But Beaverton notches a couple highlights along the way too

by: MILES VANCE - OUT IN FRONT - Jesuit's Matt Piercy breaks the surface of the water on his way to a win in the boys 200-yard individual medley against Beaverton at Beaverton Swim Center on Jan. 17.

BEAVERTON — The Jesuit and Beaverton boys swim teams — two teams sitting at opposite ends of the Metro League standings — turned their Jan. 17 match-up into a pretty good battle.

Jesuit stepped up to win nine of the day’s 11 events, but saw the Beavers grab six seconds and another five thirds before the Crusaders finally pulled away to win 107-63 at Beaverton Swim Center. The victory lifted Jesuit’s record to 4-0 in league and set up a Thursday showdown with similarly unbeaten Sunset at 4 p.m. today (Thursday) at Sunset Swim Center.

“We just have ones left with Sunset and Lincoln to go, so we’ll see how it goes,” said Jesuit senior Sovijja Pou who won the 100-yard butterfly and also swam on all three of his team’s winning relays. “A lot of the Sunset kids are on my club team so it will be fun.”

The Beavers, meanwhile, fell to 0-4 with the loss but enjoyed the competition offered by the talented MILES VANCE - MAKING WAVES - Beaverton's Rigo Mejia-Hernandez races to a runner-up finish in the 500-yard freestyle against Jesuit at Beaverton Swim Center on Jan. 17.

“We saw them walk in and I was thinking ‘Oh boy. There’s half as many of us and twice as many of them,’” said Beaverton freshman Rigo Mejia-Hernandez, who took second in both of his races. But “it was good to have somebody help me keep pace.”

The Crusaders opened the day with a 1-2 finish in the 200 medley relay, followed up with 1-3 finishes in both the 200 freestyle and 200 individual medley races, built their lead to 20 points and just kept going from there.

In that meet-opening race, Jesuit’s Jackson Wahl, Ben Buchalski, Pou and Marcus Imponenti teamed up to win in 1 minute, 43.42 seconds, almost five seconds faster than their runner-up teammates Sean Calkins, Richard Butler, Matt Piercy and Nate House.

Calkins was a two-time winning in individual events, taking top honors in the 50 freestyle at 23.80 (with Beaverton’s James Gayaldo second at 25.04) and coming back later to win the 500 free with a time of 5:00.69 (with Mejia-Hernandez second at 5:10.98).

Other individual winners for the Crusaders were: Wahl in the 200 freestyle at 1:50.87 (with Mejia-Hernandez second at 1:50.97); Piercy in the 200 individual medley with a mark of 2:10.83 (with Gayaldo second there at 2:16.45); Pou in the 100 butterfly at 55.55 (with Beaverton’s Cortlandt Nelsen second at 56.09); and Buchalski in the 50.05 (with Butler second at 50.83).

“I didn’t think (Nelsen) was going to be that close to me because I train with him in practice so it was a little unexpected, but it’s all right,” Pou said of his win in the butterfly. “But it was all right. I think I should have gone a little faster but it was OK.”

In the 200 free relay, Jesuit’s Pou, Piercy, Max Starkel and Buchalski edged out teammates Wahl, Joshua Braunstein, Jason Smits and Butler by .62 to win at 1:37.09. And in the 400 freestyle relay, Imponenti, House, Butler and Pou went 3:32.09 to beat Beaverton’a Mejia-Hernandez, Jeff Soles, Ben Newton and Nelsen by more than two seconds.

Despite all that, the Beavers did have their highlights, including Mejia-Hernandez’s two runner-up swims and wins in the day’s final two individual events by Newton and Nelsen. Newton won the 100 backstroke with a mark of 1:03.01 (with Braunstein second at 1:03.99), and Nelsen led the way in the 100 breaststroke with a winning time of 1:03.42 (with House placing second at 1:09.97).

Following his razor-thin loss to Wahl in the 200 freestyle, Mejia-Hernandez said he was happy with his success.

“I noticed that (Imponenti) was really close to me and I thought (Wahl) would pass me up,” Mejia-Hernandez said. “He’s on my club team, so I knew that was going to be a challenge, but when I passed the one guy up and I was keeping up with the other one, I realized I might have a chance for this.”

In upcoming meets, Jesuit swims at Sunset at 4 p.m. today (Thursday), while the Beavers host Aloha at 4 p.m. today.

To see a complete photo gallery from this meet, please go to

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