PHS sophomore Kyah Weeber swims the 200 IM on Tuesday in the team's home finale. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

In a three-school meet that came down to the final event, Philomath High’s girls swim team defeated Stayton by the closest of margins on an afternoon that featured recognition of the program’s seniors.

The Warriors held an 83-74 edge going into the 400 freestyle relay and although the Eagles won that event, Philomath’s foursome of senior Hannah Beck, freshman Kathleen Donovan, junior Madison Juhl and sophomore Hanna McDaniel beat out Stayton’s second team to hang on for the team title. The Warriors finished with 91 points, Stayton was second at 90 and Kennedy, a Class 2A school out of Mt. Angel, was a distant third at 26.

Stayton won nine events while Philomath and Kennedy each won one, but the Warriors compiled a lot of points with seconds, thirds, fourths and fifths.

Philomath’s 200-yard freestyle relay had the lone victory with a margin of nearly 5 seconds over the runner-up foursome from Stayton. Juhl, sophomore Kyah Weeber, senior Emma Holden and Beck teamed up for a time of 2:04.72.

Stayton’s Avery Mannix and Philomath’s Weeber had two close races in individual events. Mannix beat Weeber by .63 of a second in the 200 individual medley and .93 of a second in the 100 breaststroke. Weeber’s times in those events were 2:36.85 and 1:20.90, respectively.

Sophomore Brooke McDaniel competes in the 200 IM. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

Other second-place finishes for Philomath included Donovan, Hannah McDaniel, Weeber and senior Allison Neelands in the 200 medley relay (2:16.53), Juhl in the 50 freestyle (31.59), Neelands in the 100 butterfly (1:23.69) and Donovan in the 100 backstroke (1:18.81).

The boys swam only against Kennedy and outpointed the visitors by a 60-point margin, 94-34. The Warriors won eight of the 11 events.

Senior Micah Matthews edged Kennedy’s Dakota Heard in the 50-yard sprint by .22 of a second with a time of 26.47. Senior Carrson Hirte had a close race in the 100 backstroke but held off Kennedy’s Cameron Miller by .32 of a second with a time of 56.56.

The Warriors had an interesting six-athlete intrasquad race in the 100 breaststroke with senior Kellen Houchin winning in 1:11.19 and Hirte finishing second at 1:12.75.

Senior Micah Matthews heads toward his finish in the 50 freestyle. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

Besides the 100 breaststroke, five of Philomath’s other wins also occurred in events in which the opponent did not enter any swimmers.

Freshman Mason Stevens swam alone in the 200 freestyle and had a time of 2:48.00 and beat a teammate in the 500 freestyle in 7:38.06. Freshman Ike Avery was unchallenged in the 200 individual medley and touched in 3:08.81.

The 200 medley relay of Hirte, Houchin, freshman Cameron McLennan and sophomore Emmitt Gaskey had a time of 1:59.04. The 400 freestyle relay Gaskey, Stevens, freshman Blake Hauck and freshman Evan Hernandez came in at 5:01.69.

Other second-place finishes for PHS included Houchin in the 100 butterfly (1:07.91), Hauck in the 500 freestyle (8:43.16) and the 200 freestyle relay of Avery, Stevens, McLennan and Houchin (2:03.43).

Kennedy’s wins were by Miller in the 100 butterfly and with its 200 freestyle relay. The Trojans had the only entrants in the 100 freestyle.

Philomath is scheduled to compete Saturday in a meet hosted by Blanchet Catholic.

Freshman Ike Avery swims alone in the 200 IM. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

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