LHS sets school record at state

February 24, 2014 11:09 am

The La Grande girls swim team poses with its fourth-place trophy from the Class 4A state swim meet. (Courtesy photo)
The La Grande girls swim team poses with its fourth-place trophy from the Class 4A state swim meet. (Courtesy photo)
Tigers win final event to grab fourth place at state meet

GRESHAM —The La Grande High School girls swim team captured fourth place in a field of 32 teams at the OSAA 4A/3A/2A/1A state championship at Mount Hood Community College Saturday.  

The final team scores were not decided until the 400- freestyle relay, the final event of the evening. La Grande was in sixth place prior to the relay and needed a win to move ahead of Henley and Salem Academy to capture the fourth-place trophy.  

The girls did not disappoint. They crushed the field, winning by two seconds and set a new school record in the process. The team of sophomore Hannah Roberts, sophomore Abbey Felley, senior Becca Haynes and junior Shelby Baker finished the race in 3:44.43, becoming state champions. 

“The relay was outstanding. The girls dominated start to finish. I couldn’t be prouder of them,” coach Darren Dutto said.

The four swimmers also had outstanding performances in their individual events.  Shelby Baker finished a strong third place in the 50 freestyle, posting a time of 25.56. Abbey Felley had a third-place finish in the 500 freestyle, swimming a personal best of 5:19.66 and setting a school record in the process. Becca Haynes swam right behind Felley in the 500, taking the fourth place medal with a time of 5:29.33. Haynes also placed fifth in the 200 freestyle with a time of 2:02.38.  Hannah Roberts took fourth in the 100 backstroke in 1:02.24 and 5th in the 100 freestyle with a 56.63.  “All of our girls scored individual points and contributed to our strong fourth place finish.  We did not qualify a full team of six swimmers, so placing fourth with only four swimmers is phenomenal,” said Dutto.

“This was a great cap to our season, and a great way to end senior Becca Hayne’s swimming  career here in La Grande. Each girl swam their best and we are all thinking of this as we went through the meet. Fourth place in this field of fantastic teams was a true testament to these girls.”