Three swimmers medal at State
Last updated 2/21/2023 at Noon
Clayten Heuberger, Joseph Souza, and Ella Bartlett all medaled at the OSAA 4A/3A/2A/1A swimming championships held February 17-18 at Tualatin Hills Swim Center.
Heuberger, a senior who attends Redmond Proficiency Academy but swims for his hometown Outlaws, finished among the top swimmers in both the 100-yard backstroke and the 50-yard freestyle, placing third in both. The same two swimmers placed ahead of him in both races.
Heuberger clocked 56.46 in the backstroke, the third best time in the prelims, and the next day dropped his finals time to 53.54 in a hotly contested race. The winner, Sam Postlewait of Newport, won in 53.04 and Akira Van de Groenendaal of Catlin Gabel took the runner-up spot in 53.31.
In the 50-yard freestyle, Heuberger took a time of 22.82 into the final, but he could not match the speed of Postlewait (21.77) and Van de Groenendaal (21.89) as he finished in 22.87.
Teammate Joseph Souza, a sophomore, fought his way into the final of the 50-yard freestyle as the sixth and final qualifier with a time of 23.51 in the prelims. He finished sixth in the final as well, with a time of 23.77 to earn a medal.
Souza could not match the magic in the 100-yard breaststroke, where he missed the final spot, placing seventh in the prelims with a season-best time of 1:06.13.
In the girls’ competition, junior Ella Bartlett secured a spot in the finals of the 100-yard breaststroke with a sixth-place finish in a time of 1:15.74. In the finals she lowered her mark to 1:15.62 to take the sixth-place medal.
The winner, Kirsten Sautel of Sweet Home, swam 1:08.22.
In the grueling 500-yard freestyle, Bartlett finished 12th in the prelims (5:51.21), and did not advance to the final.
The winner, ninth grader Becca Koza of Cove, won the race in 5:09.51.
Coach Alex Bick had a lot to say about his three swimmers following the meet,
“It was incredible for all three to make finals and extend their swimming seasons,” he said. “Clayten had personal best swims and gave everything he had in his races. Ella did not make 500-free finals but still set a personal record and left the pool with burning lungs. Ella embodies everything you want in a competitor, and leaves nothing behind when she finishes a race.”
He continued, “Swimming is a tough sport and can be incredibly humbling. Joseph made a big leap to make 50-free finals. He took the race to heart as witnessed by him taking time to sit by himself on the side of the pool. I think he was plotting his plan to come back next year and compete at an even higher level.”
In the team competition, perennial power Catlin Gabel of Portland won both the boys and girls titles handily.