Swimming: North Marion boys, girls combine to earn rare sweep
The feat 'hasn't happened very often' in Huskies coach Chere Moore's 15-year tenure.
Chere Moore has been a swimming coach at North Marion High School for 15 years. What she witnessed Jan. 29 was rare.
The Huskies swept their opponents in boys and girls competition during a six-team meet at Molalla Aquatic Center, the result of standout performances by their usual suspects and strong efforts from several young athletes.
North Marions boys won with 93 points to slip past runner-up Salem-Blanchet Catholic (89), while the girls tallied 97 points to top Molalla (82) in a meet that also featured Gladstone, Corbett and Portland-Riverdale.
The triumphs came at an important time for the Huskies, who will compete Feb. 6 in Sweet Home before heading into their district meet Feb. 14-15 at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham.
I was very surprised to learn that both the boys and the girls won the meet, Moore said. That hasnt happened very often in my 15 years of coaching at North Marion. Across the board, all of the athletes are swimming very well right now. Our first-year swimmers are dropping times each week, and our veteran swimmers are either right at their personal bests or lower. We are certainly encouraged for the next couple of weeks.
On the girls side, returning state qualifiers Katie Palmer and Veronica Norris combined for four of the Huskies five victories. Palmer won the 100-yard breaststroke race in 1 minute 18.66 seconds and the 200 individual medley event in 2:33.24, while Norris had the fastest times in the 50 free (27.45 seconds) and 100 backstroke (1:08.34).
Coby Lemon added a first-place finish in the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:12.51.
Still, North Marions victory would not have been possible without its strong supporting cast.
Norris, Palmer and Lemon joined Victoria Suchanski to take second place in the 200 medley relay, finishing 0.12 seconds behind Corbett. The same trio joined Jami Seevers for runner-up honors in the 400 free relay with a time of 4:22.87.
Suchanski and Seevers posted third-place finishes in the 100 breast and 100 fly, respectively.
Seevers, Livia Molodyh, Madi Holum and Sami Pine clocked a third-place time in the 200 free relay. Lemon, Noelle Prescott and Hannah Surcamp placed second, third and fifth, respectively, in the 500 free. Prescott was fourth in the 100 back, and Grace Durst was fifth in the 200 free.
Kendra Kasel scored points in the 200 free.
On the boys side, the Huskies won just three events but rose to the top of the team standings with impressive depth.
Andy Pine contributed to all three victories. He took first place in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle races with times of 24.07 and 54.07 seconds, respectively, and he joined Austin Dobaj, Kyle Torian and Noel Medina to snag top honors in the 200 free relay with a 1:40.11.
North Marion added numerous second- and third-place finishes.
Austin Dobaj was second in the 50 free and third in the 100 free. He also joined Pine, Medina and Torian to post the second-fastest time of the afternoon in the 400 free relay.
Sebastian Powers-Leach and Nathan Jones logged runner-up times in the 100 back and 100 breast, respectively. They teamed up with Torian and Cole Durst to take second in the 200 medley relay.
Powers-Leach (200 free), Medina (200 individual medley), Torian (100 fly), Shawn May (500 free) and Shane Whitehead (100 breast) all garnered third-place points for the Huskies.
Other scorers included Justin Hanson (200 free), Wayne Guretzki (50 free) and Peter Doty (100 breast).
Our usual performers did their thing, but the supporting fifth- through eighth-place points really add up, Moore said.
AT A GLANCE
Jan. 29 at Molalla Aquatic Center
Boys: 1. North Marion, 93; 2. Blanchet Catholic, 89; 3. Gladstone, 51; 4. Molalla, 27; 5. Corbett, 24; 6. Riverdale, 20.
Girls: 1. North Marion, 97; 2. Molalla, 82; 3. Blanchet Catholic, 72; 4. Corbett, 68; 5. Riverdale, 16; 6. Gladstone, 15.