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Gophers rely on depth to claim boys swim title

A missed exchange in the days opening relay dooms Centennials chances


by: THE OUTLOOK: DAVID BALL - Gresham sophomore Duncan Parsons pushes forward during his winning effort in the 500-yard freestyle Saturday.

The Mount Hood Conference boys swim title wouldn’t be decided until the final race of Saturday’s district meet, but it was the first race of the day that doomed Centennial’s chances.

Gresham was clinging to a slim two-point lead heading into the last event — the 400-yard freestyle relay. That meant the Gophers needed to do two things to end the day with a trophy over their heads. First, they had to swim a clean race. Second, they had to stay in front of Centennial.

The two teams were racing in adjoining lanes at the edge of the pool, so it was easy to know where they stood throughout the eight-lap race.

Gresham’s Dalton Boyles got his team out to a sizeable lead over the Eagles after the first leg, and the Gophers maintained at least a body-length gap throughout. Centennial’s Endy Leng made a surge on the anchor leg, but the gap was too much, and Gresham’s Logan Colson was able to touch in a full two seconds in front.

“We were delaying a bit coming off the blocks, just to be sure we were clean on our exchanges,” Colson said. “We couldn’t afford a DQ.”

His words rung true, as it was a failed exchange in the 200 medley relay to start the meet that took 34 team points off the board for Centennial, forcing the Eagles into catch-up mode the rest of the day.

Gresham finished with 373 points, beating the Eagles by four. That was enough to push the Gophers past regular-season champion Central Catholic, third at district, in the season’s final standings.

Look for extended meet coverage including a list of district placers in the Tuesday, Feb. 12, print edition.

View a photo gallery from the district championships at daveball.exposuremanager.com.



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