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home : sports : sports May 24, 2016

2/25/2014 1:13:00 PM
Outlaws swim strong in championships

The Outlaws participated in the state championships held at Mt. Hood Community College on Friday and Saturday, February 21-22. There were 12 competitors in each event, and six moved onto finals on the second day. Only swimmers in finals scored points for their respective teams.

Top team finishers are as follows: On the women's side, St. Mary's finished first, North Bend was runner-up, and Sweet Home took third. Sisters only had two women swimmers and still managed to finish 11th. Cottage Grove took championship honors on the men's side, Newport was second, and Madras finished third.

The boys 200-yard medley relay (Brennan Miller, Ian Baldessari, Jonathan Luz and Trevor Barry) went into prelims seeded seventh, and headed into finals seeded fifth. They broke the school record in prelims and again in finals with a time of 1:48.41 for a sixth-place finish.

"We knew the boys 200 medley relay would be tough," said Coach Brittany Baldessari. "Going into the meet second through ninth place were all within a half of a second of each other. Our boys swam strong. Brennan started with a personal-best split in the backstroke, Ian and Jonathan held their own against some of the best breaststrokers and butterfliers in the state, but we fell behind a bit. When Trevor dove in for the free we were neck-and-neck with two other teams and they out-touched us in the end. But, all said and done that is the best medley relay they have swum all season."

Barry, Baldessari, Keenan O'Hern and Brennan Miller swam in the boys 200 freestyle relay. They earned a third-place finish in finals with a time of 1:35.55, a whole two seconds off their prelim time and just shy of the school record.

"These boys' relays are some of the best that Sisters High School has seen in quite a long time," said Baldessari. "They came within .4 of breaking a record in the 200 free relay that has been up for over 10 years. Since the beginning of the season, into districts and onto state they never added time. They just kept getting faster and faster. It is a shame that they are all, with the exception of Jonathan Luz, seniors."

Barry, Baldessari, and Miller all swam in one other event. Barry swam the boys 50 freestyle in prelims. He did not make it to the finals but placed seventh overall with a time of 24.12. Baldessari swam the 100 freestyle and placed eighth in prelims. He did not make the finals but finished at 52.84, just .2 away from the school record currently held by his older brother and assistant coach, Tyler Baldessari. Miller placed seventh in prelims in the 100 backstroke with a time of 59.16, just .3 short of his personal best time.

Mary Stewart and Emily Christen both swam in the girls 50-yard freestyle. Stewart entered prelims seated fifth, came out second, and went on to earn second-place in finals with a time of 25.05, a new school record. Christen entered finals seeded fifth and finished with a time of 25.87, which tied with Hailey Moraes of Valley Catholic for a fifth-place finish.

Baldessari said, "Mary (Stewart) had a tough time at districts last weekend. She lost the 50 free for the first time in her high school career, which psychologically is really difficult to turn to a positive. However, she was able to use her experience as an opportunity to practice mental toughness and take control of her mindset, which really came into play at state."

Stewart also swam the girls 100 butterfly. Mary went into finals seeded fourth and finished fourth with a time of 1:03.03 which set a new school record, over one second faster than the previous record.

Christen finished eighth in prelims in the girls 100 backstroke. She swam a personal best by two seconds with a time of 1:04.82.

"We just threw Emily into the 100 back towards the end of the season for something fun to swim," said Baldessari. "Little did we know that she was a phenomenal backstroker. She just keeps getting faster and faster."

Baldessari told The Nugget that it was a great weekend at the state championships, with swimmers and relay teams setting new state records almost every other event.

Baldessari also noted how proud she was of her team and their accomplishments.

"Our team, although small, swam great this year!" she said. "We tapered perfectly. Every swimmer, whether in districts or state, ended the season with significant time-drop. They worked tremendously hard. I am so proud of them."

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