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Frownfelter, Reyes-Gentry win swimming state title

BEAVERTON — Chris Frownfelter decided the best way to win a coveted swimming state championship was to find seclusion.

That he found it in a pool flanked by five competitors didn’t seem to matter.

Frownfelter, an Ashland High senior, wiped out a 29-year-old school record in claiming the 100-yard backstroke Saturday in the Class 5A boys meet at Tualatin Hills Aquatic Center.

Frownfelter breezed to a time of 52.72 seconds, fittingly beating runner-up David Hecksel, of Hood River, by more than three seconds — which was how much time separated them in the preliminaries. Hecksel’s finals time was 55.90.

Crater’s Marcus Reyes-Gentry claimed a state championship of his own, winning the 5A boys 200 freestyle. It was the third state title for the Comet sophomore.

Frownfelter’s purposeful approach prior to the 100 back final put him in a trance-like state.

He swam a career-best 53.69 in the prelims on Friday, and that was .13 off the school record set by Chris Clark. Clark set the Ashland record of 53.56 when he placed third at state in 1991.

“I was super excited to see if I could the get school record,” said Frownfelter, “so I was ready to push it.”

He had placed third in his first final of the day, the 100 freestyle, and set out in the 100 back with something to prove.

“I just got in the water and tried to calm myself down,” said Frownfelter. “I was freaking out about it all night, and just the moment I pushed off, nothing else was there and I didn’t think of anything until I was done.

“Suddenly I came back and was like, oh, oh yeah.”

It was Frownfelter’s first state championship. Last year, he tied for second in the 100 back behind Reyes-Gentry and was second in the 100 free.

Reyes-Gentry would have been the favorite to repeat, but he was disqualified at regionals last week because of a false start.

Frownfelter redirected his focus to the 100 back this year. He put all his effort into the event as a freshman and sophomore, then devoted more time to the freestyle last year.

“He’s done that race (100 back) a few times at state now,” said Ashland coach Todd Lantry, “so he knows what he needs to do and knows how it goes. That’s a race he’s familiar with. I think he just really wanted that record and just wanted to go out there and throw down in his last race.”

As Frownfelter did, others in the field had personal bests.

“It really had to come from inside for him,” said Lantry. “I think it helped that he was seeing all those guys behind him as he’s swimming along. He knew where that record was; he was only a couple tenths off yesterday. He knew how close he was.”

In the 100 free, Frownfelter touched in 47.81 seconds, beating out fourth-place sophomore teammate Harry Ross (48.32) but losing out to a couple others. Redmond’s Ryan Konop won in 47.67, and West Albany’s Luke Milburn was second in 47.69.

Frownfelter and Ross swam next to each other, and Frownfelter’s goal was to overtake Ross.

“The whole time I was thinking Harry was in first and I was in second,” he said, noting he couldn’t tell where Konop and Milburn were. “The moment I got past him — it was like the last 25 (yards) — I realized he was not in first place and there were two kids just a little farther. It was just motivational.”

Frownfelter and Ross teamed with freshman Jence Berry and junior Michael Carrabba to place fifth in the 400 free relay in 3:28.03. Churchill won in 3:18.97.

Frownfelter plans to attend Oregon State next year and will pursue club water polo and possibly swimming, said Lantry. OSU doesn’t have intercollegiate swimming.

Churchill won the 5A boys team title with 53 points. Ashland was sixth with 18, and Crater placed 13th with seven.

Reyes-Gentry claimed the 200 free in 1:43.07, far ahead of runner-up Duc Bui, of La Salle, whose time was 1:48.09.

The Comet improved on his prelim time by more than two seconds and set a personal best by about half a second.

Reyes-Gentry found his trip to state this year to be bittersweet because of the disqualification last week in his specialty, the 100 back. He’d set his sights on breaking the Class 5A state record in the event.

“I was hoping to do better, but it’s OK,” said Reyes-Gentry of the 200 free. “I’m still happy about winning.”

The silver lining, he said, was being able to focus on one event.

“I think I did a good job of that,” he said.

Reyes-Gentry turns his attention next to club competition. He’ll train a couple times a day in preparation for the Northwest Spring Speedo Sectionals in Federal Way, Washington.

He’ll attempt to shave about two seconds off his bests in the 100- and 200-meter backstrokes in order to meet Olympic Trials qualifying standards.

In the 6A boys meet, North Medford’s Daniel Olson, a senior, placed fourth in the 50 free in 21.63 seconds. Jesuit’s Matthew Kreutzer won in 21.41.

In the 4A/3A/2A/1A finals, St. Mary’s sophomore Asa Frisbee capped an outstanding boys state meet with a pair of runners-up.

Frisbee was second in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:47.07. Newport’s Luke Bachart touched first in 1:45.64.

In the 100 butterfly, Glenn Ricker, of La Grande, edged Frisbee, winning in 55.57 seconds to the Crusader’s 55.65.

Cascade Christian senior Braedon Scaglione was second in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:02.15. The winner, Valley Catholic’s Luca Foord, set a 4A/3A/2A/1A meet record of 58.50.

Scaglione was also fifth in the 50 free in 23.08. North Valley’s Carson Washburn won in 22.64.

Cascade Christian’s boys reeled in a second when its 200 free relay team of junior Owen Harrington, junior Elijah Snyder, junior Will Pierson and Scaglione clocked 1:35.04. They came in just behind Newport’s 1:34.25.

The same four were fourth in the 200 medley relay in 1:48.02. Newport’s winning time was 1:44.09.

The St. Mary’s 400 free relay team placed third in 3:34.09. It was made up of senior Noah Stillwell, senior Charlie Reade, sophomore Caleb Bingham and Frisbee. Newport won in 3:27.60.

In the girls meet, St. Mary’s was sixth in the 200 medley relay. The team was timed in 2:02.06, and it was made up of senior Ivy Frisbee, junior Lucy Gramley, junior Ahnyka Lahmann and junior Hailey Chang. Sweet Home won in 1:47.93.

Newport claimed the boys title with 75 points. St. Mary’s was third with 24 and Cascade Christian fourth with 23.

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Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneCrater’s Marcus Reyes-Gentry at Superior Athletic Club’s pool in Medford.