Christie Halverson, Noah Norris capture individual championships

by: GREG ARTMAN - Wilsonville sophomore Noah Norris dives into the pool during the 200-yard freestyle relay Feb. 14 at the NWOC district championships at Parkrose High School in Portland. Norris won a league title in the 50 free, qualified for the state meet in the 100 butterfly and helped the relay team earn a state bid.Led by senior Christie Halverson and sophomore Noah Norris, the Wilsonville swimming team won district titles in four events and earned seven state bids at the Northwest Oregon Conference championships Feb. 13-14 at Parkrose High School in Portland.

The Wildcats earned top-three district finishes in girls and boys competition. The girls amassed 212 points to place second behind league champion Sandy (253), and the boys tallied 158 points to take third behind Liberty (251) and Sherwood (231).

Team representatives from both sides will wrap up the season at the OSAA state championships, which will be held Feb. 21-22 at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham.

Halverson returns to the state meet after taking first place in both of her individual races.

She clocked in at 1 minute 55.59 seconds in the girls 200-yard freestyle, defeating Sherwood junior Julia Bush (1:59.36).

Her victory added another chapter to the club teammates’ back-and-forth rivalry. Two years ago, Halverson clipped Bush to win a state title in the event. Last year, Bush edged Halverson to win the NWOC title.

Halverson’s time in the 200 free gives her a No. 2 state seed behind Bend-Summit junior Mackenzie Halligan (1:54.79).

In the 500 free, Halverson didn’t have any serious competition en route to earning another district title. She finished with a 5:13.72, touching the wall more than 30 seconds ahead of Sandy runner-up Asha Gatchell (5:47.90).

Halverson’s time puts her behind only Halligan (5:08.77) in the Class 5A rankings.

Halverson will also compete at the OSAA finals as a member of Wilsonville’s 400 free relay squad, which captured a district title with a time of 4:03.99. St. Helens (4:05.53) was the runner-up.

The ninth-seeded 400 free relay squad, which includes four alternate swimmers, also features junior Hannah Cesario, senior Emma Harms, senior Carolina Ramirez, junior Heather Leitz, senior Andrea Lackides, junior Bri Fernandez and junior Austyn Roelofs.

The Wildcats also received an at-large bid in the girls 200 free relay after clocking a 1:50.59 to place second behind Sandy in the district finals. Including four alternates, the relay team is made up of Cesario, Fernandez, Ramirez, Halverson, Leitz, Roelofs, Aki Takei and Harms.

On the boys side, Norris reeled in Wilsonville’s only district championship. The North Marion transfer sped through the 50 free in 21.75 seconds, building a comfortable cushion between himself and second-place Putnam senior Logan Anspach (23.21).

He enters the state meet as the second-seeded swimmer in the event behind Summit junior Tommy Brewer (21.23).

Norris also qualified for the 5A championships in the 100 butterfly with a 52.33. He snagged the No. 3 seed behind Springfield senior Carlos Hunnicutt (51.16) and Liberty senior Anton Loncar (52.13), who edged him by two-tenths of a second to take the NWOC title.

Norris and the Wildcats advanced a 200 free relay squad to Gresham with a second-place finish at the district meet, where they clocked a 1:36.96 to finish less than half a second behind Sherwood’s top quartet.

The 10th-seeded relay team, which has four alternates, also includes freshmen Chris Glaess and Derek Webb, sophomores Drew Zimmerman and Kyle Ruud, freshman Alex Armitage, sophomore Christian Wilson-Betts and junior Isaac Ramirez.

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NWOC swimming district championships

Feb. 13-14 at Parkrose High School

Boys: 1. Liberty, 251; 2. Sherwood, 231; 3. Wilsonville, 158; 4. St. Helens, 156; 5. Putnam, 129; 6. Sandy, 117; 7. Parkrose, 104; 8. Milwaukie, 72.

Girls: 1. Sandy, 253; 2. Wilsonville, 212; 3. St. Helens, 207; 4. Parkrose, 154; 5. Liberty, 141; 6. Sherwood, 119; 7. Putnam, 97; 8. Milwaukie, 1.

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