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Wildcat boys tie for second again at state

Morgon Henderson-Kunz wins twice and the Wildcats take second a second straight year
by: MILES VANCE, BEST OF ‘WEST’ — Westview sophomore Morgon Henderson-Kunz swam to two state titles at the Class 6A state meet on Sunday at Mt. Hood Aquatic Center.

GRESHAM - For the second straight year, Westview's boys swim team was - along with Tualatin - the best of the rest in the state's big-school state swim meet.

The Wildcats swam to a second-place tie with Tualatin for the second year in a row on Sunday (also finishing behind Jesuit for the second year in a row), racking up a total of 123 points to fend off fourth-place David Douglas and trail only the Crusaders' winning total of 186. The Class 6A state meet was held Saturday and Sunday at Mt. Hood Aquatic Center.

Westview's success was built squarely on the backs of sophomore Morgon Henderson-Kunz, junior Carlos Nunez and freshmen Steven Ung and Jonathan Yuan. Henderson-Kunz blasted to victory in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 21.19 seconds (to edge out Roseburg's Eric Saylor at 21.78) and came back later to win his second straight state crown in the 100 freestyle, where he notched a winning time of 45.20; that mark set a new state meet record, eclipsing the previous mark of 46.12 set by Sheldon's Dan Orre in 2000.

'It's nice,' Henderson-Kunz said after his win in the 50 free. 'A state

championship is always pretty good to get. I was pretty much just trying my best.'

After winning the 50 free by more than half a second, Henderson-Kunz really turned on the jets in the 100, his favorite event, to win by 2.8 seconds over Grant's Robert Ellertson.

'I knew I could improve on my time from last year,' he said. 'I've had a couple times that were close to my best time that weren't exactly all out or good races, so I knew I could improve, but I didn't know by how much and I thought it was a good race.

'I knew (the previous state record) was pretty close to what I'd went but I didn't know the exact time. I knew I could, hopefully, take it down.'

Nunez did his part in his two events, the 200 and 500 freestyle races, racing to second in the 200 at 1:44.23 (with David Douglas' Brett Nagle first in 1:41.11) and then to third in the 500 at 4:47.62 (with Jesuit's Connor McCarroll first at 4:39.89 and Tualatin's Gary Roberson second at 4:45.48).

'I thought it could have been a little bit better but it was good,' Nunez said of his 200 freestyle. 'I'm just happy and excited to be here. I was real tired this morning but now I'm good.'

Westview also got a sixth-place finish in the 100 free from Ung (in 49.79), a second from its 400 freestyle relay team in 3:14.25 and a third from its 200 free relay team in 1:30.0.

Sunset was the only other Metro team to place swimmers in Sunday's final round, with Danny Recordon grabbing third in the 50 freestyle at 21.90 and Tristan Briggs taking fourth in the 500 freestyle at 4:49.17.