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Crusaders team up to edge Skyhawks in final race


Jesuit goes 1-3 in the 400 free relay to beat Southridge 87-83

BEAVERTON — The calendar was pretty clear — last week’s Jesuit vs. Southridge boys swim meet was just the second meet in a long Metro League season.

But apparently no one at Jesuit or Southridge can read a calendar because the Crusaders and Skyhawks went after each other big-time at Beaverton Swim Center on Dec. 13, trading shots and points throughout the meet before Jesuit finally edged away with an 87-83 victory.

by: MILES VANCE - TO VICTORY - Jesuit senior Sovijja Pou races to victory in the 200-yard medley relay against Southridge last week at Beaverton Swim Center.

The win gave the Crusaders sole possession of first place in the Metro League at 2-0, while the Skyhawks lost for the first time and fell to 1-1.

“For the boys, it was a great finish,” said Jesuit coach Bryan Butcher, whose team took first and third in the day’s final relay to seal its victory. “The swimmers were so pumped.”

For their part, the Skyhawks knew how close they’d been to victory and promised to learn from the experience.

“We gave ourselves a chance to win the meet, but Jesuit swam really well as a team on the final relay,” said Southridge coach Jeff Crews. That was a “good lesson for us as a team.”

The meet couldn’t have been much closer either, with Southridge winning six events and Jesuit five, the Crusaders taking second in seven events to the Hawks’ four, and Jesuit grabbing a 6-5 edge in third-place finishes.

With all that as pre-text, the day’s final result was decided in the meet’s final event, the 400 freestyle relay. There, Jesuit’s Ben Buchalski, Sovijja Pou, Sean Calkins and Jackson Wahl took top honors with a time of 3 minutes, 20.01 seconds, while Southridge’s fastest relay — Max Yakubovich, Blake Hokkanen, Vince Palladino and Cody Blandin — clocked in at 3:23.82.

Jesuit then sealed the deal with a third-place finish by Nate House, Max Starkel, Jacob Mitchell and Matt Piercy at 3:48.80, while Southridge’s second-fastest team came home a couple seconds behind at 3:51.33.

“The energy at the end of the meet was great,” Butcher said. “The key for the boys was getting first and third in the 400 free. Every place had an impact.”

“The boys meet was a close one that came down to the final relay,” Crews said. “It has definitely motivated us to work smarter and train better for the rest of the season.”

Jesuit’s other wins against the Skyhawks last week came from: Calkins in the 200 freestyle at 1:53.95 (with teammate Wahl second at 1:54.73); Pou in the 200 individual medley at 2:05.90 (with teammate Richard Butler second at 2:09.58); Buchalski in the 500 free at 5:00.54 (with Southridge’s Palladino second at 5:20.04); and finally, from the 200 free relay team of Marcus Imponenti, Butler, House and Pou winning at 1:33.88.

The Skyhawks, meanwhile got wins from: The 200 medley relay team of Yakubovich, Kyle Dalrymple, Blandin and Braun in 1:40.01; Braun in the 50 free at 22.72 (with teammate Blake Hokkanen second at 23.42) and again in the 100 free at 51.86 (with Imponenti second at 52.05); Yakubovich in the 100 butterfly at 54.0 (with Pou second at 55.84) and also in the 100 backstroke at 55:16 (with Calkins second at 56.02); and Dalrymple in the 100 breaststroke at 1:01.96 (with Buchalski grabbing second place at 1:02.86).

To see a complete photo gallery from this meet, please go to www.milesvance.exposuremanager.com.