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Apollo swimming starts strong

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Sunset boys swimmer Josh Noll won the 200 IM for the Apollos against Aloha on Thursday.

The three-time state swimming champs want it all, not just another 6A crown.

The Sunset boys’ swim team craves a district title too, of course. Winning districts would naturally put the Apollos in position to go for their record-setting fourth straight state title, which would shoot Sunset into another stratosphere of greatness as a program.

Winning each of the five Metro League dual meets might be on the lower half of Sunset’s lengthy catalog of objectives, but be certain the Apollos want to tender their regular season dominance before advancing to the postseason.

Going four-for-four is a step-by-step process, and Sunset strode over that first hurdle on Thursday in its first Metro League dual meet of the year, sweeping Aloha in each of the boys’ events for a 136-34 victory.

Sunset senior and Louisville commit Jonathan Zoucha paced the Apollos by winning the 50 free (23.47), 100 breaststroke (1:01.45), and helping the 200 individual medley (1:50.16) relay take first to began the meet.

Tristan Furnary won the 500 free (5:07.42), 100 butterfly (54.23) and was part of Sunset’s 400 relay that also took first.

It was a superior day for Sunset, who’s striving for rarified air as the season unfolds.

“We’re trying to win it again, four-peat,” said junior Blake Hulstrom. “We have to win the relays, that’s huge. We have to beat Jesuit because they have a good team this year. We have to win the duals, win districts and get to state. Then, we just have to win.”

Hulstrom won the 100 backstroke (58.50), was part of the winning 200 and 400 free relay squads, and was barely edged out for first in the 100 free by fellow Apollo Colin Aslett.

“I just wanted it to be in the same as every other meet, nice and relaxed,” said Hulstrom. “I try to stay positive and just be confident. I’m feeling really good about this season. My times are getting a lot better. I didn’t do so great at state last year, but I’m hoping to be more of a contender and get some more points for the team.”

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Sunset boys swimmer Tristan Furnary won two events for the Apollos and was part of two relay squads.

One of a handful of freshmen who the Apollos are counting on for points, Aslett asserted himself well against Aloha, winning the 100 free in 52.19 while being a part of the winning 200 free relay.

“It’s been a pretty easy transition,” said Aslett. “We’re club swimmers, so we’ve already been to swim meets. This is a little more relaxed, there aren’t as many people.”

Fellow freshman Austin Chang was second in the 100 butterfly (1:00), the 100 breaststroke and was also a cog on two of the Apollos’ relays. Chang is customarily a 100 backstroker and 100 freestyle racer, but said he felt good in the fly and breast.

“It was really fun,” said Chang. “We had a good time. We all went fast. We’re just out there racing with our friends and having fun. There isn’t as much pressure as there is in club.”

Josh Noll won the 200 IM (2:12.80) and the 100 breaststroke for the Apollos. Evan Curtis took first in the 200 free (1:58.97).

Aloha senior TJ Somanand took second in the 200 IM (2:22) and fourth in the 500 free (5:55) for the Warriors.

Somanand’s 200 IM finish was the highest for the Aloha boys who also received strong third-place showings from Justin Hua in the 50 free (24.90) and 100 free (55.16).

Somanand said the 500 didn’t feel as strong as normal, but said he was a little bit more confident in the 200 IM.

“By the time I hit the freestyle, my brain just shut down, and I started swimming fast,” said Somanand. “I probably could’ve put a little bit more on the backstroke and the breaststroke but I was pretty happy with it.”

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Aloha boys swimmer TJ Somanand took second in the 200 IM and 500 freestyle against Sunset on Thursday.

Somanand and Sunset’s Nick Boggs and Brandon Esping fought it out for third, fourth and fifth in the 500 with the two Apollos narrowly touching the wall before Somanand.

“I wanted to start sprinting at the end,” said Somanand. “(Head coach) Lisa (Leslie) told me to spring the last 100 because that’s when the adrenaline would get to me. I built it from the first 300’s.”

For more on the Aloha-Sunset boys’ swim meet, visit beavertonvalleytimes.com




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