Observer staff

The La Grande swim team won 17 of 22 events on its way to a dominant performance at the Baker Invitational Saturday.

The LHS girls won nine of the 11 races and scored 161 points, nearly 100 points more than runner-up Baker (64 points) and more than the Tigers three opponents combined. Pendleton scored 59 points and Hermiston scored 19.

The team of Riana Scott, Romayne Ricker, Kristal Jensen and Lara Insko opened by winning the girls 200 medley relay in 2 minutes, 0.53 seconds, 10 seconds better than second-place Baker. Kennedy Kruse led a 1-2-3-4 finish for the Tigers in the 200 freestyle with a time of 2:13.49. Laramie Ricker (2:19.55), Riley Weigand (2:20.22) and Tulea Setser (2:21.85) rounded out the sweep of the top four spots.

Scott added a victory in the 200 individual medley in 2:19.94 before Romayne Ricker led another sweep, this time of the top three spots, in the 50 freestyle. Ricker won the event in 26.77 seconds, with Jensen (27.27) and Insko (29.53) following.

Jensen edged out Baker’s Corrina Stadler by just over a second to win the 100 butterfly in 1:05.11.

Kruse earned her second win in the 500 freestyle in 6:01.30, with Weigand in second at 6:07.49 for a 1-2 finish. Romayne Ricker, Insko, Jensen and Scott cruised in the 200 freestyle relay in 1:50.25, a race that was a 1-2 finish for La Grande with Laramie Ricker, Abbey Tweten, Anna Gambill and Kruse taking second in 2:00.57.

Romayne Ricker earned her second individual victory — and fourth of the day — by taking the 100 backstroke in 1:05.29. Scott followed with another victory in the 100 breaststroke in 1:12.08.

The boys team also took the team title, winning eight races and scoring 120 points, nearly double runner-up Hermiston (67).

Like the girls team, the boys opened with a win in the 200 medley relay with Nolan Clements, Lance Denny, Dan Felley and Garren Dutto finishing in 1:48.56.

Clements followed with a victory in the 200 freestyle in 2:01.49, and Dutto added a dominant win in the 200 IM in 2:02.81, nearly 23 seconds ahead of second-place Tyler Spratling, of Pendleton.

Felley earned an individual victory in the 100 butterfly in 59.75 seconds before Dutto grabbed a second individual win by taking the 100 freestyle in 49.90.

Clements’ second individual victory came in the 500 freestyle in 5:29.15. Denny, Felley, Makhail Tritchka and Dutto squeaked out a win over Pendleton in the 200 freestyle relay by just over two seconds in 1:42.49. Denny nabbed La Grande’s final win on the day, taking the 100 breaststroke in 1:06.42.

“We had a number of first-time swimmers that placed in scoring position, and 15 or so personal best times. I was pleased with the overall performance of the team at a meet so early in the season,” head coach Darren Dutto said. “On both the men’s and women’s teams we have a great variety of swimmers that allows us to be strong across the entire slate of events. The team is incredibly cohesive and supportive of each other. Those kids who swam at this meet last year are swimming posted faster times, by far, than they did a year ago.”

The Tigers host their home-opening meet Saturday.

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