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HEADING ON TO STATE(Left): La Grande's Lindsay Waldrop is a member of the 200-yard freestyle and 400 freestyle relay teams headed to the 3A state meet.BACK TO STATE(Right): La Grande's Josef Mielke qualified for the 3A state swim meet in the 100-yard breaststroke and 200 medley relay. (The Observer/PIERRE LaBOSSIERE & RAENELLE KWOCK).
HEADING ON TO STATE(Left): La Grande's Lindsay Waldrop is a member of the 200-yard freestyle and 400 freestyle relay teams headed to the 3A state meet.BACK TO STATE(Right): La Grande's Josef Mielke qualified for the 3A state swim meet in the 100-yard breaststroke and 200 medley relay. (The Observer/PIERRE LaBOSSIERE & RAENELLE KWOCK).

Surprising even their coach, both the La Grande boys and girls won their respective District 2 swimming championships Saturday.

The boys in particular continued to shatter district and school records, and the way the Tiger swimmers keep pushing themselves, some state records might be obliterated this weekend at the 3A state meet.

Coach David Deming thought his girls would be in a tough battle for a district title, and he didn't think the boys had that good of a chance because other teams appeared to have better depth. However, both the boys and girls came through with huge days Saturday to win with relative ease.

"Needless to say, we had a great weekend. To come out with championships for both the boys and the girls says a lot about the quality of our depth," said Deming.

The girls tallied 242 points, compared to 225 for La Salle. Meanwhile, the boys had 254 points, beating second-place La Salle, which had 229.

La Grande has some very powerful swimmers who finished in the top two of their events, but was a little lacking in depth for picking up points in the seventh through 12th-place slots.

"We got some points out of kids we weren't sure we were going to get points from," said Deming.

Two of the boys' relay teams broke district records they set during preliminaries Friday. The 200 medley relay team of Matt Hibbert, Josef Mielke, Brenton Dowdy and Owen Kenton set a school and district record with a time of 1:41.97.

Not to be outdone, the 400 freestyle team of Hibbert, Jeremy Younggren, Kenton and Dowdy set school and district records with a time of 3:20.62. This quartet won its race by a whopping 16 seconds.

Dowdy set two individual records. He established a record in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 21.47, winning by three seconds — a huge margin for just 50 yards — and breaking his mark from the day before. Dowdy also set a district record — again for the second time in two days — with in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 47.63.

Deming said these five kids do an amazing job keeping themselves motivated to do better when they are not getting a lot of stiff competition from other relay teams.

"People ask me how Brenton goes out and does these things. All of our boys have done that all year," said Deming. He said he tried to tell Dowdy to take it easy during preliminaries and save himself up for the finals. Dowdy promptly went out and set or helped his teammates set four district records during prelims.

"Brenton doesn't know easy," said Deming.

Hibbert had a great meet individually, winning both the 100 backstroke and 100 butterfly.

The girls' 400 freestyle relay team of Lindsay Waldrop, Amy McMahan, Kelsey Woodfield, Elizabeth Esser set a school record with a time of 4:01.71. That was good enough for third in district.

— Pierre LaBossire

District 2 Swim Meet

Final Results

(pr) — personal record


Team Scores

1, La Grande, 254; 2, La Salle, 229; 3, Sherwood, 223; 4, Wilsonville, 111; 5, Baker, 100; 6, Valley Catholic, 96; 7, The Dalles, 43; 8, Gladstone, 29; 9, De La Salle North Catholic, 19.

Individual Results

200-YARD INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY — 3, Jeremy Younggren, 1:57.18. 200 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY - 2, Owen Kenton, 2:13.49; 4, Josef Mielke, 2:24.77 (pr); 8, Thomas Esser, 2:38.56. 50 FREESTYLE — 1, Brenton Dowdy, 21.47 (district record, school record); 9, Peter Harris, 26.84. 100 BUTTERFLY — 1, Matt Hibbert, 54.10. 100 FREESTYLE — 1, Dowdy, 47.63 (district record); 2, Younggren, 52.76; 7, Peter Harris, 1:01.10 (pr). 500 FREESTYLE — 2, Kenton, 5:24.33; 8, Tyler Howland, 6:27.03 (pr); 10, Daryl Sams, 7:45.00. 100 BACKSTROKE — 1, Hibbert, 55.46. 100 BREASTSTROKE — 2, Mielke, 1:08.76; 8, Esser, 1:18.77.


200 MEDLEY — 1, La Grande (Hibbert, Mielke, Dowdy, Kenton), 1:41.97 (district record, school record). 200 FREESTYLE — 4, La Grande (Harris, Esser, Mielke, Younggren), 1:43.62. 400 FREESTYLE — 1, La Grande (Hibbert, Younggren, Kenton, Dowdy), 3:20.62 (district record, school record).


Team Scores

1, La Grande, 242; 2, La Salle, 225; 3, Sherwood, 185; 4, Gladstone, 146; 5, Wilsonville, 145; 6, The Dalles, 101; 6, Baker, 101; 8, Valley Catholic, 17

Individual Results

200 FREESTYLE — 6, Elizabeth Esser, 2:11.14; 7, Lindsay Waldrop, 2:13.76; 10, Hayley Rampton, 2:20.13 (pr). 200 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY — 2, Valerie Butler, 2:35.11 (pr); 5, Robyn Mills, 2:40.50; 10, Jennifer Butler, 2:46.56. 50 FREESTYLE — 2, Kelsey Woodfield, 27.00 (pr); 6, Amy McMahan, 28.18. 100 BUTTERFLY — 7, Valerie Butler, 1:10.81. 100 FREESTYLE — 6, Andrea Younggren, 1:04.95 (pr); 8, Samantha Hibbert, 1:05.19; 9, Rampton, 1:05.49. 500 FREESTYLE — 3, Esser, 5:58.89; 4, Waldrop, 6:04.89; 8, Britney Gray, 6:34.68. 100 BACKSTROKE — 3, McMahan, 1:11.92; 5, Hibbert, 1:14.39; 6, Jennifer Butler, 1:16.35.


200 MEDLEY — 3, La Grande (McMahan, Mills, Valerie Butler, Woodfield), 2:03.30. 200 FREESTYLE — 3, La Grande (Waldrop, Mills, Esser, Woodfield), 1:51.46. 100 BREASTSTROKE — 3, Mills, 1:16.50 (pr); 7, Laura Martin, 1:25.49. 400 FREESTYLE RELAY — 3, La Grande (Waldrop, McMahan, Woodfield, Esser), 4:01.71 (school record).


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