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Crusaders hit stride vs. Hawks

The two-time defending state champs roll past Southridge in convincing fashion 127-43
by: MILES VANCE, FOCUSED — Jesuit’s Jacob Bieze kicked up waves and left the competition far behind on his way to victory in the 100-yard butterfly against Southridge last week at Conestoga Swim Center.

BEAVERTON - Jesuit's boys swim team just stomped on the accelerator in its 2008 opener.

The Crusaders won 10 of 11 events, took second in seven others and rolled to a convincing 127-43 win over Southridge at Conestoga Swim Center last Thursday. The win lifted Jesuit's Metro League record to 2-0 and kept it in a first-place tie with Beaverton while Southridge dropped to 0-2.

'We have a great group of guys,' said Jesuit junior Sam Conchuratt, a two-time winner in the victory over Southridge. 'Everyone's asking about the great group of seniors that left us … It was a great group of guys and you're never going to be able to replace them, but we still have a great team and we're always asking ourselves - 'Can we actually win state again?' We still have a chance (and) we're going to have fun while we're doing it.'

Conchuratt was one of three two-time winners for the Crusaders last week. His victories came in the 200-yard individual medley (in 2 minutes, 2.31 seconds) and 100 backstroke (57.51), while junior Connor McCarroll set the pace in the 200 freestyle (in 1:50.20) and 100 freestyle (48.22) and junior Jacob Bieze won the 100 butterfly (in 55.19) and the 100 breaststroke (1:05.43).

'Last year, we had seven guys go to state, and this year, we could get seven, eight or nine guys so it just helps us in the process of getting more points,' Conchuratt said. 'All of our club swimmers are just getting back from winter break training, which is, basically, hell ... but once we get back in the groove and start tapering for district and state, then we'll really see some times break.'

Jesuit also won all three of the day's relays, with McCarroll, Conchuratt, Bieze and Alex Schiedler taking the 200 medley in 1:43.34, Schiedler, Connor McDonald, Mac McDonald and Conchuratt topping the 200 freestyle in 1:33.05, and Bieze, both McDonalds and McCarroll winning the 400 freestyle in 3:42.68.

While Jesuit was solid as a rock last Thursday, Southridge was not without its own measure of success. Junior Mitch Wise broke through to win the 50 freestyle with a time of 22.35, finished second to McCarroll in the 100 free by just .44 seconds, and also swam on two of his team's runner-up relays.

'I've gone 22.1 before (in the 50 freestyle), but I'm looking to go really fast at districts,' Wise said. 'I've been doing a lot of strength and endurance stuff. It's been good.'

In addition to his duel with McCarroll in the 100 freestyle, Wise knows he'll also have his hands full in the district 50 freestyle with Westview start Morgon Henderson-Kunz, the reigning state champion.

'It's pretty competitive (against Henderson-Kunz),' he said. 'I'll probably have to swim my fastest times against him, shave a second or two off.'

Kyle Schenone added a runner-up finish in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:09.84, as did the Southridge relay teams of Wise, Schenone, Boomkit Purt and Matthew Moshofsky in the 200 medley relay (in 1:49.37), and Wise, Moshofsky, Schenone and Purt in the 200 free relay (in 1:38.75).

In upcoming meets, Jesuit swims at Aloha at 4 p.m. today (Thursday) while Southridge swims at Beaverton at 4 p.m. today.