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By Pat Perkins

Observer Staff Writer

The times keep dropping for the La Grande High School swim teams.

Three swimmers moved into or improved their top-five all-time LHS times in four events, and both the Tiger boys and girls teams won their final home meet of the season Saturday.

All our relays are just dropping time like crazy. Weve already beaten our state and district times from last year, senior Justin Howland said.

In four meets this season, La Grande has competed against just the three other Interstate 84 teams east of The Dalles: Hermiston, Pendleton and Baker. So Saturdays meet at Veterans Memorial Pool was the final tuneup before the homestretch that leads to state.

The La Grande boys, for example, stacked their 400-yard freestyle relay team just to get a time in advance of a large meet this weekend in Hood River.

The teams time of 3 minutes, 30.41 seconds was eight seconds off the school mark.

This is another one of those meets where were going to get a good deal of people setting season bests or personal bests, La Grande coach David Deming said.

Sophomore Brenton Dowdy moved into the all-time top five in the 100 backstroke with a winning time of 59.90 seconds, fifth on the list. He also improved his No. 3 time in the 50 freestyle, winning in 22.21, although Deming and other coaches had him hand-timed in 21.9. The school record is 22.08.

Already this season, Dowdy has broken into the top five in six of eight individual events.

Senior Mandy Randolph was second in the 50 freestyle but improved to fourth on the all-time list with a time of 26.87.

Randolph was also close to her all-time best of 1:05.53 in the 100 butterfly. She won that race in 1:05.78.

Randolph improved despite shoulder problems. Were trying to get her healthy for the state meet, Deming said.

Sophomore Matt Hibbert moved into second place on the all-time list in the 500 freestyle. He shaved nearly 13 seconds off his previous best in the race, easily winning in 5:08.75.

The boys won 10 of 11 events and the girls won four events.

Most of the teams younger swimmers dropped time as well. Freshman Laura Martin shaved 31/2 seconds off her time in the 100 breaststroke and finished third at 1:29.84. Freshman Jeremy Youngren cut time in the 100 freestyle and was ninth at 1:03.93. And sophomore Gillian Hill slashed more than a second off her 50 freestyle time, taking sixth in 30.90.

Until now, La Grande has competed against only one other team in its district: Baker. The Tigers will see several other district and state opponents Saturday in Hood River and Jan. 25 in Stayton.

The district tournament in Feb. 8-9 in McMinnville.

La Grande Invitational

Saturday, at Veterans Memorial Pool


Team scores La Grande 119.5, Pendleton 106, Baker 43, Hermiston 32.5.

200 medley relay 1, La Grande A (Carrie Waldrop, Jennifer Butler, Mandy Randolph, Kelsey Woodfield), 2:08.11; 4, La Grande C (Amy McMahan, Laura Martin, Liesl Mielke, Hilary McAlister), 2:25.03; 7, La Grande B (Bess Buzzard, Nancy Binger, Jenny Villani, Gillian Hill), 2:39.65.

200 freestyle 1, Tammy Tangney, P, 2:05.43; 2, Elizabeth Esser, 2:17.43; 3, Villani, 2:27.93; 5, Mielke, 2:36.06.

200 individual medley 1, Waldrop, 2:28.40; 3, Megan Dickison, 2:42.65.

50 freestyle 1, Beth Newhouse, P, 26.75; 2, Randolph, 26.87; 5, Woodfield, 29.03; 6, Hill, 30.90. Exhibition McAlister, 30.56; Martin, 32.40; Binger, 32.93; McMahan, 32.93; Buzzard, 37.12; Elisha Gerber, 37.80.

100 butterfly 1, Randolph, 1:05.78; 3, Villani, 1:21.31.

100 freestyle 1, Tangney, P, 57.00; 4, Woodfield, 1:06.20; 5, Hill, 1:10.31; 7, McAlister, 1:11.21. Exhibition McMahan, 1:16.34; Gerber, 1:27.80; Buzzard, 1:27.87.

500 freestyle 1, Esser, 6:15.46; 2, Dickison, 6:15.75; 4, Mielke, 7:06.11.

200 freestyle relay 1, Pendleton, 1:49.53; 2, La Grande A (Woodfield, Waldrop, Esser, Randolph), 1:53.66; 6, La Grande B (Dickison, Hill, Binger, McAlister), 2:05.46; 7, La Grande C (Buzzard, Gerber, McMahan, Martin), 2:20.00.

100 backstroke 1, Newhouse, P, 1:05.81; 2, Waldrop, 1:08.46; 5, Butler, 1:18.87.

100 breaststroke 1, Michelle Wilson, H, 1:21.62; 2, Butler, 1:26.59; 3, Martin, 1:29.84; 6, Binger, 1:37.62.

400 freestyle relay 1, Pendleton, 4:09.78; 2, La Grande A (Dickison, Butler, Villani, Esser), 4:31.65.


Team scores La Grande 117, Pendleton 87, Hermiston 61, Baker 18.

200 medley relay 1, La Grande A (Matt Hibbert, Michael Esser, Brenton Dowdy, Justin Howland), 1:45.59.

200 freestyle 1, Esser, 2:02.83; 7, Heath Sell, 2:36.53.

200 individual medley 1, Owen Kenton, 2:15.18.

50 freestyle 1, Dowdy, 22.21; 2, Hibbert, 23.06; 6, Jeremy Youngren, 28.21. Exhibition Tyler Howland, 39.06.

100 butterfly 1, J. Howland, 59.75; 4, Dylan Botham, 1:08.18.

100 freestyle 1, Kenton, 53.18; 8, Greg Hill, 1:01.87; 9, Youngren, 1:03.93. Exhibition T.Howland, 1:26.06.

500 freestyle 1, Hibbert, 5:08.75.

200 freestyle relay 1, Pendleton, 1:41.00; 2, La Grande (Esser, Hill, Botham, Kenton), 1:41.21.

100 backstroke 1, Dowdy, 59.90; 2, J. Howland, 1:04.21; 4, Esser, 1:06.68.

100 breaststroke 1, Botham, 1:09.31; 3, Sell, 1:19.75; 5, Hill, 1:22.65.

400 freestyle relay 1, La Grande (Dowdy, Kenton, J. Howland, Hibbert), 3:30.41.


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