CORVALLIS — With the 5A Mid-Willamette Conference district meet right around the corner, the Central and Dallas High School swim teams finished out their regular season on Jan. 29 at Corvallis with goals in mind for one of their biggest meets of the season.
The Central Panthers boys team nabbed second place with 79 points, while the girls squad had 69 points for second place.
Head coach Jesse Genualdi said he is pleased with how far his swimmers have come this year.
“It has been a very successful year for us this year,” he said. “These student-athletes have worked so hard this year both in the pool and in the class room and it is starting to pay off. We will continue to do focus on every little detail that we possibly can to prepare for districts.”
He also noted that five of his swimmers have 4.0 GPAs or higher, including Coral Bennett, Daisy Torres, Lynze Bradley, Olivia Cooper and Sean Stephenson.
Numerous swimmers clinched personal records, including Bradley, who PR’d in the 100-yard freestyle and the 200 freestyle.
“I PR’d in everything, so the 100 and 200 free,” she said, smiling. “I PR’d in the 200 by a second and the 100 free by two seconds from last year’s districts time, so that’s pretty good.”
At the time of the meet, she was still trying to figure out which events she wanted to swim at next week’s meet, but she did know she wanted to at least make podium in whichever event she chose.
“I want to get in the top eight for something,” she said. ... “Last year I got 10th in the backstroke, so hopefully I get something around that this year.”
On the boys team, junior David Glade PR’d in the 500-yard freestyle event by three seconds, coming in at least ten seconds faster than his opponents.
“It was tough,” Glade said. “Toward the second half of it my arms started to get really sore but I had to keep looking at my coach, because you always have to keep the fast-paced kick and strokes going on, and I managed to PR by a couple seconds.”
Last season, Glade’s older brother made it to state, which Glade said adds pressure to his season to also make it to the state meet.
“I’m trying to meet up with my brother Daniel’s times,” he said ... “He graduated last year, but I’m on the road to get there, just have to keep trying as hard as I can.”
For districts, he’s set big goals for himself: “I want to see if I can make a miracle happen, maybe get (the 500 freestyle) below a 5:40 to high 5:30s. And of course help my teammates in the 400-yard relay.”
The Dragons swim team may have been at a disadvantage this year with a five-man team, but if a team could be measured by heart, Dallas would be among the top of the line.
Gabriel Applegate, a junior, took fourth in the 100-yard butterfly, coming in at 1:11.98, third in the 200 freestyle, with 2:26.82, and helped his 200-yard medley relay team finish second.
He said it wasn’t his best meet, but that he hopes he and his team can show up to the district meet fully prepared to compete.
“Hopefully we show our full potential and be the best team we can, and encourage and help each other to be the best they can,” he said.
Senior Isaiah Compton nabbed second place in the 100-yard breaststroke, with 1:21.56, second in the 100 butterfly, at 1:08.59, and joined Applegate, David Beasley and Isaiah Dressel for the 200 yard relay.
It’s his last year of high school swimming, and he said he’s enjoyed the experience of being with the Dragons.
“It’s been just a journey really, learning a lot from this experience,” he said. “I did the 100 butterfly, which I gained two seconds this time, but I think it’s something with my turns, so we will see what I can do with that. It’s one of my favorite strokes, so I’m going to keep working on it rather than any other stroke. So we will see what happens (at districts).”
“Maybe even make it to state,” Applegate chimed in.
“Who knows,” Compton added, shrugging.
The district swim meets begins on Friday at Osborne Aquatic Center in Corvallis, with finals beginning at 1:15 p.m. on Saturday.