LGSC takes first at home meet

By Observer Upload August 08, 2012 02:16 pm

The La Grande Swim Club hosted its annual home meet this weekend at Veterans Memorial swimming pool.

The club continued its summer success, taking first place in the combined team scoring with 2,407 points.

Baker finished second with 1,072 points, Pendleton placed third with 771 and Walla Walla was fourth at 254 points.

“Many of the La Grande swimmers did well,” coach Darren Dutto said. 

“I was particularly encouraged by the younger swimmers. For many of our younger kids (10 and younger) this was their first or second meet. I see great improvement. My goal is to get these kids to like competition and see the value of self-improvement. This helps to build their self-confidence and to make them life-long swimmers.”

LGSC had six swimmers finish as the high-point winners in their respective age groups.

T.J. Clay was the high-point finisher in the 10 and younger age group, while Garren Dutto won the boys 11-12 age class.

“T.J. had best times in all of his events. He is a great young swimmer who is showing great potential,” Coach Dutto said.

“Garren won all of his events. He also had several best times. He is only 11 and should continue to perform well. He is also very proficient in all four swimming strokes,” the coach added.

Josh Ebel (boys 13-14) and Dominic Clay (boys 15 and older) were the high-point winners in their respective groups, while Hannah Roberts (girls 13-14) and Moriah Brown (girls 15 and older) did the same on the girls side.

“Josh has had a great summer of training. 

“He really shined in this meet in all four of the swimming strokes. He has great potential and continues to strive to that potential,” Dutto said.

“Dominic did really well. He has been training for triathlons, and that really showed in the longer distance events.”

As for Roberts and Brown, the coach added, “Hannah has been training really hard. She is a sprinter, specializing in shorter freestyle and backstroke events. She has made tremendous progress this year.

“Moriah has been hampered by injuries, but she is really starting to get through them and returning to good performances.”

The swim meet was also the last club meet for standout Matt Cook, who will swim for the University of Wyoming next season.

Cook won the 100 freestyle with a time of 52.78. 

He also took first place in the 100 backstroke with a time of 59.38 and the 50 freestyle with a time of 24.25.

Cook teamed up with Ebel, Clay and Keegan Dutto to win the men’s open 200 freestyle relay.

The foursome finished in a time of 1:44.85. 

Coach Dutto added that the timing of the swim meet was appropriate with the 2012 Summer Olympics taking place in London.

“The La Grande Swim Club is proud to be a part of U.S. Swimming and to support our wonderful athletes that so well represent our country at the London Olympics. 

“I am hoping that the Olympic games will inspire our swimmers to strive to achieve all of their goals, swimming and otherwise.”