Ghiglieri, Sapienza lead locals into state swim finals

  • GRESHAM — Aaron Ghiglieri and Breanna Sapienza were true to form in the preliminaries of the Class 4A/3A/2A/1A state swimming championships Friday at Mt. Hood Community College.
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  • GRESHAM — Aaron Ghiglieri and Breanna Sapienza were true to form in the preliminaries of the Class 4A/3A/2A/1A state swimming championships Friday at Mt. Hood Community College.
    Each of the Cascade Christian stalwarts cruised to victories in both of their events and accounted for three times good enough for All-American consideration.
    All classifications are in action at the site, and finals are today.
    Among other local swimmers, South Medford's Sarah Reierson, North Medford's Grace Jovanovic, Ashland's Kai Staal and Gus Simms, and Phoenix's Jeoff Underwood, Alyse Darnall and Olivia Sanchez made it today's finals in their classifications. Three Ashland relay teams — two boys and one girls — also qualified for the finals, with the boys 400-yard freestyle relay team earning the top qualifying time.
    Ghiglieri raced to a time of 1 minute, 52.78 seconds in the 200-yard individual medley, beating No. 2 seed Austin Turner of Newport by nearly seven seconds.
    The Challengers senior also had the best time in the 100 butterfly, in which he won state last year, of 50.50 seconds.
    Both marks met the AA-consideration standard.
    Sapienza, a sophomore, did likewise with her time of 55.37 in the 100 fly, winning by just under five seconds. Her time in the 50 freestyle of 24.34 makes her the No. 1 seed in that event. She's the defending champion in both events.
    Also in the 4A/3A/2A/1A meet, Phoenix's Underwood and Darnall shined.
    Underwood, a senior, is the No. 2 seed in the 100 backstroke (55.89) and No. 5 in the 100 fly (54.66). He also swam a leg on the sixth-place 200 free relay team that went 1:35.45. Others on the team were Jarred Richards, Killian Omotoy and Angel Barajas.
    Darnall, a sophomore, qualified third in the 200 IM (2:20.07) and fourth in the 500 free (5:27.31). The sophomore Sanchez was fifth in the 100 breaststroke in 1:16.52.
    Both were on the Pirates' 400 free relay that is seeded third after a prelim swim of 3:57.09. Their teammates were Kylee Burks and Arin Fitch, also sophomores.
    In the 6A meet, South Medford senior Reierson and North Medford freshman Jovanovic made it through to the finals.
    Reierson, the defending champion in the 200 individual medley, was fourth in the prelims of that event in 2:10.70. Lake Oswego's Sarah Kaunitz went 2:06.32, more than 1 1/2 seconds faster than her nearest pursuer.
    Reierson was third in the 100 back, again running into an impressive competitor. Reierson's time was 57.62, while top seed Karen Turner of Lakeridge turned in a 56.84, good for All-American consideration.
    Jovanovic also made it to two finals. She had the No. 3 prelim time in the 100 butterfly, clocking 58.51. Top seed Brenda Cha of Lakeridge went 57.20.
    In the 100 breaststroke, Jovanovic's time of 1:07.87 placed her fifth.
    In the 5A meet, Staal and Simms both advanced to the finals in two individual events —Staal in the 100 breaststroke and 50 freestyle, and Simms in the 100 butterfly and 500 freestyle. Staal had the second-best qualifying time in the 100 breaststroke (1:01.31) and the third-best time in the 50 freestyle (21.55), while Simms had the fourth-best time in both of his events.
    Ashland's relay teams came up big. Besides the first-place boys 400 freestyle foursome, the Grizzlies also had the third-best time in the boys 200 freestyle relay and the sixth-best time in the girls 200 freestyle relay.
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