The Philomath High School boys and girls swim teams opened the season Tuesday with a home dual against Stayton. The boys won four events, including two of the three relays, and edged the Eagles, 59-52. The girls, meanwhile, put a shorthanded squad into the pool and lost to the visitors, 105-50.
“One thing I told them after the meet is that we are not interested in discussing any kind of an asterisk season …. we will continue to work hard to get faster and improve ourselves striving to be the best version of ourselves and our team,” PHS coach Daniel Mikula said. “Some really great swims from both the veteran swimmers as well as some of the new swimmers which leaves me looking forward to the season and those to follow.”
Two individuals had victories for the boys with sophomore Kellen Houchin in the 100-yard breaststroke and junior Braedon Littrell in the 100 butterfly. Houchin touched the wall with a time of 1:21.12 just ahead of senior teammate Caleb Matthews, who was second in 1:21.71. Littrell’s time in the fly was 1:39.72.
The 200-yard freestyle relay beat Stayton by more than 5 seconds with senior Eli McLennan, Houchin, Matthews and sophomore Carrson HIrte. The 200-yard medley relay swam unopposed and came in with a time of 2:00.56 with legs turned in by McLennan, Houchin, Hirte and Matthews.
The girls’ lone victory in the dual came in the 200 IM with senior Audrey Davis. Going up against two Stayton swimmers, Davis came in with a time of 2:41.84, which was 1.69 seconds better than the runner-up.
“Stayton had some depth on the girls’ side that we just could not counter with numerous girls out this week” in preparation for state track, Mikula said.
The team captains choose PHS swimmers of the meet based on “effort, spirit and all-around embodiment of what it means to be a Warrior,” Mikula said. Littrell for the boys and Madison Juhl for the girls earned that recognition out of this first meet.
Philomath-Stayton Dual Tuesday, May 18 at Clemens Community Pool, Philomath BOYS