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Oxendine claims pair of state titles

Phillips wins two crowns

GRESHAM -- Phoenix High freshman Michael Oxendine made good on his promising qualifying marks by winning two events in Saturday's Class 3A state swim meet.

Oxendine entered the meet at Mount Hood Community College seeded No. — in the 200-yard individual medley and the 100 butterfly. He churned through the preliminaries in impressive fashion then pocketed the individual medley in 2 minutes, 2.02 seconds and the butterfly in a personal-best 53.25.

He was real pleased with his time in the fly, Phoenix coach Jim Heath said. He was happy with winning the IM, but he was hoping to to break two minutes.

His previous best of 53.83 in the butterfly came in a January meet in Corvallis. He was a second off his best individual medley time.

Oxendine's double was matched by North Valley senior sprinter Kyle Phillips, who pulled off wins in the 50 (22.22) and 100 (50.01) freestyle events.

The Pirates placed fourth in boys competition with 30 points, while the Seaside/Warrenton cooperative team won the title with 65. North Valley tied for seventh with 14 points.

La Salle of Milwaukie won the girls title with 58 points, while Hidden Valley was the top Southern Oregon team in 11th place with nine points.

Oxendine outswam individual medley runner-up Jaakko Haikonen, a Seaside junior, by nearly three seconds. He touched the timing pad 1.73 seconds ahead of Jefferson's Corey McManus in the butterfly.

A second in swimming isn't even a body length, so there was no relaxing, Heath said. Every time Michael turned, someone was there.

Oxendine also swam legs in the Pirates' two third-place relay teams. Masaaki Nakahara, Peter Thornhill and Brandon Martin teamed up with Oxendine for third in the 200 medley relay (1:51.76) behind Seaside (1:45.78) and La Salle (1:46.66). Oxendine, Martin, Ryan Gold and Jason Sparks were clocked in 3:33.20 in the 400 freestyle relay. Junction City won the event in 3:28.52, while Seaside was second in 3:29.46.

Both relay efforts were Phoenix school records.

I think it's going to be hard to beat those records for a while, Heath said. We had some spectacular splits.

Phillips posted the fastest 50 and 100 preliminary marks then beat Jasper Blacketer of Seaside by nearly a full second in the 50 and Haikonnen by nearly a half-second in the 100.

Hidden Valley freshman Anthony Pepitone was fourth in the 200 freestyle (1:59.11).

In girls competition, Jamie Brown of Hidden Valley was second in the 100 (56.39) and third in the 50 freestyle (26.08).

Kristen Heath of Phoenix was sixth in the 500 freestyle, clocking in at 5:43.43.