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Jesuit takes charge

The Crusaders drop the hammer on the previously unbeaten Beaver boys
by: ROLAND SIMMONS, FLYING HIGH — Jesuit junior Sam Conchuratt swims to victory in the 100-yard butterfly against Beaverton.

BEAVERTON - The showdown between the Metro League's unbeaten boys swim teams proved Jesuit to be in a league of its own.

The two-time defending state champion Crusaders took first in all 11 events of Thursday's meet to emerge with a 119-51 win over Beaverton, which fell to 3-1. Jesuit's girls team outdid the boys by sweeping the top three spots in every race to beat the Beavers 140-30 at the Beaverton pool.

Both Crusader teams improved to 4-0 in Metro duals with the boys locking up first place.

'Beaverton's definitely a solid team,' Jesuit sophomore Mac McDonald said. 'Our guys have done an awesome job. They keep stepping up. I think we'll be in competition for state this year.'

Despite graduating talented swimmers, the Crusader boys remain the class of the Metro due to the emergence of underclassmen. McDonald, junior Connor McCarroll and freshman Connor McDonald each won a pair of races Thursday. Juniors Sam Conchuratt and Jacob Bieze won one event.

In addition, all five raced on a pair of victorious relay teams.

While impressed with how well his boys have performed, Jesuit coach Stoddart Smith admitted the team caught a bit of a break.

'That's the best Beaverton boys team in eight years,' Smith said. 'They were missing people. They were running on empty and the times showed it.'

Still, Beavers coach Linda Kavan continued to find reason to praise the effort of her team, which doesn't include a club swimmer.

'Nobody really expected this,' Kavan said. 'All the guys have worked so unbelievably hard. They've improved their times so much and have come together as a team. It's been great.'

Beaverton's times dropped again Thursday, but the Crusaders set the pace in each event. The closest the Beavers came was the 100-yard freestyle when senior Cody Hannan and Mac McDonald made the halfway flip nearly in unison. McDonald pulled away shortly after for the win in 52.11 seconds, with Hannan second at 52.93.

'I kind of watched him out of the corner of my eye and tried to keep a distance,' McDonald said. 'I feel a little sick but that's right around my best (time).'

McDonald also won the 200 individual medley in 2:05.61, while Bieze (2:06.86) was second. Connor McDonald took first in the 200 free with a time of 1:52.29 and later the 100 backstroke in 54.95.

McCarroll won the shortest and longest races, touching first in the 50 freestyle (22.66) and swimming 4:55.44 in the 500 freestyle, which he won at the 2007 state meet.

Conchuratt led a 1-2 Crusader finish in the 100 butterfly, winning in 55.11 with Brian Stocks second in 58.22. Conchuratt's time of 56.53 was second behind Connor McDonald in the 100 backstroke as Jesuit took the top two spots in the final two individual events. Bieze followed with a first in the 100 breaststroke (1:06.12), while senior Paul Bernard was the runner-up.

Connor McDonald, Bieze, McCarroll and Conchuratt teamed to win the meet-opening 200 medley relay (1:43.96). Senior Tim Parker, freshman Chris Ontkean, Mac McDonald and Conchuratt won the 200 freestyle relay in 1:35.23. Both McDonalds, Bieze and McCarroll closed the meet by taking the 400 free relay in 3:34.17.

Senior Justin Nees earned a pair of runner-ups to pace Beaverton. He took second in the 200 free (2:00.94) and 500 free (5:21.39).

'Justin did a great job in the 500 free,' said Kavan, noting it his best time. 'He's such a workhorse.'

Beaver junior Grant Schoen was second in the 50 free in 24.51. Junior Kevin Morris followed by setting his personal best (1:03.40) to take third in the 100 butterfly.

'A good thing about swimming against teams like Jesuit is it makes us go even faster,' Kavan said. 'Even if you get second, you're competing against the state's best.'

Beaverton's girls found it tough even taking second against a deep Jesuit girls team. The Crusaders finished 1-2-3 in every race, led by a pair of victories from sophomore Gabs Nanson and freshmen Megan McCarroll and Casey Briggs.

Nanson won the 200 free (2:03.75) and 100 fly (1:02.94) with teammate Sheila Stocks second in each event. McCarroll touched in first in the 200 IM (2:14.32) and 100 back (100 back) and Briggs did the same in the 500 free (5:38.63) and 100 breast (1:14.05).

Freshman Paige Nibley won the 100 free with a time of 56.54 - 0.17 ahead of freshman Taylor Scroggy, who also won the 50 free in 26.16. Junior Christine Doran was behind Scroggy in the 50 free at 26.22 and added another runner-up finish in the 100 breast (1:15.94).

'The team is doing great,' McCarroll said. 'It will be exciting to see how we compete at districts and state.'

Senior Megan Foley didn't swim against Beaverton but will be needed for today's meet against two-time defending state champ Westview. The Metro finale between the undefeated teams starts at 3:30 p.m. at the Sunset pool.

'It'll be a lot of fun,' Smith said. 'We have more depth than they do but they have experienced seniors.'

Beaverton lost about 20 seniors off last year's girls team. Though fourth was the Beavers' top finish, Kavan credited sophomore Paige Snodgrass (100 back), junior Shannon Busch (200 IM) and senior Hanako Highsmith (100 breast) with having solid swims.

'We have freshmen and sophomores that, if they keep working hard, will get better every year,' Kavan said. 'I told them 'Watch (Jesuit) and pick up pointers because these are some of the best girls in the state.''

The Beavers close their league dual season with a 4 p.m. meet against Sunset at the Beaverton High School pool.