Carrson Hirte
Philomath junior Carrson Hirte took first place in both the 50-yard freestyle and 50-yard backstroke at Saturday’s District Sprint Meet at Albany Community Pool. (Photo by Logan Hannigan-Downs/Philomath News)

Juniors Carrson Hirte and Kellen Houchin had victories Saturday at the District Sprint Meet on Saturday at Albany Community Pool. Hirte won both the 50-yard freestyle and 50-yard backstroke while Houchin touched first in the 50-yard breaststroke at the event hosted by Sweet Home High School.

In the 50 free, Hirte finished in 25.01 seconds to win by just under 1 second over Sweet Home’s Micah Wright. The backstroke race wasn’t as close with Hirte taking first by 2.36 seconds over runner-up Jacob Gehley of Cascade with a time of 28.89.


Houchin took first in the 50 breaststroke in 34.49, which was 1.11 ahead of sophomore teammate Henry Katsikis. Houchin finished second in the 50 butterfly with a time of 30.32, nearly 1 second behind the winner, Sisters’ Joseph Souza.

In addition to his second-place showing in the 50 breast with a 35.60, Katsikis had a sixth-place finish in the 50 freestyle in 28.63.

Other PHS swimmers with top-six finishes in the individual races included junior Micah Matthews with fourth in the 50 butterfly (32.63) and fifth in the 100 individual medley (1:11.11), and senior Braedon Littrell with fifth in the 50 butterfly (33.61).

Warriors junior Kellen Houchin was the 50-yard breaststroke winner at Saturday’s meet in Albany. (Photo by Logan Hannigan-Downs/Philomath News)

Philomath’s 200 medley relay and 200 freestyle relay both had third-place finishes. The medley relay of Matthews, Houchin, Hirte and Littreel came in with a 2:01.49, which was 0.67 behind the winners from Cascade. The 200 freestyle relay of Katsikis, freshman Emmitt Gaskey, sophomore Marshall Morrison and Littrell had a time of 2:00.16.

Organizers did not officially score the meet or recognize a team champion. However, based on points that would’ve been awarded in each individual event, Marist Catholic with a deep squad had the top team performance with Philomath second and Sweet Home third. As far as events won, Philomath had three while Sweet Home, Sisters and Marist Catholic each had two, and Cascade had one.

Philomath senior Ophelia Katsikis placed third in the 50-yard backstroke. (Photo by Logan Hannigan-Downs/Philomath News)

In the girls’ portion of the meet, three individuals and three relays had top-six performances. The top individual showing of the day went to senior Ophelia Katsikis in the 50 backstroke with third place in 38.46. Junior Allison Neelands was fourth in the 200 freestyle in 2:32.31 and sophomore Madison Juhl took fifth in the 50 freestyle in 32.64.

The 200 medley relay opened the meet with fifth place in 2:23.81. Swimming on the relay were Katsikis, senior Kaeleigh Houchin, freshman Kyah Weeber and Neelands.

Both Philomath teams entered in the 200 freestyle relay placed in the top six with the A team in third and the B team in sixth. The A team had a time of 2:10.03 with junior Emma Holden, junior Grace Bennett, Juhl and Neelands. The B team with freshman Abilyn Mahoney, freshman Kateri Pindell, senior Emery Boutilier and junior Katherine Holden came in with a 2:20.35.

Junior Allison Neelands had a fourth-place showing in the 200-yard freestyle for the Warriors. (Photo by Logan Hannigan-Downs/Philomath News)

Again, officials did not score the meet but based on points out of each individual event, Sweet Home had a significant advantage from a team perspective with Philomath second and Stayton third. The Huskies won seven of the 10 events and Marist Catholic won two. Salem Academy and Kennedy also had event wins.

PHS assistant Iliana Kaiser coached the team on Saturday with head coach Daniel Mikula unable to attend because of illness. The meet did not allow spectators.

Philomath is scheduled to swim in a dual at Sweet Home at 4 p.m. Friday. The district meet in Albany is scheduled for Feb. 11-12 and state follows Feb. 18-19 in Beaverton.

District Sprint Meet
Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022

Winners & PHS Results

200 Medley Relay
1. Cascade (Gehley, Kuenzi, Pederson, Bitikofer), 2:00.82
3. Philomath (Matthews, Houchin, Hirte, Littrell), 2:01.49
200 Freestyle
1. RJ Abbott, Sweet Home, 1:59.95
100 Individual Medley
1. Joseph Souza, Sisters, 1:07.73
5. Micah Matthews, Philomath, 1:11.11
50 Freestyle
1. Carrson Hirte, Philomath, 25.01
6. Henry Katsikis, Philomath, 28.63
T-9. Marshall Morrison, Philomath, 30.31
50 Butterfly
1. Joseph Souza, Sisters, 29.35
2. Kellen Houchin, Philomath, 30.32
4. Micah Matthews, Philomath, 32.63
5. Braedon Littrell, Philomath, 33.61
100 Freestyle
1. RJ Abbott, Sweet Home, 53.51
7. Marshall Morrison, Philomath, 1:10.37
500 Freestyle
1. Trent McQuaid, Marist Catholic, 5:40.68
50 Backstroke
1. Carrson Hirte, Philomath, 28.89
50 Breaststroke
1. Kellen Houchin, Philomath, 34.49
2. Henry Katsikis, Philomath, 35.60
200 Freestyle Relay
1. Marist Catholic (Lajoie, Elliott, Hugo, McQuaid), 1:44.50
3. Philomath (Katsikis, Gaskey, Morrison, Littrell), 2:00.16

Winners & PHS Results

200 Medley Relay
1. Sweet Home (Hewitt, Sayer, Tyler, Wolthuis), 2:05.37
5. Philomath (Katsikis, Houchin, Weeber, Neelands), 2:23.81
12. Philomath B (Mahoney, N. Barton, Bennett, Navarrete), 3:15.08
200 Freestyle
1. Peyton Markell, Sweet Home, 2:15.63
4. Allison Neelands, Philomath, 2:32.31
10. Natalee Barton, Philomath, 3:37.40
100 Individual Medley
1. Piper Van Buskirk, Marist Catholic, 1:11.57
8. Kyah Weeber, Philomath, 1:18.78
10. Ophelia Katsikis, Philomath, 1:27.33
11. Kaeleigh Houchin, Philomath, 1:28.81
12. Emma Holden, Philomath, 1:31.74
50 Freestyle
1. Eliana Kuenz, Salem Academy, 27.68
5. Madison Juhl, Philomath, 32.64
9. Kateri Pindell, Philomath, 34.46
13. Emery Boutilier, Philomath, 35.04
26. Shyanne Barton, Philomath, 44.93
50 Butterfly
1. Malia Hewitt, Sweet Home, 28.58
9. Katherine Holden, Philomath, 39.29
10. Grace Bennett, Philomath, 39.39
100 Freestyle
1. Sofia James, Marist Catholic, 1:00.58
7. Madison Juhl, Philomath, 1:16.24
8. Abilyn Mahoney, Philomath, 1:16.92
16. Emma Holden, Philomath, 1:25.31
22. Natalee Barton, Philomath, 1:36.58
500 Freestyle
1. Nora Brenden, Kennedy, 6:47.35
50 Backstroke
1. Isabel Sayer, Sweet Home, 35.58
3. Ophelia Katsikis, Philomath, 38.46
13. Shyanne Barton, Philomath, 1:00.28
50 Breaststroke
1. Chloe Tyler, Sweet Home, 32.61
8. Kyah Weeber, Philomath, 40.23
11. Kaeleigh Houchin, Philomath, 42.35
13. Emery Boutilier, Philomath, 42.72
200 Freestyle Relay
1. Sweet Home (Tyler, Hewitt, Markell, Sautel), 1:46.23
3. Philomath (E. Holden, Bennett, Juhl, Neelands), 2:10.03
6. Philomath B (Mahoney, Pindell, Boutilier, K. Holden), 2:20.35

Carrson Hirte