in the early stages of the final freestyle lap, but Kato pulled away after the flip turn and won by a full stroke.

"Every time I took a breath I could see exactly where he was," Kato said. "I had to push myself as hard as I could go in the freestyle."

The medley marked the only race in which the Pioneers outscored Central, pulling to within three points in the team tally early in the dual.

The Rams responded by outscoring Sandy by 21 points over the next three races, highlighted by Mateo Lennertz leading a 1-2-3 sweep in the 50 free.

Kato doubled up for the day with another win in the backstroke (1:04.50), while teammate Griffin McAbery won the breaststroke (1:22.83).

Sandy was outscored only 32-27 across the five specialty-stroke events.

Mount Hood Conference

Team Score
Central Catholic Rams
Sandy Pioneers

Central picked up a 94-67 win in the girls dual, picking up 10 uncontested points midway through the meet when Sandy did not send anyone to the starting blocks for the 500 free.

PMG PHOTO: DAVID BALL - Sandys Tamzyn Pendleton pushes through the water during the opening butterfly leg on her way to second place in the 200 medley race.

The Pioneers pulled to within five points at the intermission after Hannah Schumacher and Laila Ramirez combined for a 1-2 finish in the 50 free (29.84). The two paired up again to swim the second-half of the sprint relay (2:05.22), which marked the Pioneers only other win on the day. Tamzyn Pendleton and Audri Kato swam the first two legs of the tag-team race.

View photos at ...

This story is slated for our Jan. 22, print edition.

— - MHC swimming

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