CORVALLIS — Nathanial Thompson may have joined the swim team last year as a way to condition for the spring tennis season, but this year, the junior from Central High School is in it for something else.
“I want to uphold my family’s legacy of swimming,” Thompson said.
His dad, his aunt, his grandfather and his great-grandfather were all swimmers.
Because of that, Thompson said he feels a little pressure to perform well.
“I’m still trying to beat my dad’s personal record in the 100-yard freestyle,” he said. “Still eight seconds to go.”
Eight seconds might seem daunting, but Thompson notched off six seconds in his own 100 free event at Crescent Valley on Jan. 21, coming in third place at 1:03.78, so he’s well on his way to matching his father’s time.
“Probably not this season though, maybe next season,” he said, smiling.
As for the rest of the season, Thompson said he wants to take five seconds off his backstroke time.
He also helped Clayton Amerman, David Glade and Sean Stephenson finish second in the 200-yard freestyle relay, taking silver at 1:49.63.
The boys team came away with a last-place overall finish against Crescent Valley and the Dallas Dragons, tallying up 91 points.
The girls squad took second place with 129 points.
Freshman Taylor Hagedorn was the girls’ top scorer, nabbing first place in the 200-yard individual medley relay, taking gold in two minutes, 20.97 seconds. She also took the lead in the 100-yard butterfly, with a time of 1:05.68.
In the 50-yard freestyle, senior Lynze Bradley nabbed third place, clocking in at 29.63. She took second place in the 100-yard free, in 1:05.11.
Senior Olivia Cooper nabbed second place in the 100-yard breaststroke, with a time of 1:23.79, taking the silver despite battling an illness.
“I’ve been really sick — this whole weekend I didn’t really leave my bed,” Cooper said. “So, it could have gone a lot worse considering that; I didn’t have any great times but it is what it is.”
Her favorite event is the 100 breaststroke, and it’s been a goal of hers to break the school record in it, which is 1:15. Right now, her best time for that stroke is 1:18.
“I still haven’t gotten there yet, so right now I just want a PR,” she said. “And I’m getting really close to that.”
But overall, for her final season with the Panthers, she just wants to have fun.
“It’s my senior year; I’ve been doing swim for so long, I just want to have a good time with my friends.”
In the 200-yard medley relay, sophomore Madeline Altenburg, Hagedorn, Cooper and Bradley swam to a third-place finish, clocking a 2:14.18 time.
Though neither of the teams placed first, many of its members nabbed PRs, shaving off anywhere from three to 30 seconds.
Head coach Jesse Genualdi was happy with that.
“I was very pleased with our performance, and we learned some things that we took away from the meet to help sharpen our game as we prepare for conference districts on Feb. 14.”
The Panthers traveled to South Albany on Tuesday after press time.