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Records fall, champions crowned at state swim meet

All four Pacer and Laker teams finish in the top six overall

MATTHEW SHERMAN - Lakeridge's Keaton Blovad takes a breath during the 200 individual medley. In the prelims, Blovad broke state records in both the IM and the 100 backstroke.It was a tremendous showing for the Lakeridge and Lake Oswego swim teams at last week's state meet at Mt. Hood Community College. All four teams placed in the top-six, racking up individual state championships and state records along the way.

The Pacer girls finished second in state and their boys team took sixth while the Lake Oswego boys finished fourth and the Laker girls took fifth.

For the Lakeridge girls, Keaton Blovad lived up to lofty expectations, helping two relays place while taking home a pair of state titles in the individual medley and the backstroke.

Meanwhile, Lake Oswego's Lisa Kaunitz captured a state title in the 200 freestyle and Edward Kang won his second consecutive title in the 100 butterfly.

In the first race of the finals for the girls, Lakeridge finished a strong third in the 200 medley relay, getting strong swims from Blovad, Brynne O'Shea, Ariana Chin and Katie Manzione.

Lake Oswego's medley relay team of Maya Clydesdale, Claire Cranch, Madison Richardson and Grace Marshall would take 10th.

In the boys' medley relay, Lake Oswego's team of Kang, Daniel Kim, Ryan Sklar and Jordan Leis turned in two similar times in the prelims and finals and took third place in 1:39.66.

Next up was Kaunitz in the 200 freestyle for the Lakers. She swam the fastest time in the prelims by more than half a second but received a stiff test in the finals.

Kaunitz led early and was just able to hold off her two strongest competitors with a determined final 25 meters, winning in 1:50.64.

“I think I was a little nervous so it was good to get the jitters out. I'm pretty tall so I just tried to keep my arm straight at the end and hopefully touch them out,” Kaunitz said.

Lakeridge's Sonya Ahmadyar made the consolation finals and took ninth place in 1:56.01.

In the boys 200 freestyle, Lakeridge's Liam O'Shea got into the finals and took sixth place in 1:45.07 while Lake Oswego's Doug Heymann scored points with a 10th place finish.

Next up was the 200 individual medley. In the prelims, Blovad broke the state record with a terrific time of 1:58.95, more than six seconds faster than her closest competitor.

In the finals, Blovad wouldn't quite match that time but still won comfortably by nearly three seconds to claim the state title. Her teammate, Chin would take 12th in the event.

“I would have liked to have gone a little faster (in the final) but I'm happy. I didn't do high school swimming last year and I knew the record had been set so I wanted to go after it and I was really pleased with my prelim,” Blovad said.

In the girls' 50 freestyle, Lake Oswego's Yifan Mao cracked 24 seconds in the finals, finishing in fourth place with a 23.95 while Lakeridge's Skye Buck took 11th.

Richardson would make the consolation finals of the 100 butterfly and take 11th for Lake Oswego and then it was Kang's turn to defend his title.

Kang entered with the fastest time in prelims but knew that he was anything but a lock to repeat. In one of the better finishes of the evening, Kang was strong in his final few strokes to touch the wall in 49.77, less than three tenths ahead of the second-place finisher from Beaverton.

“I definitely felt the pressure this year. I knew the guys next to me were really fast and I have a lot of respect for them. I honestly thought at least one of them got me until I looked at my coaches just like last year,” Kang said.

Sklar also placed in the event for Lake Oswego, taking 12th.

In the 100 freestyle, Mao won the consolation final for Lake Oswego, taking seventh, while Ahmadyar and Manzione were right behind for Lakeridge, taking eighth and ninth.

Leis would also make the consolation finals in the boys 100 freestyle, finishing in 11th.

Next up was the 500 freestyle where Kaunitz turned in the fastest time in the prelims, nearly setting a new state record with a time of 4:53.18. The finals would be an exceptionally fast race and Kaunitz finished a strong fourth, just ahead of Brynne O'Shea from Lakeridge in fifth.

In the boys' 500, Liam O'Shea made his second finals and would drop two seconds off his time from the prelims, taking fourth place in 4:38.90. Heymann would finish in eighth for Lake Oswego.

Lake Oswego and Lakeridge each had strong races in the 200 freestyle relay. Lake Oswego's team of Mao, Marshall, Kaunitz and Alyssa Gustaff finished a very strong second in 1:38.04 while Lakeridge's team of Buck, Ahmadyar, Manzione and Blovad was less than a second behind in third.

In the boys' event, Lakeridge's team of CJ Hansen, Matthew McComish, Sam Swaim and Liam O'Shea took fifth in 1:30.41 while Lake Oswego's squad of Logan Kojrio, Andrew Goodall, Sklar and Heymann took eighth.

In the backstroke, Blovad entered again as the favorite, having set the state record of 53.79 in the prelims. In the finals, she was just a tenth of a second away from breaking it again, winning by more than a second for her second state title of the evening. Teammate Brynne O'Shea took fifth in the event in 56.45.

In the boys' backstroke, Kang won the consolation final in a tim of 52.15 to take seventh while Hansen from Lakeridge took 12th.

Marshall from Lake Oswego took 11th in the 100 breaststroke, leading up to the final race of the night, the 400 freestyle relay.

In the girls' event, Lake Oswego's team of Mao, Gustaff, Clydesdale and Kaunitz went more than two seconds faster from its time in the prelims, taking third place in 3:35.69 while Lakeridge was close behind in fourth with strong swims from Buck, Ahmadyar, O'Shea and Manzione.

For the boys, Lake Oswego needed a strong performance to fend off West Salem for fourth place as a team and it got it as Heymann, Leis, Kojiro and Kang went three seconds faster in the finals, taking fourth place in 3:14.68.

Lakeridge's team of Hansen, McComish, Swaim and O'Shea took fifth, less than two seconds behind.