Howard wins girls' 200- and 500-yard freestyle at Northwest Oregon Conference Championships, Parkhurst third in boys' 50 and 100 frees

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: JAKE MCNEAL - Lions junior Chase Parkhurst, lower right, qualified for Class 5A state meet with third-place runs in the Northwest Oregon Conference Championships boys' 50- and 100-yard freestyles on Saturday at Parkrose High in Portland.Trinyty Howard and Chase Parkhurst will challenge for the Lions' first individual state championship in 63 years on Friday at the Mt. Hood Community College Aquatic Center in Gresham.

Don Heacock, Dave Fish and Joe Coats won St. Helens' only state title in the 180-yard medley relay — an event no longer contested — in 1 minute, 50 seconds in 1954.

In the meantime, Howard won the Northwest Oregon Conference 200- and 500-yard freestyles in 2:12.55 and 6:08.08 — the Lions' first such individual league or conference championships since coach Gina Harrington can recall — and Parkhurst was third in the 50 free (23.47) and 100 free (51.67) on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 10-11, at Parkrose High in Portland.

"Looking forward to state, I'm really excited," said Parkhurst, a junior who went fifth in the conference in the 50 and seventh in the 100 a year ago. "Not making it last year really frustrated me and motivated me, so I'll be going to state with a vengeance and that underdog feeling again. I know I will put up some fast times."

Howard, also a junior, reached state with then-seniors Jackie Prevish, Brook Hopkins and then-junior Hannah Spears in the 400 free relay in 2015.

Hillsboro's boys replaced new-Class 6A Liberty as team champion, and La Salle Prep replaced the Spartans girls for the crown.

The Class 5A state preliminaries are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. on Friday at the Mt. Hood Community College Aquatic Center in Gresham, and the top six reach the finals set for 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Howard and Parkhurst are respective 12th and 11th seeds.

Just shy of girls' state qualification were Olive Owens (third in the 100 backstroke [1:15.22]) and Madi Beehler (fifth in the 200 individual medley [3:02.50]).

Owens, Audra Lein, Olea Opdahl and Howard went third in the 400 free relay (4:34.85). Madi Beehler, Opdahl, Lein and Maggie Wheeldon went fourth in the 200 free relay (2:06.68), and Howard, Wheeldon, Owens and Beehler were fifth in the 200 medley relay (2:19.02).

"All of the Lions did extremely well at the NWOC district meet, with many of our swimmers going back Saturday for the finals," Harrington said.

For the boys, Jacob Opdahl (fourth in the 50 free [24.71] and fifth in the 100 butterfly [1:01.03]), Caleb Rickert (fourth in the 100 breaststroke [1:12.26]) and Cooper Montgomery (fifth in the 100 breast [1:12.98]) were finalists.

Opdahl, Rickert, Montgomery and Parkhurst went third in 200 free relay (1:41.99) and fourth in the 200 medley relay (1:54.55).

"I thought that even though our numbers were small, we had a lot of first-places," Parkhurst said. "Plus, being a smaller team, we had a chip on our shoulder. Being an underdog definitely gives me fire in my stomach to get into state."

Class 5A State Championships

Where: Mt. Hood Community College Aquatic Center in Gresham

When: Preliminaries 9 a.m. Friday, finals 1 p.m. Saturday

At stake: Trinyty Howard and Chase Parkhurst hope to chase the Lions' first state championships since 1954

Northwest Oregon Conference

Friday and Saturday

at Parkrose High, in Portland


200-yard medley relay

4. St. Helens 'A' (Caleb Rickert, Cooper Montgomery, Jacob Opdahl, Chase Parkhurst), 1:54.55

200-yard freestyle

9. Caleb Rickert, 2:12.49

50-yard freestyle

3. Chase Parkhurst, 23.47

4. Jacob Opdahl, 24.71

100-yard butterfly

5. Jacob Opdahl, 1:01.03

100-yard freestyle

3. Chase Parkhurst, 51.67

200-yard freestyle relay

3. St. Helens 'A' (Jacob Opdahl, Caleb Rickert, Cooper Montgomery, Chase Parkhurst), 1:41.99

100-yard backstroke

10. Chris Cramer, 1:23.37

100-yard breaststroke

4. Caleb Rickert, 1:12.26

5. Cooper Montgomery, 1:12.98

400-yard freestyle relay

7. St. Helens 'A' (Dylan Brady, Chris Cramer, Jeran Walters, Andru Page), 5:09.99


200-yard medley relay

5. St. Helens 'A' (Trinyty Howard, Maggie Wheeldon, Olive Owens, Madi Beehler), 2:19.02

200-yard freestyle

1. Trinyty Howard, 2:12.55

200-yard individual medley

5. Madi Beehler, 3:01.50

50-yard freestyle relay

10. Maggie Wheeldon, 30.93

100-yard butterfly

9. Victoria Woolf, 1:24.37

100-yard freestyle

7. Olive Owens, 1:02.11

500-yard freestyle

1. Trinyty Howard, 6:08.08

12. Paris Wallace, 8:39.48

200-yard freestyle relay

4. St. Helens 'A' (Madi Beehler, Olea Opdahl, Audra Lein, Maggie Wheeldon), 2:06.68

100-yard backstroke

3. Olive Owens, 1:15.22

7. Audra Lein, 1:21.94

12. Victoria Roberts, 1:39.59

100-yard breaststroke

8. Maggie Wheeldon, 1:30.99

400-yard freestyle relay

3. St. Helens 'A' (Olive Owens, Audra Lein, Olea Opdahl, Trinyty Howard), 4:34.85

Team score


1. Hillsboro 316

2. La Salle Prep 226

3. Parkrose 201

4. St. Helens 133

5. Sandy 123

6. Wilsonville 97

7. Putnam 64


1. La Salle Prep 349

2. Hillsboro 225

3. Putnam 201

4. Wilsonville 190

5. St. Helens 148

6. Sandy 70

7. Milwaukie 40

8. Parkrose 18

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