In their first action of the new year, the Taft 7-12 boys and girls swim teams each notched a pair of second place finishes at the Taft Invitational last Thursday.
The Tigers hosted Newport, Toledo, Philomath and Gladstone at the Lincoln City Community Center on Jan. 9. In a hotly contested team match, the Taft boys accumulated 347 team points throughout the day, only to be narrowly beat by the larger Newport Cubs team who tallied 348 en route to a first place finish.
The Newport girls team also collected a first place team finish at 323 points as the Lady Tigers were a runner up at 291 points.
“The girls scores would have been closer but one of our 400 free relays did not finish as one of the swimmers was feeling dizzy and had to stop,” Taft head coach Lissa Parker said.
Competing against three other 4A schools, the elevated level of competition seemed to bring the best out of the Tiger swimmers, as most would clock a personal best time in their respective events. Taft had two first place finishes on the day, the first coming from Sam Cortes, who swam a dominating 2:27.73 in the boys 200-meter individual medley (IM).
The second first place finish came in the girls 200-meter freestyle relay. The Taft team of Lesley Lagunes, Kealy Boyd, Isabelle Serrato and Bryanna Paget swam a 2:26.62 to beat Newport by over three seconds.
“There were some big time drops for swimmers… this time of year we are training hard and getting back up to speed post holidays,” Parker said.
Taft also had several second place finishes including Cortes (boys 100-meter backstroke), Lagunes (girls 100-meter butterfly), Napy Meyer (girls 200-meter IM, girls 100-meter backstroke), Dylan Barrera (boys 100-meter butterfly), Angel Moreno (boys 100-meter breaststroke), the boys 200-meter freestyle relay (Moreno, Ayden Woodard, Caleb Cortes and Michael Young), the girls 400-meter freestyle relay (Meyer, Brieanna LeBoeuf, Ella Knott and Sammy Halferty), the boys 400-meter freestyle relay (Barrera, Sam Cortes, Jose Segura and Mugen Evenson).
“It was a great team effort for a short and intense meet,” Parker said. “Very close swims and good teamwork. It’s always uplifting to have a home meet."
Blanchet Catholic Invitational
Taft didn’t have much of a break as they were back in the pool Saturday for the Blanchet Catholic Invitational on Jan. 11.
The meet featured several teams from larger schools including top finishers from Silverton High School and Scappoose High School, both 5A schools. Regardless of the competition, the Tigers continued to compete well, as the boys placed 4th out of nine schools and the girls placed 6th out of 10 schools.
“It was very crowded conditions at this meet and it was a tough meet with not much rest this week,” Parker said. “But it was a good chance to swim against some other teams.”
Sam Cortes continued his strong week of swims with a pair of second place finishes in the boys 200-yard freestyle (1:58.36) and the boys mixed 500-yard freestyle (5:18.52). Sammy Halferty worked her way into third place in the girls 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:22.38 while also edging closer to the one-minute mark in the 100-yard freestyle at 1:01.71, placing 5th.
Lesley Lagunes, Napy Meyer, Dylan Barrera, Jose Segura, Isabelle Serrato, Mugen Evenson and Angel Moreno all turned in top 10 finishes during the day. Parker noted that Caleb Cortes also had a great swim, dropping five seconds from his 100-yard freestyle best.
In the relays, the boys 200-yard IM A relay placed 3rd, and the B relay also scored points by placing in the Top 10.
“We did not have two girls (gone for this meet), which affected us in terms of placement and had to drop a relay,” Parker said. “This is a long and very crowded meet that put our swimmers under pressure, which is good to make them tougher.”
Taft will now get a week to recover before traveling to Tillamook Jan. 18 to compete in the annual Cheese Relay Meet. Saturday’s meet is scheduled to start at 10:15 a.m.
See more results online at www.angelfire.com/on/lcscswim.