PHS qualifies in several individual, relay events for 4A swim meet

The Philomath High School boys and girls swim teams will be well-represented at the Class 4A state swim meet this Saturday. The boys qualified five individuals in eight events and two relays while the girls will advance three swimmers in five events and three relays.

The state meet, which is not sanctioned by the Oregon School Activities Association and organized by 4A schools themselves, is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. Saturday at Cottage Grove. District champions earned automatic advancement to the state meet and then the events were filled out to the top 16 with at-large spots based on times.

Sophomore Carrson Hirte qualified in the 50 freestyle (11th, 25.46) and 100 freestyle (eighth, 56.38). Senior Eli McLennan qualified in the 50 freestyle (15th, 25.75) and 100 backstroke (fourth, 1:03.42).

Three PHS boys qualified in the 100 breaststroke with senior Caleb Matthews (10th, 1:16.74), sophomore Kellen Houchin (11th, 1:18.89) and sophomore Micah Matthews (13th, 1:21.94). Houchin also qualified individually in the 100 butterfly (15th, 1:12.66).

The two relays qualifying for the Philomath boys are the 200 medley (fourth, 1:54.90) and 200 freestyle (eighth, 1:44.16). At districts, McLennan, Houchin, Hirte and Caleb Matthews swam legs on both state-qualifying relays.

For the girls, senior Melia Morton qualified in the 200 individual medley (12th, 2:38.16) and the 100 breaststroke (fourth, 1:17.05). Senior Audrey Davis made it in the 200 freestyle (13th, 2:25.24) and 500 freestyle (10th, 6:10.68). Sophomore Emma Holden qualified in the 500 freestyle (16th, 7:20.46).

PHS qualified all three of its relays — 200 medley (12th, 2:22.27), 200 freestyle (eighth, 2:06.21) and 400 freestyle (10th, 5:11.95). The 200 medley relay at districts included junior Ophelia Katsikis, Davis, Morton and senior Ruth Cropp. The 200 freestyle relay swimmers at districts were Davis, sophomore Grace Bennett, Cropp and Morton. And the 400 freestyle relay featured Holden, freshman Madison Juhl, junior Kaeleigh Houchin and Katsikis.

The boys were second at the district meet Friday and the girls were fourth as a team on Saturday.

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