PREP SWIMMING

Relay victory vaults Phoenix into second

Pirates, led by junior Darnall, come on strong to match Henley; Sapienza wins a pair of titles

By By CLIFF PFENNING

for the Mail Tribune
February 17, 2013

state swimming

RECAP: Alyse Darnall of Phoenix has a hand in three state titles, including two relays, to lead Phoenix to a tied for second place in the Class 4A/3A/2A/1A meet, and Cascade Christian's Breanna Sapienza claims two victories.
OF NOTE: The junior Sapienza's gold-medal haul now stands at six, or two titles in each of her three visits to the state meet.

GRESHAM — A personal-best relay leg by Alyse Darnall came at just the right time for the Phoenix girls swim team Saturday and earned the Pirates a second-place trophy at the Class 4A/3A/2A/1A state championships.

The junior Darnall made up more than a body length on Henley's Jenny Kirschner with an anchor leg of 52.65 seconds in the 400-yard freestyle relay, and that victory put the Pirates into a tie with the Hornets for second place with 44 points in the meet at Mount Hood Community College.

Darnall's leg beat Kirschner by nearly three seconds and kept Henley from winning the team title.

"We all did such a great job all day long, and I knew I had to finish strong," Darnall said. "I could hear everyone cheering for me at the end and that really helped me.

"We race Henley all the time because they're in our district, so it was nice to get that on them."

North Bend won the team title with 45 points. A win in the final race would have given the team title to Henley, which won last year. Phoenix was state champion in 2011.

Madras, which began a program just four years ago after its town built an aquatic center, won the boys title.

Cascade Christian junior Breanna Sapienza won two events, although she missed setting a meet record in the 100 butterfly, a goal she had entering the weekend. She also won the 100 breaststroke.

Darnall had a fabulous meet, anchoring the winning 200 freestyle relay team, which was made up of the same four girls as the 400 free relay and was timed in 1:44.12; scoring a win in the 100 freestyle and finishing second in the 100 backstroke (59.19).

Her 100 freestyle win came with a time of 53.41, but she beat that by nearly a second in the relay final, her fourth race of the day.

Junior Olivia Sanchez swam a personal best on her leg of the 400 freestyle relay as well as the team — which included junior Kylee Burks and freshman Lauren Speaks — clocked 3:47.24 to Henley's 3:48.03.

"We all did really well today, and we're really happy with where we finished," she said. "We had no idea how well we were going to do, but we were all on fire today."

Sanchez finished sixth in the 100 butterfly (1:05.22) and Speaks finished fourth in the 100 breaststroke (1:12.94).

"We were sixth last year and second this year — hopefully we can all come back and make it a goal to win next year," Sanchez said.

Sapienza said she was aiming for 54.52 seconds in the 100 butterfly, which is the overall state record established by Roseburg's Kaylin Bing in 2008. Sapienza set the Class 4A record at 54.63 last year, but could only get to 55.32 Saturday, which was still good for an All-American time.

"I won my races, so I'm happy for that, but I didn't have my best performance," said Sapienza, who was named the female athlete of the meet by the OSAA. "I've swam faster and I was hoping to do that here. I wanted to get that record."

Her winning time in the 100 breast 1:05.93.

She has six individual state titles, two each year since her freshman season.

Class 4A/3A/2A/1A Results

BOYS

TEAM SCORES — 1, Madras, 59; 2, Newport, 53; 3, Cottage Grove, 32; 4, Philomath, 27; 5, Riverdale, 19; 6, LaSalle Prep, 18; 7, LaGrande, 16; 8, Rainier, 14; 8, Seaside, 14; 10, Corbett/Corbett Charter, 12; 10, North Marion, 12; 12, Valley Catholic, 7; 13, North Bend/Oregon Coast Tech, 4; 14, Klamath Union, 3; 14, Blanchet Catholic, 3; 14, Ridgeview, 3; 17, Junction City, 2; 17, Sweet Home, 2; 17, Sisters, 2; 17, Henley, 2; 21, Central, 1; 21, Stayton, 1.

200 MEDLEY RELAY — 1, Madras (Dustin Henderson, Jordan Gemelas, Ian Goodwin, Cade Boston), 1:45.56; 200 FREE — 1, Bryce Williams, Madras, 1:48.68; 200 IM — 1, Austin Turner, Newport, 1:58.50; 50 FREE — 1, Philip Hewitt, Corbett/CCharter, 22.24; 100 FLY — 1, Bryce Ebel, LaGrande, 53.26; 100 FREE — 1, Kellen Wood, Newport, 48.58; 500 FREE — 1, Liam O'Shea, Riverdale, 4:50.87.

200 FREE RELAY — 1, Newport (Austin Thompson, Tanner Schipper, Kellen Wood, Austin Turner), 1:32.09; 100 BACK — 1, Austin Turner, Newport, 53.79; 100 BREAST — 1, Caleb Leczel, Cottage Grove, 1:01.00; 400 FREE RELAY — 1, Newport (Austin Thompson, Tanner Schipper, Kellen Wood, Austin Turner 11), 3:21.81.

GIRLS

TEAM SCORES — 1, North Bend/Oregon Coast Tech, 45; 2, Henley, 44; 2, Phoenix, 44; 4, Valley Catholic, 27; 5, Madras, 23; 5, LaGrande, 23; 7, Sisters, 18; 7, Salem Academy, 18; 7, Sweet Home, 18; 10, Ridgeview, 15; 11, Cascade Christian, 14; 12, Gladstone, 10; 13, Riverdale, 2; 13, Blanchet Catholic, 2; 13, Philomath, 2; 13, LaSalle Prep, 2.

200 MEDLEY RELAY — 1, North Bend/Oregon Coast Tech '' (Madysen Hannah, Kelsey Morgan, Alyssa Bennett, Cassie Dallas), 1:55.41; 200 FREE — 1, Alyssa Bennett, North Bend/OCT, 2:00.29.; 200 IM — 1, Sophie Gemelas, Madras, 2:14.84; 50 FREE — 1, Mary Stewart, Sisters, 25.70; 100 FLY — 1, Breanna Sapienza, Cascade Chr, 55.32; 6, Olivia Sanchez, Phoenix, 1:05.22; 100 FREE — 1, Alyse Darnall, Phoenix, 53.41; 500 FREE — 1, Cassie Dallas, North Bend/OCT, 5:17.12.

200 FREE RELAY — 1, Phoenix (Kylee Burks, Olivia Sanchez, Lauren Speaks, Alyse Darnall), 1:44.12; 100 BACK — 1, Rachel Haney, Ridgeview, 58.85. 2, Alyse Darnall, Phoenix, 59.19; 100 BREAST — 1, Breanna Sapienza, Cascade Chr, 1:05.93. 4, Lauren Speaks, Phoenix, 1:12.94; 400 FREE RELAY — 1, Phoenix (Kylee Burks, Olivia Sanchez, Lauren Speaks, Alyse Darnall), 3:47.24.