Always a favorite at the state meet level, Newport swimmers swept the team titles Saturday on the final day of the District 1/4A meet, hosted by the Cubs.
There were no team titles for the teams from Clatsop County, as Astoria and Seaside athletes only won a combined three events, but the Fishermen and Gulls had better luck Sunday, qualifying several more swimmers for the state meet as wildcard entrants.
It was the second year in a row that Newport hosted the district meet. The event returns to Astoria next year.
The state meet takes place Feb. 21-22 at Tualatin Hills Aquatic Center in Beaverton.
In the meantime, the Cubs had a great day in their home pool, crushing the district competition.
The Newport girls scored 279 points for a team title, with Tillamook second with 188 points, followed by Taft (179). Astoria (157) was fourth and Seaside (131) sixth out of eight teams.
The Newport boys racked up 297 points to easily top Taft (198) and Seaside (189). Astoria was fifth with 125. And Newport’s combined 576 points was plenty to win the combined team championship.
Among the Clatsop County swimmers, Astoria junior Tori Smith swam her best meet, winning both the 200-yard individual medley in 2 minutes, 22.98 seconds, and then the 100-yard backstroke in 1:03.91 to gain two automatic spots in the state meet.
Smith will have the sixth-best seed time in the 200 IM at the state meet, and will be the eighth seed in the backstroke.
Seaside’s lone win belonged to junior Henry Garvin, who won the 50-yard freestyle final in 23.90 seconds. His time of 24.79 was the second-best in Friday’s preliminary.
“We started off a little sluggish on Friday, but just kept building as the meet went on,” said Seaside coach Shane Spell. “Henry’s win in the 50 was a great race and punched his individual ticket to state.”
The Seaside girls team “continued scoring a lot of points with not a lot of swimmers,” he said. “Kaisa Liljenwall (senior at Warrenton High School) finished up a great three years of swimming with a PR in the 100 (1:02.86) and strong relay legs.
“Our distance swimmers across the board had a lot of good swims, dropping some nice chunks of time.”
Other automatic qualifiers from the district meet (top two in each even qualify for state) included Astoria’s Riley Cameron, who finished second in the 100-yard freestyle in 52.61 seconds, the fifth-best time going into the state meet.
Seaside’s 200-yard freestyle relay foursome of Westin Carter, Luke Verley, Masyn McCulloch and Garvin finished second in 1:39.68, just behind Newport’s 1:38.69.
Luckily for the Fish and the Gulls, the strength and depth of the district resulted in several wildcard qualifiers Sunday.
Cameron finished third in the 200 IM in 2:13.29, good enough for a No. 6 seed at the state meet.
And the Gulls qualified a pair of fourth-place finishers.
Garvin’s time of 55.02 was fourth in the district meet, but qualified for state; and the 400-freestyle relay squad of Carter, McCulloch, Logan Dennis and Leif Rehnert placed fourth in district in 3:56.19, good enough for a No. 12 seed in the state meet.
“That shows how fast our district is,” Spell said. “A fourth place finish in the 400 relay still earned a wildcard slot at state.”
On the girls’ side, the only wildcard qualifier was Astoria’s Grace Peeler in the 100-yard breaststroke, who finished third in 1:17.16.