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The La Grande girls swim team poses with head coach Darren Dutto after winning its seventh straight district title.
by CASEY KELLAS / The Observer
For the seventh straight season, the La Grande girls swim team won the District 2 championship.
The meet came down to the final relay of the day, which the Lady Tigers won in 3-minutes, 49.84 seconds, a new district record.
Valley Catholic was right behind at 3:50.99.
The win gave LHS 238 points, while VCHS finished second with 212.5.
“This victory was a true team effort with every girl swimming at least two events in the finals, allowing all of the girls to contribute to the scoring,” LHS head coach Darren Dutto said.
“We would not have won if it wasn’t for those girls in the consolation finals scoring points. Every point counted.”
Sophomore Shelby Baker set two district records while winning the 50-yard freestyle in 25.74 seconds and the 100-yard freestyle in 55.15 seconds.
“Both of Becca’s swims were amazing and should put her in great position for next week’s state meet,” Dutto said.
Junior Becca Haynes won the 100-yard backstroke with a personal-best time of 1-minute, 3.09-seconds, while Hannah Roberts finished fourth in 1:04.68.
Haynes added a fourth-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:03.78.
Freshman Abbey Felley was second in both the 500-yard freestyle (5:42.05) and the 200-yard individual medley (2:26.02).
Moriah Brown finished fourth in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:21.06), while Amber Mullarkey placed fourth in the 100-yard butterfly (1:11.63).
Roberts, Felley, Haynes and Baker teamed up to finish second in the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 2:00.36.
Madras touched the wall just before La Grande to win the event, but both teams set a meet record.
The team of Erin Bodfish, Jasmine Smith, Mullarkey and Brown finished third in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:53.34, before Roberts, Haynes, Felley and Baker won the 400-yard freestyle relay to wrap up the title.
Short-handed boys finish third
The La Grande boys swim team managed a third-place team finish despite having only five swimmers.
The Tigers finished with 137 points, while Madras won with 296 points and La Salle placed second with 237.
Freshman Bryce Ebel set a district record in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 54.24 seconds.
“It was a perfectly swam race. Well executed,” Dutto said of Ebel.
Ebel added a third-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle (22.87).
La Grande’s Georgia Cook finished third in the consolation final of the 200-yard freestyle Saturday at the District 2 swim meet at Veterans Memorial Pool. CASEY KELLAS/The Observer
Josh Ebel placed second in the 200-individual medley (2:11.49), and he finished fourth in the 100 breaststroke (1:06.71).
Keegan Dutto, Emmit Ambert, Josh Ebel and Bryce Ebel teamed up for a second-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay (1:51.17), while Ambert, the Ebels and Dean Ricker placed second in the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:36.43).
“All in all, a great team effort by the boys,” Dutto said.
“This was such a fun, fantastic meet. The kids were great, the support from our parents and the high school was phenomenal.
“I just continue to be amazed at and thankful for the support and encouragement from our
La Grande will compete in the 4A/3A/2A/1A state swimming championships starting Friday at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham.
The meet will wrap up Saturday with the championship events.