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Observer 11/24/14

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WINNING FORM: La Grande's Matt Cook won two more state swimming titles this weekend to go with four titles he won in previous years. (Observer file photo).
WINNING FORM: La Grande's Matt Cook won two more state swimming titles this weekend to go with four titles he won in previous years. (Observer file photo).

La Grande's Matt Cook was at it again this weekend, adding more state titles to his trophy case.

Matt, 9, won the fifth and six state titles of his career Saturday and Sunday in the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard freestyle at the Oregon Long Course State Championships in Albany. These two state titles go with the four others he won last year and two years ago.

Matt won the 50 with a time of 33.24 and the 100 with a time of 1:14.19.

Matt was just getting started, however. He finished in the top three in the state in four other events — the 50 butterfly, the 50 backstroke and the 200 freestyle.

Matt's mother, Kelly Cook, said he swam personal bests in all five events.

Kelly Cook also said Matt has also qualified for a total of three events — the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle — at Sectionals, which are held in February in Federal Way, Wash. Matt is within .10 of a second of qualifying for sectionals in a fourth event — the 50 backstroke.

Cook said Matt is quite serious about his swimming. He already has beaten one youth record held by Owen Kenton, a big star on La Grande High School's championship swim teams.

Matt is already thinking about going after the records of La Grande swimming legends Brenton Dowdy and Matt Hibbert when he gets to high school. After that, he has even bigger dreams.

"His goal is to go to the Olympics," Cook said.


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