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Indians swimmers out to challenge Valley Catholic at league championships

League championships begin at 4:15 p.m. on Friday at Eisenschmidt Pool in St. Helens


SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: JAKE MCNEAL - The Scappoose boys' and girls' swim teams look to build on last year's third-place finishes in Friday's Cowapa League championships at Eisenschmidt Pool in St. Helens.The Scappoose swim teams sprint into Friday’s Cowapa League championships at Eisenschmidt Pool in St. Helens with great intentions.

As with last year’s third-place boys’ and girls’ finishes, it’s about finishing.

“The goal is always to shoot for February,” Indians coach David Richmond said. “We’ve been going back and forth with [defending league champion] Valley Catholic all year. Usually someone in the 200 free comes out of nowhere and has a huge performance.”

League championships are set to begin at 4:15 p.m. on Friday at Eisenschmidt Pool in St. Helens.

The newcomer Valley Catholic boys and the Seaside girls won league titles last year.

Indians senior Trace Sweeney, whose 24.32-second personal best in the 50-yard freestyle chases Anthony Markey’s 23.15-second school record set in 1993, leads the boys into action.

“It’s a fun competition between me and the other schools,” Sweeney said. “I’m excited to get close to the school record in the 50. We’re getting conditioned for the rough couple of weeks coming up.”

Junior Austin Sharp, always at Sweeney’s heels, is likely to swim the 50 free and the 100 butterfly.

The 200 free relay ‘A’ team of Matthew Kulp, Justin Melling, Sweeney and Sharp is one to watch.

“The young guys are really good already,” Sweeney said. “I was never this good at that age. Austin will probably break the 50 free record next year. I want to see us in the top three, and first would be awesome.”

Sophomore Gabie Kreuger and the girls are also ready.

“I believe we’re really talented,” Kreuger said. “We’re building speed with tapering [endurance training]: We start with the 200, then by the end of the week we’re doing 50s. We really took the challenge of swimming and getting into it — I think Ciara Dreeszen is ready to peak, and Kayla Miller is always better and better in the backstroke. During the event you can’t focus on form, you focus on getting to the wall as fast as you can.”

The Class 4A/3A/2A/1A District 1 meet, from which the winner of each event qualifies automatically for state, is set for 1 p.m. on Feb. 12 and 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 13 at the Astoria Aquatic Center.

State begins at 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 20-21 at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham.

Sam Herscovitz, who qualified as a senior in the 100-yard backstroke in 2014, was the last Indians swimmer to reach the state meet.

Scappoose has never won a team or individual state swimming championship.

Sweeney led all Scappoose swimmers at the Rainier Invitational on Friday, Jan. 29, as the Indians girls (160 points) and boys (153) were both fifth.

Valley Catholic’s boys (249 points) and Seaside’s girls (213 points) came out on top.

Sweeney was third (59.26) in the boys’ 100 free and was fourth (25.56) in the 50 free.

Sharp (59.95) was just behind Sweeney for fourth in the 100 free.

The boys’ 200 free relay ‘A’ team was fourth (1:45.33).

In the girls’ meet, Kreuger was fourth in both the 200 free (2:25.91) and the 200 individual medley (2:41.15).

The 400 free relay ‘A’ team finished fifth (4:48.77).

Kreuger was the Indians’ top swimmer on Thursday, Jan. 28, at the Astoria Aquatic Center, but the Fishermen boys won 98-71 and the Fishermen girls won 104-66.

Kreuger set two season-bests as she won the 200 free (2:27.07) and was second in the 100 back (1:12.05).

“It shows you her resolve and character,” Richmond said. “No complaints, she just goes out and gets after it.”

Abi Cason was second in both the 200 individual medley (3:17.08) and the 500 free (7:25.79).

Dreeszen was second in the 100 breast (1:31.73).

The girls’ 200 medley relay ‘A’ team of Lauren Herscovitz, Dreeszen, Kreuger and Miller was second (2:24.07), as was the 200 free relay team of Herscovitz, Macy Gray, Ragen Whisenhunt and Kreuger (2:12.47).

“We had Macy Gray and Abi Cason go back-to-back in the 100 free and 500 free, and they had personal-bests in the 100 and season-bests in the 500 free,” Richmond said. “It gives them a lot of confidence when it happens, and that is the main reason we do back-to-backs in difficult events — the momentum it gives them if they give their best.”

In the boys’ meet, Connor Cason won the 100 back (1:19.87).

The 200 medley relay ‘A’ team of Sweeney, Sharp, Will Harley and Kulp won (2:10.20).

Sweeney was second in the 50 free (25.04) and in the 100 free (59.93).

Sharp was second in the 100 butterfly (1:10.24) and in the 100 breast (1:21.24).

Astoria meet

Boys

200 medley relay

1. Scappoose ‘A’ (Trace Sweeney, Austin Sharp, Will Harley, Matthew Kulp), 2:10.20

3. Scappoose ‘B’ (Connor Cason, Quincy Reynolds, Johnathan Bachman, Owen Ross), 2:26.42

200 freestyle

4. Justin Melling, 2:33.38

5. Ryan Leipzig, 2:40.93

200 individual medley

3. Connor Cason, 3:00.60

4. Matthew Kulp, 3:01.64

5. Mason Smiens, 3:09.38

50 freestyle

2. Trace Sweeney, 25.04

3. Owen Ross, 29.63

4. Wyatt Brooks, 29.86

100 butterfly

2. Austin Sharp, 1:10.24

3. Will Harley, 1:32.65

4. Justin Melling, 1:36.10

100 freestyle

2. Trace Sweeney, 59.93

4. Owen Ross, 1:06.48

500 freestyle

4. Wyatt Brooks, 7:00.29

5. Mason Smiens, 7:41.60

200 freestyle relay

2. Scappoose ‘A’ (Justin Melling, Austin Sharp, Matthew Kulp, Trace Sweeney), 1:46.08

3. Scappoose ‘B’ (Quincy Reynolds, Ryan Leipzig, Wyatt Brooks, Mason Smiens), 2:05.29

100 backstroke

1. Connor Cason, 1:19.87

3. Quincy Reynolds, 1:25.76

5. Johnathan Bachman, 1:36.86

100 breaststroke

2. Austin Sharp, 1:21.24

4. Will Harley, 1:29.90

5. Matthew Kulp, 1:31.60

400 freestyle relay

3. Scappoose ‘A’ (Wyatt Brooks, Justin Melling, Connor Cason, Owen Ross), 4:42.45

4. Scappoose ‘B’ (Ryan Leipzig, Johnathan Bachman, Mason Smiens, Will Harley), 5:01.63

Girls

200 medley relay

2. Scappoose ‘A’ (Lauren Herscovitz, Ciara Dreeszen, Gabie Kreuger, Kayla Miller), 2:24.07

4. Scappoose ‘B’ (Christine Becker, Montana Poppenhagen, Hadley Enos, Maddy Thorne), 2:56.40

200 freestyle

1. Gabie Kreuger, 2:27.07

4. Kayla Miller, 2:48.93

200 individual medley

2. Abi Cason, 3:17.08

3. Ragen Whisenhunt, 3:18.31

50 freestyle

3. Macy Gray, 33.72

4. Lauren Herscovitz, 34.06

5. Hadley Enos, 36.31

100 butterfly

4. Macy Gray, 1:40.61

5. Hadley Enos, 1:44.80

100 freestyle

3. Ciara Dreeszen, 1:11.19

500 freestyle

2. Abi Cason, 7:25.79

3. Lauren Herscovitz, 7:46.57

5. Maddy Thorne, 8:53.75

200 freestyle relay

2. Scappoose ‘A’ (Lauren Herscovitz, Macy Gray, Ragen Whisenhunt, Gabie Kreuger), 2:12.47

4. Scappoose ‘B’ (Savannah Burke, Hannah Owens-Bowman, Cascade Howe, Abi Cason), 2:40.76

100 backstroke

2. Gabie Kreuger, 1:12.05

3. Kayla Miller, 1:26.03

100 breaststroke

2. Ciara Dreeszen, 1:31.73

3. Ragen Whisenhunt, 1:42.34

4. Montana Poppenhagen, 1:43.65

400 freestyle relay

2. Scappoose ‘A’ (Ragen Whisenhunt, Macy Gray, Abi Cason, Ciara Dreeszen), 5:04.05

3. Scappoose ‘B’ (Ragen Whisenhunt, Hadley Enos, Montana Poppenhagen, Maddy Thorne), 5:40.81

Rainier Invitational

Scappoose results

Boys

200 medley relay

6. Scapoose ‘A’, 2:24.20

200 freestyle

8. Matthew Kulp, 2:31.67

200 individual medley

6. Austin Sharp, 2:40.06

50 freestyle

4. Trace Sweeney, 25.56

100 butterfly

10. Will Harley, 1:26.03

100 freestyle

3. Trace Sweeney, 59.26

4. Austin Sharp, 59.95

500 freestyle

6. Will Harley, 6:58.74

200 freestyle relay

4. Scappoose ‘A’, 1:45.33

100 backstroke

7. Connor Cason, 1:21.29

100 breaststroke

13. Mason Smiens, 1:45.67

400 freestyle relay

7. Scappoose ‘A’, 4:14.27

Girls

200 medley relay

5. Scappoose ‘A’, 2:27.95

200 freestyle

4. Gabie Kreuger, 2:25.91

200 individual medley

4. Gabie Kreuger, 2:41.15

50 freestyle

10. Kayla Miller, 32.56

100 butterfly

8. Lauren Herscovitz, 1:30.10

100 freestyle

t-6. Ciara Dreeszen, 1:13.24

500 freestyle

6. Abi Cason, 7:18.58

200 freestyle relay

7. Scappoose ‘A’, 2:17.37

100 backstroke

7. Kayla Miller, 1:23.92

100 breaststroke

15. Maddy Thorne, 1:45.07

400 freestyle relay

5. Scappoose ‘A’, 4:48.77

Team scores

Boys

1. Valley Catholic 249

2. Rainier High School 244

3. Catlin Gabel 241

4. Seaside 177

5. Scappoose 153

6. Taft 142

7. Riverdale 46

8. Molalla 1

Girls

1. Seaside 213

2. Catlin Gabel 211

3. Taft 175

4. Rainier High School 172

5. Scappoose 160

6. Valley Catholic 151

7. Molalla 124

8. Riverdale 76