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Ebel leads in points, Tigers finish third

La Grande’s Bryce Ebel had a big day at the OSAA 4A/3A/2A/1A Special District II swim meet. The sophomore was named the high-point swimmer Saturday.
La Grande’s Bryce Ebel had a big day at the OSAA 4A/3A/2A/1A Special District II swim meet. The sophomore was named the high-point swimmer Saturday.
Ebel sets record at the district swimming meet 

GRESHAM — Bryce Ebel made a splash at the high school district meet.  

La Grande’s young team finished the meet in a close third place with 206 points at the OSAA 4A/3A/2A/1A Special District 2 swim meet.  Madras boys won the meet with 259 points and La Salle Prep took second with 209 points. The biggest difference in placement — numbers.

“Both of the teams ahead of us have more swimmers than we do, which makes a big difference in ability to score points,” said Tigers head coach Darren Dutto. “The top 12 swimmers in each race score, which favors larger teams.”

Ebel, a sophomore, was crowned district champion in the 100 butterfly with a time of 53.42, eclipsing the record he set last year by nearly one second. 

Ebel also beat the field in the 50 freestyle to win the district title by .22. He was named high point boy swimmer for the meet. 

“Bryce had two outstanding races,” said Tigers head coach Darren Dutto. “He has positioned himself well to defend his state title in the 100 butterfly next weekend.”

In addition to Ebel’s two victories, La Grande had some strong finishes. Sophomore Keegan Dutto placed third in the 500 freestyle with a time of 5:15.21, dropping 6 seconds from his personal best. Dutto also fifth in the 200 freestyle, finishing in 1:58.15, also a personal best.  Sophomore Josh Ebel placed third in the 200 individual medley and fourth in the 100 backstroke.  Senior Emmitt Ambert placed fourth in the 100 freestyle and ninth in the 50 freestyle.  Freshman Tony Clay placed sixth in the 200 individual medley and seventh in the 100 butterfly.  Sophomore Dean Ricker placed seventh in both the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke.  Freshman Trevor Hoffman placed seventh in the 500 freestyle and eighth in the 200 freestyle.  Freshman Wyatt Perry took tenth in both the 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke events.

Bryce Ebel combined with twin brother Josh, Clay and Ambert to take second in the 200 medley relay.  The Ebels and Ambert combined with Dutto to place second in the 200 freestyle relay, missing first by .12 seconds.  “Both relays were very close and we were beat by just an inch,” said Coach  Dutto.  Clay, Hoffman, Ricker and Dutto combined to place seventh in the 400 freestyle relay.

“We have a young team and the boys competed very well.  Eight of our ten swimmers are underclassmen. This is a very stressful swim meet and they did not get rattled,” said Dutto.

In addition to the great swims by the boys, Coach Darren Dutto was voted Men’s Outstanding Coach of the District by the coaches from the other teams. “This was truly unexpected and an honor. There are some really great teams and coaches in our District,” Dutto said. “I feel blessed to have such a great group of kids, both boys and girls, swimming for me.”

The State Championship meet will be held at Mt. Hood Community College Friday and Saturday. 

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