TIGER SWIMMERS VIE FOR STATE BERTHS
Individual and team goals are on the minds of La Grande swimmers as they compete in the District 2 Meet today and Saturday in Forest Grove.
The preliminaries start at noon today, and the consolation and championship finals begin at noon Saturday.
From an individual aspect, Tigers at district will strive to qualify for next week's state meet by either winning an open event or finishing in the top 12 when all 3A/2A district results are in Saturday night.
Teamwise, La Grande girls and boys teams want to repeat the District 2 titles they won a year ago.
"We have some very good seeds at the district meet," LHS head coach David Deming said. "We really look solid for the boys and girls."
If the Tiger teams are to repeat, they'd have to finish ahead of the potent Sherwood boys and girls squads, according to Deming.
"I think Sherwood will make a run for the girls and boys state championships," Deming said.
What will help the La Grande girls in particular is the team's quality depth. Swimmers can enter up to four events, and no more than two can be open events.
"We have a real shot at it because of the depth," Deming said of the girls' chances for a district title.
"We want to make sure swimmers swim their events," stressed Deming. "We have someone in every event on the girls side."
Eight LHS swimmers on this year's team competed at state last season. They are seniors Kelsey Woodfield, Amy McMahan, Laura Martin and Jeremy Younggren, juniors Robyn Mills, Lindsay Waldrop and Josef Mielke, and sophomore Valerie Butler.
LHS's top seed among the girls is McMahan, who is seeded third in the 100-yard backstroke. She is sixth in the 500 freestyle. Martin is seeded seventh in the 500 free.
Younggren should qualify in the 100 and 200 freestyle. Mielke has the third seed in the 100 breaststroke going into district, and he's fifth in the 100 butterfly.
Deming said it will be tough for LHS to have a district champion in a relay event.
"Sherwood is a real powerhouse right now," the coach said.
The Tiger could qualify in all three boys relays. LHS is seeded second in the 400 free relay and third in the 200 medley relay.
The state meet is Feb. 18-19 at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham.