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TRYING TO GET BACK TO STATE: Elizabeth Esser of La Grande, finished third in the 500-yard freestyle prelims and is swimming in the district finals today. ().
TRYING TO GET BACK TO STATE: Elizabeth Esser of La Grande, finished third in the 500-yard freestyle prelims and is swimming in the district finals today. ().

The records fell like dominoes in the first day of the Special District 2 swim meet Friday.

The La Grande boys broke two school records and three district records, while the La Grande girls broke a district record during prelims.

The La Grande 400-yard freestyle relay team of Matt Hibbert, Jeremy Younggren, Owen Kenton and Brenton Dowdy set a school record and meet record with a time of 3:20.70, more than 17 seconds faster than second-place Sherwood, and more than five seconds faster than the previous district record.

That time is also half a second faster than the four-year-old 3A state record time of 3:21.24.

Not to be outdone by the boys, the La Grande girls' 400 freestyle relay team of Lindsay Waldrop, Amy McMahan, Kelsey Woodfield and Elizabeth Esser broke the school record with a third-place time of 4:02.97. Coach David Deming said this quartet "demolished" the old school record.

Another relay team, the boys' 200 medley, set a district record with a time of 1:43.14. On this team is Hibbert, Josef Mielke, Dowdy and Kenton.

Dowdy added an individual record with a district and school record time of :21.48 in the 50-yard freestyle. That is also faster than the state meet record of :21.49.

In addition to all the records, a slew of La Grande swimmers set personal best times. Deming said Robyn Mills "did an awesome job" in the 200 individual medley, cutting five seconds off her previous best. She qualified for the finals today. Valerie Butler, in her first year on the team, also qualified for the finals of the 200 individual medley by finishing fourth in prelims.

"Not bad for a freshman," said Deming. He said Butler also swam in the 100 butterfly and finished seventh, which helped her team pick up valuable points, after getting sick.

"The courage and dedication to the team she showed just by getting up there (on the starting platform) ...," said Deming.

Deming said that for a district title, the competition is "wide open" heading into the final day among the girls, with La Grande, La Salle and Sherwood all in the mix.

Deming isn't sure the boys, while getting some amazing individual and relay performances have enough depth for a district title.

— Pierre LaBossire

Special District 2 2004 Championships

Preliminary heats

(Top six places to finals, 7-12 to

consolation finals)

pr — personal record


Individual Results

200-YARD FREESTYLE — 2, Jeremy Younggren, 1:57.64. 200 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY — 2, Owen Kenton, 2:14.09; 6, Josef Mielke, 2:25.41 (pr); 8, Thomas Esser, 2:36.54. 50 FREESTYLE — 1, Brenton Dowdy, 21.48 (school record, district record); 9, Peter Harris, 26.86. 100 BUTTERFLY — 2, Matt Hibbert, 55.85. 100 FREESTYLE — 1, Dowdy, 47.85; 2, Jeremy Younggren, 53.17 (pr); 8, Peter Harris, 1:02.70 (pr). 500 FREESTYLE — 2, Owen Kenton, 5:22.99; 7, Tyler Howland, 6:27.22 (pr). 100 BACKSTROKE — 1, Hibbert, 56.36. 100 BREASTSTROKE — 3, Mielke, 1:09.23; 8, Esser, 1:17.62.


200 MEDLEY — 1, La Grande (Hibbert, Mielke, Dowdy, Kenton), 1:43.14 (district record). 200 FREESTYLE — 3, La Grande (Harris, Esser, Mielke, Younggren), 1:43.36. 400 FREESTYLE — 1, La Grande (Hibbert, Younggren, Kenton, Dowdy), 3:20.70 (school record, district record).


Individual Results

200-YARD FREESTYLE — 6, Elizabeth Esser, 2:11.70; 7, Lindsay Waldrop, 2:13.40 (pr); 10, Hayley Rampton, 2:24.04. 200 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY — 4, Valerie Butler, 2:36.23; 5, Robyn Mills, 2:38.97 (pr); 10, Jennifer Butler, 2:47.02. 50 FREESTYLE — 3, Kelsey Woodfield, 27.43; 6, Amy McMahan, 28.15 (pr). 100 BUTTERFLY — 7, Valerie Butler, 1:13.85. 100 FREESTYLE — 6, Samantha Hibbert, 1:15.31; 6, Andrea Younggren, 1:05.31 (In special swim-off — Younggren, 1:04.64 (pr)(6); Hibbert, 1:06.46 (7)). 500 FREESTYLE — 3, Elizabeth Esser, 6:00.95; 4, Waldrop, 6:02.31; 7, Britney Gray, 6:31.67. 100 BACKSTROKE — 3, McMahan, 1:11.56 (pr); 5, Hibbert, 1:13.27; 6, Jennifer Butler, 1:15.23. 100 BREASTSTROKE — 4, Mills, 1:17.56; 9, Laura Martin, 1:27.29.


200 MEDLEY — 4, La Grande (McMahan, Mills, Valerie Butler, Kelsey Woodfield), 2:04.33 (pr). 200 FREESTYLE — 3, La Grande (Waldrop, Mills, Esser, Woodfield), 1:51.43 (pr). 400 FREESTYLE — 3, La Grande (Waldrop, McMahan, Woodfield, Esser), 4:02.97 (school record).

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