Jesuits boys make it two titles in a row

Jesuit dominates en route to its second straight championship
by: MILES VANCE, THEY’RE THE BEST — Jesuit senior Quincy Lee hoists the Class 6A state trophy aloft after his team won its second straight big-school championship on Sunday. He is joined by teammates (from left) Sam Conchuratt, Joey Bieze and Garth Summers.

GRESHAM - The Jesuit boys swim team cleared a historic hurdle at last year's Class 4A state swim meet, winning the first-ever state title in the school's long history in the sport.

This year, the Crusaders absolutely soared over that same hurdle, winning their second straight big-school state title and the first-ever Class 6A state championship by more than 60 points. The Class 6A state meet was held Saturday and Sunday at Mt. Hood Aquatic Center.

'It's been great,' said Jesuit senior Quincy Lee, winner of Sunday's 100-yard butterfly. 'There's nothing like bringing home a state championship. I just like having all the guys on the (awards) stand.'

'It feels really good. It feels really good,' added Jesuit sophomore Sam Conchuratt, who swam on both of Jesuit's winning relays. 'We never thought it would be like this. It's amazing. This has to be one of the best teams we've had.'

Jesuit's efforts, which included wins by Lee, Garth Summers, Connor McCarroll and its 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams, lifted it to a state's best total of 186 points in the first Class 6A state meet, while Westview and Tualatin tied for second with 123 points and David Douglas fourth at 118.

Jesuit, which entered the state meet's second day in a strong position, opened the championship finals with a bang, winning the 200 medley relay in 1 minute, 38.39 seconds thanks to McCarroll, Conchuratt, Lee and Mac McDonald.

And that was just the start of the festivities for the Crusaders. After Lee took sixth in the 200 freestyle, Summers came through with his team's first individual win, blasting to victory in the 200 individual medley for the second year in a row, winning this time in 1:51.82.

'It was nice. It was pretty fast so I was happy with that,' said Summers, a senior who will attend the University of Denver on an athletic scholarship next year. 'I knew I had something like that in myself. I just wanted to come out and make a statement and show everyone what I'm capable of and what I can do and I think I did a pretty good job of that.'

Two events later, it was Lee's turn and the senior did not disappoint, racing to victory in the butterfly with a finishing time of 51.05 to beat second-place Ben Rafalski of Gresham at 51.60.

'I was happy with it. It was a little bit slow, but what are you going to do?' Lee said. 'The goal was just to power your way through to first place. It's what you want. That's all that matters at the end of the day.'

Jesuit was back in the winner's circle two events later when McCarroll, a sophomore, outraced Tualatin's Gary Roberson and Westview's Carlos Nunez to win in 4:39.89; Roberson ended his race at 4:45.48 and Nunez at 4:47.62.

'It's great. I felt pretty going good into the finals,' said McCarroll, who set a personal record by three seconds. 'I knew those guys were probably give me a good race, but I felt pretty good going in. It was a great swim.'

The Crusaders picked up more points in the 200 freestyle relay, with Joey Bieze, Lee, McDonald and Summers taking second at 1:28.39, while Newberg was first at 1:28.02. McCarroll very nearly added a second win in the 100 backstroke, but had to settle for second place at 52.06, trailing only Brett Nagle of David Douglas and his winning time of 51.83.

Summers added a runner-up finish in his second individual event, the 100 breaststroke, closing the event in 58.60 with Tualatin's Tom Cole first in 58.18. And then, with their points lead already secure, the Crusaders closed the day with a triumphant splash through the 400 freestyle relay, racing to victory in 3:13.95 behind Bieze, McCarroll, Conchuratt and Summers.

'We were pretty sure we had it won before the 400; we just didn't want to screw it up,' Conchuratt said. 'We had safe starts and then everybody went all out.'

And that team title meant everything to the Crusaders, even more than their many individual successes.

'I'm here for the team. I'm here to take home another state championship,' Summers explained. 'That's what I love about Jesuit and my team and what we do. We care about each other enough to put aside our individual success and go for the team success. It's a great environment. I wouldn't want to be anyplace else.'