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SMOOTH STROKE: La Grande's Matt Hibbert, seen swimming at the La Grande Invitational, won the 100-yard backstroke and 100 butterfly at The Dalles Invitational Saturday. Hibbert  was a member of the 200 freestyle relay team which broke their own school record set earlier this season. (The Observer/RAENELLE KWOCK).
SMOOTH STROKE: La Grande's Matt Hibbert, seen swimming at the La Grande Invitational, won the 100-yard backstroke and 100 butterfly at The Dalles Invitational Saturday. Hibbert was a member of the 200 freestyle relay team which broke their own school record set earlier this season. (The Observer/RAENELLE KWOCK).

HOOD RIVER — The La Grande boys and girls swim teams got a good preview Saturday of what sort of competition they'll be facing at the district meet.

And they liked what they saw.

The Tiger boys and girls both won at The Dalles Invitational, held in Hood River. The swim teams went up against many of the same teams they will see at district.

Coach David Deming knew his three-time defending state champion boys team was pretty strong, but he was especially happy with the strong teamwide performance of the girls.

"I was quite surprised with the results. I wasn't sure the girls would win," said Deming.

It was a big swim meet, with 12 teams in attendance. The 3A teams from La Grande's district were Valley Catholic, Sherwood, Wilsonville, The Dalles and Gladstone.

The girls tallied 197 team points, well ahead of second—place Sherwood with 165. Gladstone was third with 110, while The Dalles, Wilsonville and Valley Catholic were all well behind.

Deming said he was especially pleased that the girls won the team title without a single individual winner. La Grande's top finishes were Lindsay Waldrop coming in second in the 500-yard freestyle, Elizabeth Esser second in the 200 freestyle and the 400-freestyle relay finishing second.

"Our depth is what put us over the top. We had a lot of top 10's," said Deming.

The boys tallied 189 points, beating second-place Sherwood, which had 148. Wilsonville had 73 points, and The Dalles, Valley Catholic and Gladstone were all well behind.

The boys did have a number of winners, and set a school record in the same event for the second time this year.

The boys 200-yard freestyle relay team of Matt Hibbert, Jeremy Younggren, Owen Kenton and Brenton Dowdy won with a time of 1:31.67, breaking their own school record of 1:31.84 set earlier this season.

The 200-yard medley relay won, as did Dowdy in the 200 individual medley and 100 freestyle. Hibbert won in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke, while Josef Mielke joined La Grande's "Big Three" (Kenton, Dowdy and Hibbert) on the winners' stand by taking first in the 100 breaststroke.

In fact, Deming said the La Grande boys team really should be thought of as the "Big Five." He said Hibbert, Dowdy and Kenton wouldn't be as strong in the relays without the huge contributions of Younggren and Mielke.

"We look pretty good. It looks like Sherwood is going to be the team to beat," said Deming.

— Pierre LaBossiere

The Dalles Invitational

Individual results

(pr) — personal record


200 FREESTYLE — 3, Jeremy Younggren, 1:56.88 (pr); 9, Thomas Esser, 2:18.76 (pr). 200 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY — 1, Brenton Dowdy, 2:05.06; 2, Owen Kenton, 2:14.88; 5, Josef Mielke, 2:28.66 (pr). 50 FREESTYLE — 26, Zack Miller, :30.27; 29, Tyler Howland, :31.05; 38, Daryl Sams, 35.51. 100 BUTTERFLY — 1, Hibbert, 55.00. 100 FREESTYLE — 1, Dowdy, 48.25; 5, Younggren, 54.80; 27, Miller, 1:13.19. 500 FREESTYLE — 2, Kenton, 5:26.35; 12, Howland, 6:51.07 (pr). 100 BACKSTROKE — 1, Hibbert, 57.50. 100 BREASTSTROKE — 1, Mielke, 1:09.99; 8, Esser, 1:16.99 (pr). 400 FREESTYLE RELAY — 7, La Grande, Howland, Miller, Esser, Younggren, 4:34.29.

200 FREESTYLE RELAY — 1, La Grande ‘A' (Hibbert, Younggren, Kenton, Dowdy), 1:31.67 (school record); 10, La Grande ‘B' (Esser, Miller, Howland, Mielke), 1:58.18. 200 MEDLEY RELAY — 1, La Grande (Matt Hibbert, Josef Mielke, Brenton Dowdy, Owen Kenton), 1:44.08.


200 FREESTYLE — 2, Elizabeth Esser, 2:14.37; 3, Lindsay Waldrop, 2:14.84; 8, Hayley Rampton, 2:25.99; 14, Nancy Binger, 2:38.53 (pr). 200 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY — 4, Valerie Butler, 2:38.69 (pr); 8, Robyn Mills, 2:43.37 (pr); 10, Jennifer Butler, 2:48.77. 50 FREESTYLE — 4, Kelsey Woodfield, :27.88; 9, Amy McMahan, :28.56 (pr); 14, Buzzard, :29.70 (pr); 19, Andrea Younggren, :31.15; 20, Binger, :31.23 (pr); 25, Britney Gray, 32.17. 100 BUTTERFLY — 4, Valerie Butler, 1:12.60 (pr); 7, Martin, 1:21.33. 100 FREESTYLE — 6, Esser, 1:01.35 (pr); 8, Woodfield, 1:02.43; 15, Rampton, 1:06.78; 17, Samantha Hibbert, 1:06.93; 20, Younggren, 1:08.48 (pr); 22, Buzzard, 1:10.34 (pr). 500 FREESTYLE — 2, Waldrop, 5:59.50 (pr); 5, Gray, 6:41.38. 100 BACKSTROKE — 4, McMahan, 1:14.60; 5, Hibbert, 1:16.04. 100 BREASTSTROKE — 4, Mills, 1:19.02; 11, Martin, 1:27.05; 14, Jennifer Butler, 1:30.80.

200 MEDLEY RELAY — 3, La Grande ‘A' (McMahan, Mills, Martin, Woodfield), 2:08.16; 7, La Grande ‘B' (Hibbert, Jennifer Butler, Valerie Butler, Buzzard), 2:16.49. 200 FREESTYLE RELAY — 4, La Grande ‘A' (Mills, Martin, Waldrop, Esser), 1:57.01; 10, La Grande ‘B' (Valerie Butler, Binger, Buzzard, Rampton), 2:03.03. 400 FREESTYLE — 2, La Grande ‘A' (McMahan, Waldrop, Woodfield, Esser), 4:10.45; 6, La Grande ‘B' (Hibbert, Younggren, Jennifer Butler, Rampton), 4:44.18.


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