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Matt Stanger swam a time of 2 minutes, 14.34 seconds to win Saturday’s Special District 3 200-yard individual medley final.
February 13, 2013
ALBANY -- Matt Stanger could not believe his eyes when he looked up to see his time after touching the wall in Saturday's 200-yard individual medley final.
After lifting himself out of the the pool, he had to take a moment alone just to soak in what just happened.
"That is amazing," the Central junior said shortly after not just winning the event and his first district championship, but absolutely shattering his previous personal best by 4 seconds.
"I didn't expect that. I thought more of a 2:16 would have been me, but I don't know. I didn't even put my nose plug in, I was just so into the race."
Nose plug or not, Stanger's performance led the way for the Central swimming team in Saturday's 4A-3A-2A-1A Special District 3 Championships at South Albany. The Panthers' boys team placed third out of 10 teams with 144 points, just behind second-place Blanchet (174) and winner Philomath (244).
Stanger, Nathan Glade (100 breaststroke) and both the 200 freestyle and 200 medley relay teams of Stanger, Glade, Matthew Grandquist and Rahevin Potter-Clark swam their way as qualifiers into Friday and Saturday's 4A-3A-2A-1A state swimming championships at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham.
For Stanger, he was just happy to be in an event that he's come to love.
"It's his favorite thing to do now," Central coach Shawn Martin said of the 200 IM. "He went out and he did really well. I think he'll be able to drop a little more time when he goes to state."
Stanger, who has been to the state finals twice before with Central's relay teams, will make his first appearance in an individual event in the 200 IM, where he's seeded sixth (2 minutes, 14.34 seconds).
He said he already knows what to expect once he's there: much more pressure.
"Everything is so much bigger than life, in a sense," he said. "Everybody there is striving to be better than you. It's just that extreme competition and everybody's so tuned in. It's just really great to go and I'm excited to go again."
Glade, a sophomore, placed third the 100 breaststroke finals with a time of 1:07.59 to take a seventh seed into the state tournament.
The 200 medley relay squad placed third with a time of 1:53.42 and enters the state meet as the ninth seed, while the 200 freestyle placed third with a mark of 1:41.68. It enters Friday's preliminaries as the 11th seed.
The Central girls squad, which did not have a state qualifier, placed eighth in the meet with 67 points. With 205 points, Sisters won the meet and Blanchet (165) was second.
The 200 medley (2:16.91) and the 400 freestyle relay teams were the top placers for Central, finishing sixth. Members of the 200 medley squad were Franki Cable, Sara Spreadbury, Julissa Amador and Liz Olson. Swimming the 400 freestyle relay for the Panthers were Hannah Brown, Sabrina Cedillo, Kate Taylor and Mandi Desmarteau.
CLASS 4A-3A-2A-1A SWIMMING STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS
When: Preliminaries -- Friday, 9 a.m. Finals -- Saturday, 8:15 a.m.
Where: Mt. Hood Community College, Gresham.
Central qualifiers: Boys -- Matt Stanger, 200 individual medley (sixth seed, 2:14.34); Nathan Glade, 100 breaststroke (seventh seed, 1:07.59; 200 freestyle relay team of Stanger, Glade, Matthew Grandquist and Rahevin Potter-Clark * (11th seed, 1:41.66; 200 medley relay team of Stanger, Glade, Grandqist, Potter-Clark * (ninth seed, 1:53.42). Girls -- None.
*Joe Leon and J.D. Protiva will serve as alternates to both relay teams