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CHAMPS: The La Grande boys swimming team repeats as champions at the District 2-3A/2A/1A championship in McMinnville on Saturday. (For The Observer/TERESA DOWDY).
CHAMPS: The La Grande boys swimming team repeats as champions at the District 2-3A/2A/1A championship in McMinnville on Saturday. (For The Observer/TERESA DOWDY).

McMINNVILLE The La Grande boys swim team remained undefeated this season with its District 2-3A/2A/1A championship Saturday, but that was not a surprise.

The biggest thing was the girls ending up second, La Grande coach David Deming said.

We had just a few girls that were in the top six that were in the championship finals there, and no first-place finishes, but the thing that really helped was the girls stepped up the second day, and a lot of girls moved up a position.

The girls improvement earned Deming district girls coach of the year honors. He was the boys district coach of the year in 2001.

That was really a big surprise to me, Deming said. Thats a reflection purely on the girls and the quality of swimmers that we tend to put together out here.

The Tiger boys, district runners-up and state champs a year ago, won two relays and got two district titles from Brenton Dowdy and another from Owen Kenton.

The guys were pretty much expected to win the meet, other than we werent 100 percent certain about the depth situation, Deming said. As it turned out, we had enough first-place finishes and won two of the relays, and that set us up to win the meet. We rather handily won the meet.

Dowdy set district records in the 50-yard freestyle and the 100 butterfly. He won the 50 free in 22.10 seconds and the 100 fly in 54.05.

Dowdy nipped Valley Catholics Ben Carlin by a tenth of a second in the freestyle. Earlier this season, at Hood River, Dowdy was the first swimmer to beat Carlin this season in that event, but Carlin got even at a meet in Stayton.

That was a real close race. In fact, we didnt know who won it there for a few minutes, Deming said.

Kenton won the 500 freestyle in 5:16.36. Both relays, the 200 medley (1:44.14) and 400 freestyle (3:26.77) set district records.

Those winners are La Grandes only automatic qualifiers for state; the official heat sheets had not been posted as of Sunday night, leaving several swimmers not knowing whether they have another meet this season. State is Friday and Saturday at Mount Hood Community College in Gresham.

The girls best individual finishes came from Mandy Randolph, who was second in both her events. In the 50 freestyle she swam in 27.36 and in the 100 butterfly she came in at 1:07.40.

Deming was particularly pleased with Randolphs freestyle time, and also with Kelsey Woodfields time in that event. Woodfield did not qualify for the championship finals, but her seventh-place time of 28.47 would have put her fifth had she reached the top six.

The best she could get was seventh, but it was nice to see she picked it up there with a time that was fast enough that would have been fifth in that event, Deming said.

The boys had four second-place performances. Matt Hibbert was second in both the 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke, and Kenton was second in the 200 individual medley. Dylan Botham came in second in the 100 breaststroke.

District 2-3A/2A/1A Swimming Championships

Saturday, at McMinnville

Combined team scores La Grande 481, Wilsonville 465, Sherwood 351, Valley Catholic 335, LaSalle 334, The Dalles 252, Baker 142.


Team scores Wilsonville 294, La Grande 209, Sherwood 191, The Dalles 142, LaSalle 139, Valley Catholic 136, Baker 82.

200 medley relay 3, La Grande (Carrie Waldrop, Megan Dickison, Mandy Randolph, Kelsey Woodfield), 2:05.73.

200 freestyle 3, Elizabeth Esser, 2:11.29; 6, Dickison, 2:17.20; 7, Jenny Villani, 2:23.57.

200 individual medley 5, Waldrop, 2:27.11; 11, Jennifer Butler, 2:46.09.

50 freestyle 2, Randolph, 27.36; 7, Woodfield, 28.47.

100 butterfly 2, Randolph, 1:07.40; 5, Villani, 1:21.23.

100 freestyle 7, Woodfield, 1:03.80; 12, Gillian Hill, 1:15.18.

500 freestyle 5, Esser, 5:54.17; 8, Dickison, 6:06.91; 10, Liesl Mielke, 6:55.32.

200 freestyle relay 5, La Grande (Hill, Dickison, Villani, Esser), 1:58.18.

100 backstroke 3, Waldrop, 1:07.74; 7, Amy McMahan, 1:15.67.

100 breaststroke 7, Butler, 1:26.73; 11, Natalie White, 1:30.77; 12, Laura Martin, 1:31.18.

400 freestyle relay 3, La Grande (Woodfield, Esser, Waldrop, Randolph), 4:11.05.


Team scores La Grande 272, Valley Catholic 199, LaSalle 195, Wilsonville 171, Sherwood 160, The Dalles 110, Baker 60.

200 medley relay 1, La Grande (Matt Hibbert, Michael Esser, Brenton Dowdy, Justin Howland), 1:44.14 (district record).

200 freestyle 2, Hibbert, 1:53.04; 10, Heath Sell, 2:23.77.

200 individual medley 2, Owen Kenton, 2:12.38; 3, Dylan Botham, 2:17.49.

50 freestyle 1, Dowdy, 22.10 (district record); 8, Greg Hill, 27.02; 12, Jeremy Younggren, 27.88.

100 butterfly 1, Dowdy, 54.05 (district record).

100 freestyle 4, J.Howland, 52.76; 7, Hill, 59.77; 8, Younggren, 1:02.23.

500 freestyle 1, Kenton, 5:15.36; 3, Esser, 5:25.09.

200 freestyle relay 3, La Grande (Botham, Hill, Esser, Kenton), 1:42.24.

100 backstroke 2, Hibbert, 55.76; 4, J.Howland, 1:04.95.

100 breaststroke 2, Botham, 1:07.73; 3, Esser, 1:09.40; 8, Sell, 1:17.65.

400 freestyle relay 1, La Grande (Dowdy, Kenton, J.Howland, Hibbert), 3:26.77 (district record).

From Observer staff reports


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