GRESHAM — Lebanon’s Maddy Kelly and West Albany’s Kenzie Settelmeyer showed that the state championships they won in 2013 as sophomores were no accident, while Lebanon senior Wyatt Engler finished his climb up the podium with a title of his own Saturday at the 5A state swimming meet at Mt. Hood Community College.
Kelly defended her state championship in the 50-yard freestyle, as did Settelmeyer in the 100 breaststroke. Engler won the 500 freestyle by a wide margin after placing fourth in that event last year.
Kelly continues to rewrite the Lebanon record book, lowering her time in the 50 free to 24.01 seconds after winning the district meet last week in 24.35. Kelly also placed second in the finals of the 100 free, a race in which she dropped her time by 0.7 seconds to 53.02.
She said there is no time to think during the 50 and no margin for error.
“You just have to get in and go. You have to be spot-on,” Kelly said, adding that she felt good about her chances coming in to the state meet. “I had a good taper, saved my fastest suit for today and left it all in the pool.”
Lebanon coach Gus Arzner said Kelly’s success is tied to her practice habits.
“She’s a great trainer and a great racer. She embraces the training and does everything we ask her to do,” Arzner said. “She wants to race with excellence.”
Settelmeyer’s 2013 championship in the breaststroke was unexpected, but she did not have the luxury of coming in under the radar this season. Not only did she enter this meet as the defending champ, she had also posted the best qualifying time in the event.
The Bulldog junior handled the pressure, winning by more than a second with a time of 1 minute, 7.43 seconds.
West Albany coach Babette Romancier said Settelmeyer broke the school record in the race each of the last three times she swam it.
“I came in here and I knew other girls wanted it. I had the bull’s-eye on my back,” Settelmeyer said. “When I dove, I knew I had it.
“A lot of people thought last year was a fluke, but I knew I had it in me.”
Settelmeyer also recorded a sixth-place finish in the 200 IM, finishing behind teammate Britney Baker, who placed fourth.
Engler faced a different challenge on Saturday in the finals of the 500 free. He was a strong favorite entering the final and was racing the clock as much as he was the field. He wanted to win and he hoped for a time under 5:40.
The Warrior quickly separated himself from the competition and led by about three body lengths at the halfway mark. No one made a charge down the stretch and he finished in 4:43.36, almost four full seconds ahead of second place.
Arzner felt that if the race had been closer, Engler could have approached his goal time.
“It’s tough to swim out by yourself. Would be nice if someone was right on him,” Arzner said. “He was in open water.”
While the hope of a faster time is still out there, there was a state championship to savor.
“I’ve always wanted to be a state champ,” said Engler, who placed second Saturday in the 200 free.
Also in the boys meet, Crescent Valley’s Alex Brookes finished third in the 100 freestyle and fifth in the 100 backstroke.
South Albany’s Bryce Dickerson picked up a fifth-place finish in the 200 individual medley and West’s Austin Barton was fifth in the 100 free and sixth in the 50 free.
Corvallis High’s Ida Donohue placed third in the girls 500 freestyle, with teammate Zoey Rochefort placing sixth.
The 500 is the longest individual event in Oregon high school swimming, but in club competitions, Donohue specializes in the 1,000-yard and 1-mile events.
While she hoped to fare well at state, the primary focus for Donohue and several of her Spartan teammates was on an upcoming sectional competition in March.
“I think she did a great job,” said Corvallis coach Judy Storie. “She’s swimming tired. She did not do a taper because she has a club sectional coming up.”
Donohue said she enjoyed the experience.
“It was a really great race. Christie (Halverson) and Mackenzie (Halligan) are good swimmers and it’s great to get out and swim with them,” Donohue said of the swimmers who took first and second, respectively, in that event.
South Albany’s Molly Beamer finished third in the 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly. Beamer broke the school record of 59.23 seconds in the butterfly in Friday’s preliminaries and lowered it again on Saturday, finishing in 58.86.
“She’s a true competitor. She always seems to be up when she needs to be. She loves to race and hates to lose. That’s a quality you can’t teach,” said South Albany coach Robin Beechert.
Beamer loves to compete, but she also enjoys the atmosphere at the state competition.
During the 50 freestyle final, South Albany and West Albany swimmers and coaches joined the group cheering on Kelly. Likewise, during the girls 400 freestyle relay, Kelly cheered loudly as the Bulldogs and Rebels competed.
Beamer said that kind of camaraderie helps everyone swim faster.
“It’s one of the coolest things about swimming, it’s a big community,” Beamer said.
Team scoring: Summit 86, Bend 36, Hood River 34, Sandy 30, West Albany 29, Mountain View 15, Corvallis 13, Lebanon 12, Sherwood 12, Wilson 7, Wilsonville 7, Franklin 5, Liberty 3, North Eugene 2, Madison 2, Marist 1, Crescent Valley 1
200 medley relay: 4. West Albany (Alexandra Glenn, Kenzie Settelmeyer, MIkayla Kloss, Britney Baker), 1:55.87
200 freestyle: 3. Molly Beamer, SA, 1:55.18
200 individual medley: 4. Britney Baker, WA, 2:14.89; 6. Kenzie Settelmeyer, WA, 2:20.06
50 freestyle: 1. Maddy Kelly, Lebanon, 24.01
100 butterfly: 3. Beamer, SA, 58.86; 6. Emily Shaw, CV, 1:00.1
100 freestyle: 2. Kelly, Lebanon, 53.02
500 freestyle: 3. Ida Donohue, Corvallis, 5:05.05; 6. Zoey Rochefort, Corvallis, 5:20.95
200 freestyle relay: 3. West Albany (Baker, Kloss, Rylie Ball, Lexi Heyerly), 1:42.14; 6. Corvallis (Donohue, Karly Vial, Kayla Witzke, Kayla Ashland),1:45.38
100 breaststroke: 1. Settelmeyer, WA, 1:07.43
400 freestyle relay: 4. Corvallis (Rochefort, Kaarina Nyman, Ashland, Donohue), 3:46.78; 5. West Albany (Glenn, Settelmeyer, Kloss, Heyerly), 3:50.65; 6. South Albany (Sandra Bernhoft, Kindle Timberlake, Sydney Christopherson, Beamer), 3:55.4
Team scoring: Summit 69, Springfield 37, Mtn. View 37, Liberty 36, Wilson 30, Bend 23, Lebanon 14, West Albany 11, Sandy 9, Wilsonville 9, Pendleton 8, Crescent Valley 6, Corvallis 6, Ashland 5, Cleveland 4, South Albany 2, Madison 1
200 medley relay: 6. West Albany (Andrew James, Gabe DeSimone, Zacary Plum, Austin Barton), 1:44.71
200 freestyle: 2. Wyatt Engler, Lebanon, 1:42.87
200 individual medley: 5. Bryce Dickerson, SA, 2:07.49
50 freestyle: 6. Austin Barton , WA, 22.81
100 freestyle: 3. Alex Brookes, CV, 48.79; 5. Barton, WA, 50.3
500 freestyle: 1. Engler, Lebanon, 4:43.36
200 freestyle relay: 4. Corvallis (Charlie Way, Quin Peterson, Andrew Atwood, Trevor Gourley), 1:31.38
100 backstroke: 5. Brookes, CV, 55.00
400 freestyle relay: 4. West Albany (Logan Smith, DeSimone, Plum, Barton), 3:23.28; 6. Lebanon (Max Thompson, Darrin Breshears, Rylan Rogers, Engler), 3:26.46