Miller, Torgerson swim to titles at the conference meet

by: DAN BROOD - DISTRICT STAR -- Tigard High School sophomore Kyle Miller is on his way to victory in the 200-yard individual medley Saturday at the Pacific Conference district meet. Miller also won the 500 freestyle event. McMINNVILLE — To say it was a good day for the Tigard High School boys swim team might be an understatement.

Just ask Kyle Miller.

“It’s a pretty great day,” Miller, a Tigard sophomore, said with a smile during the Pacific Conference district swim championships.

Yeah, for the Tigers, it probably was.

After all, both Miller and junior Caleb Torgerson swam to victories in individual events during the district meet finals, held Saturday at the McMinnville Aquatic Center. In addition, Miller and Torgerson teamed with senior Jonathan Yau and junior Jacob Morris to set a new school record in the 200-yard freestyle relay.

“I didn’t expect a day like this,” Miller said. “But it turned out pretty good.”

by: DAN BROOD - SWIM SMILE -- Tigard High School junior Caleb Torgerson smiles after besting the state qualifying time in the 50-yard freestyle event. The Tigers will now have a chance for some more good days, when they will next compete at the Class 6A state championships.

Each event winner at the district meet, as well as those swimmers and relay teams that meet state qualifying standards, and those who earn wild-card bids, advance to the Class 6A state meet, which will be held Friday and Saturday at Mt. Hood Community College.

“I’m going to state,” Torgerson said with a smile. “I’m pretty excited about that.”

Torgerson just barely missed on qualifying for the state meet last year as a sophomore. That seemed to motivate him this year.

And, in Saturday’s district finals, Torgerson didn’t have to wait long to earn his first bid to the state meet.

In his first event of the day, the 50 freestyle, Torgerson sprinted to second place in a state-qualifying time of 22.32 seconds.

“That was a huge relief,” he said. “I didn’t expect to place that high, but I was ready.”

Things would get even better.

Later in the day, in the 100 freestyle finals, Torgerson swam to victory in a time of 48.54.

“Oh my gosh. That feels amazing,” Torgerson said after his district title win. “I really, really wanted it. After the first 50, I felt really good. Coming off the last turn, I saw him (Newberg’s Corbin Day) behind me to my left, and I knew I had it.”

It didn’t take long for Torgerson to look ahead to his first state meet.

by: DAN BROOD - ON TO STATE -- Tigard sophomore Molly Davis qualified for the state meet in the 200-yard freestyle event.“I’ve got high hopes,” he said. “I hope to finish in the top six.”

Meanwhile, Miller will be going to the Class 6A state meet as a two-time Pacific Conference district champion.

The Tiger sophomore earned his first-ever district crown in the 200 individual medley, winning that race on Saturday in a time of 1:59.99.

“That was really thrilling — to touch the wall and get it,” Miller said. “It’s nice to know that all that hard work paid off.”

It paid off again later in the meet, as Miller triumphed in the 500 freestyle with a mark of 4:48.96.

“It wasn’t my best time, but I was really happy with it,” he said. “I felt solid the whole time.”

Like Torgerson, Miller is taking high hopes to this week’s state meet.

“I hope to get close to second or third in the 500,” he said. “I want to get as close to the top as I can.”

The thrills continued for the Tigard boys in the 200 freestyle relay.

In that race, Miller, Morris, Torgerson and Yau set a new school record with there third-place time of 1:31.56, which was also bettered the state-meet qualifying time for that event. The Tigard foursome had set their sights on besting the school record all season.

by: DAN BROOD - RECORD BREAKERS -- Tigard's Kyle Miller and Jonathan Yau celebrate after the Tigers set a new school record in the 200 freestyle relay race.“That was amazing,” Miller said of the school-record performance.

Miller, Morris, Torgerson and Yau also earned a state-meet bid in the 400 freestyle relay with their fourth-place time of 3:22.16 for that event.

“Having teammates there at state is going to be good,” said Miller, who was Tigard’s only representative at the state meet last year.

In addition to the relays, Morris also took third place in the 100 backstroke in a time of 57.94.

The Tigard boys finished in fifth place in the team standings at the district meet with a score of 214 points.

The Tigard girls will be sending a pair of swimmers on to the state meet.

Tiger sophomore Molly Davis earned her state bid in the 200 freestyle with her third-place time of 2:00.56. She also placed fifth in the 100 butterfly with a time of 1:02.68.

Tigard freshman Elizabeth Soldwedel claimed her state spot with her third-place time of 25.41 in the 50 freestyle. She also was sixth in the 100 backstroke with a mark of 1:03.83.

The Tiger girls took sixth place in the team standings at the district meet with 195 points. McMinnville swept the district team championships.

Action at the Class 6A state meet is set to start at 1:45 p.m. Saturday’s championship finals are slated to start at 1 p.m.

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