McMinnville returns to elite level, Jesuit stays hot

Depth propels both Grizzlies and Crusaders to favored spots in 6A meet
Feb. 17, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com
McMinnville (bottom) led the 400 Freestyle Relay until the final leg, but still finished second.
Photo by Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com.
Sarah Kaunitz, left, and Catherine Yee of Lake Oswego, fill out biographical information after qualifying for event finals Friday.
Photo by Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com

McMinnville returned to the top of the state's swim programs with championship-caliber depth Friday after the preliminary heats at the OSAA state swimming championships.

With its three relays all set for finals - two of them having qualified first or second - and three finalists in the 100 butterfly, the Grizzlies are poised to win their first state title since 2002.

McMinnville's line-up, led by seniors Matthew Valentine and Blake Tillery, appears on the way to scoring more than 180 points, while defending champion Sunset is in the 160-point range. Grant, which won two years ago and placed second last year, is headed for a total of around 130.

In the girls race, Lake Oswego's strong challenge to Jesuit hit a major snag when its 200 medley relay team was disqualified. Sophomore Sarah Kauniz posted an All-America time in the 100 backstroke for the Lakers and also qualified first for the finals in another and senior Catherine Yee qualified second and fourth in two finals. Their other two relay teams qualified first and second.

Jesuit, the three-time defending champion, qualified all three of its relay teams either first or second.

The championships conclude Saturday at the Mt. Hood Community College Aquatics Center.

 

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