The Sunset senior quells a year of anticipation by snapping a 29-year-old mark
Feb. 15, 2013 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal
After a year of waiting, Sunset senior Cameron Stitt finally found his way into the OSAA record books by establishing a new record in the 500-yard freestyle at the state swim championships at Mt. Hood Community College Friday night.
Stitt swam the 20-lap race in 4 minutes, 25.21 seconds, beating the record set by Alex Stiles of Lincoln in 1984 by more than two seconds. Stitt had missed the record of 4:27.33 by 0.51 seconds last year. He spent all year preparing for a record try and set out to make it happen in the preliminaries rather than the final.
"I wanted to get the record tonight, to get it out of the way," Stitt said. "I felt very good at the start of the race, and just finished well.
"It feels good to have gotten that."
Sunset qualified first in four of the 11 races to more than set itself as the favorite to repeat as boys champion.
Sunset and West Linn continue to figure as the top girls contenders.
WIth Stitt's new record in the 500 free, Lauren Thies of Lincoln holds the oldest swim record at the state championship meet having swam 4:47.34 in the 500 free in 1997.
Joni Huntley holds the oldest individual record in either swimming or track and field, having cleared 6 feet in the high jump in 1974 while at Sheridan. The record has been equalled, but not surpassed.
It’s not hard to see Summit as the favorite in both the boys and girls races for the Class 5A meet. Again.
The boys are favored in all three relays and have the event favorite in four races, while the girls qualified first for two relays and two individual races. A team title would be the school's eighth in the past 11 years.
Sophomores Tommy Brewer and John Hartmeier lead the Summit boys.
Sophomore Mackenzie Halligan and freshman Ali Epple lead the girls.
Here's the top qualifiers:
200 MEDLEY RELAY – Summit
200 FREESTYLE – Grace Carlson, Sr., Wilson
200 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY – Ali Epple, Fr., Summit
50 FREESTYLE – Maddy Kelly, Soph., Lebanon
100 BUTTERFLY – Hannah Gupton, Soph., Sandy
100 FREESTYLE – Julia Bush, Soph., Sherwood
500 FREESTLYE – Mackenzie Halligan, Soph., Summit
200 FREESTYLE RELAY – West Albany
100 BACKSTROKE – Grace Carlson, Sr., Wilson
100 BREASTSTROKE – Ida Donohue, Soph., Cleveland
400 FREESTYLE RELAY – Summit
200 MEDLEY RELAY – Summit
200 FREESTYLE – Carlos Hunnicutt, Jr., Springfield
200 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY – Tommy Brewer, Soph., Summit
50 FREESTYLE – Joe Cihak, Sr., Corvallis
100 BUTTERFLY – Carlos Hunnicutt, Jr., Springfield
The Apollos are favored to win races all weekend as well as two team titles
Feb. 13, 2013
There’s at least a chance for some drama in the OSAA Swimming State Championships Friday and Saturday in the Class 6A girls race, where West Linn and Sunset might be separated by a slim-enough margin going into the final event that either could win.
But, the boys race isn’t a race outside of the water. The defending state champion Sunset Apollos are favored to win seven races and establish a new state record during the meet at Mt. Hood Community College.
Sunset senior Cameron Stitt is a contender to break the 500 freestyle record that has stood since 1984.
The Sunset senior was on the verge of breaking a three-decade old record
Feb. 7, 2013 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal
In the seconds after finishing the 500-yard freestyle state final last year, Sunset junior Cameron Stitt looked at the scoreboard and saw his time - he saw how close he was to setting the state record in the event. Just inches.
Stitt won the race by nearly 20 seconds, but finished second to Alex Stiles' time from Lincoln by just 0.51 seconds, the time needed to swim just a foot or maybe two. Stitt won in 4:27.84, just off Stiles' time of 4:27.33.
The national prep record is 4:16.39.
This year, Stitt will again be aiming to break that record - the longest remaining meet record in the state - when Class 6A, 5A and 4A school descend on Mt. Hood Community College, Feb. 15-16.
Sunset is the defending Class 6A boys champion, aided by two individual wins by Stitt and two on relay teams. Jesuit won the girls title.
The Metro League district meet is set for Friday and Saturday at the Tualatin Hills Aquatic Center.
Five other districts are set to compete at the Class 6A level, which Lincoln of Portland joining the Metro League, while Grant of Portland joins the Three Rivers League.
Class 5A also features six districts, while Class 4A has four.
Short-course invitational at Tualatin Hills includes event wins by two Oregonians
Dec. 10, 2012
Three of Oregon’s top swimmers represented the state well at the 14th annual Paul Bergen Junior Invitational international meet Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Tualatin Hills Aquatic Center.
Michelle Cefal, who attends Westview High, won three events within the short-course meters competition. Cefal won the 50, 100 and 200-meter butterfly finals against swimmers from Canada and Europe.
Grace Carlson, who won a pair of state titles for Wilson High last season, won the 200 freestyle and finished second in the 100 backstroke.
Cameron Stitt, a four-event winner for Sunset last season, finished second in the 200 butterfly. The meet is unusual because it’s calculated in meters, while U.S. indoor events, including the state championships, are measured in yards.
Cefal recently committed to attend Tennessee, while Carlson is headed to Stanford.
Stitt will swim for Michigan, along with Colin Eaton of Gresham.
Sunset, Jesuit repeat, but four other titles go to new teams
Feeb. 18, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com
The expected challenges both Sunset and Jesuit were ready to face didn't materialize and they each defended their state swim titles on a day of fresh faces at Mt. Hood Community College.
Sunset repeated as boys champion at Class 6A, while Jesuit won its fourth-straight girls title.
Summit won both boys and girls titles at Class 5A, while the Cottage Grove boys and Henley girls won at Class 4A.
For the girls teams at both Summit and Henley, the title was their first after numerous second-place finishes. Summit finished second twice the past five seasons, while Henley finished second four of the past five years.
Among the day's biggest winners were Lake Oswego sophomore Sarah Kaunitz and Sunset junior Cameron Stitt, who both won two events at the Class 6A meet. Kaunitz won the 100 breaststroke, the 200 individual medley and swam legs on the winning 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams, while Stitt won the 200 freestyle, the 500 freestyle and swam the anchor leg of the winning 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay.
Stitt missed establishing a all-time meet record in the 500 freestyle by .51 seconds. The 500 freestyle record is the oldest on the OSAA record books, set by Alex Stiles of Lincoln in 1984.
Among the other meet highlights, Cascade Christian sophomore Beanna Sapienza narrowly missed setting a meet record in the 100 butterfly, finishing in 54.63 seconds, just .11 off the record set by Roeburg's Kaylin Bing in 2008.
Cascade Christian senior Aaron Ghiglieri won the 100 butterfly in 49.52, less than a second off the all-time mark of 48.72 set by Aloha's Neil O'Halloran just last year.
Depth propels both Grizzlies and Crusaders to favored spots in 6A meet
Feb. 17, 2012 / 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.
Both schools have long title droughts ready to end
Feb. 14, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com
After three straight titles by Jesuit and more than two decades away from the top step on the finals podium, the Lake Oswego girls swim team might be the team to beat as the state championships approach.
With all three relay teams qualified - two of them seeded first, and a 1-2 combination in the 500 yard freestyle, the Lakers are ready to win their first title since 1990.
St. Mary’s has the same goal, and an even longer wait to overcome - 1988. The Blues have also qualified three relay teams and have a solid individual crew.
Jesuit qualified all three of its relay teams and has 11 individual qualifiers, which won’t make a title run by Lake Oswego or St. Mary’s an easy one.
A win by the Lakers would be an amazing turnaround from a year ago when the team finished 13th and no one placed higher than fifth in an individual event. The team’s revival can be traced to the Lake Oswego Swim Club and sophomore Sarah Kaunitz.
Kaunitz is the top qualifier in the 200 individual medley and also the 100 breaststroke, with senior Catherine Yee seeded second. Neither competed for Lake Oswego at state last year.
St. Mary’s senior Elena Basada is seeded first in the 100 backstroke and second in the 200 IM.
Jesuit ran away with the meet last year, outscoring second-place Southridge 183-118. St. Mary’s finished fifth with 84 points. Lake Oswego scored 41 points.
The Crusaders graduated several seniors, but still have a solid roster led by senior Kori Carpenter, who qualified third in the 200 freestyle and junior Blaise Wittenhauer-Lee, who qualified first in the 500 freestyle.
Jesuit finished second or third in all three relays last year, but that role might be one for the Lakers this season.
David Douglas and Newberg also qualified all three of their relay teams.
Century freshman Ellie Thornbrue qualified first in two events and classmate Logan Neal qualified first in one and fourth in another to give the Jaguars a solid shot at a top-4 finish - likely the first of a long run.
Last year, the Sunset boys swim team entered the Class 6A state championships as a slight underdog to win the team race. But they did, finishing ahead of defending champion Grant, 46 years after the school’s first title.
This year, Sunset is a clear favorite to win.
The Apollos are coming off a dominant performance in the Metro League district meet and will carry that momentum into the state meet that begins Friday at Mt. Hood Community College.
Cameron Stitt, last year’s star for Sunset, will be looked upon to help carry the Apollos again.
Stitt broke a district meet record in the 500 yard freestyle and also earned All-American consideration with his win in the 200 freestyle. He posted the top qualifying times in both events for the state meet.
“Everyone’s doing really well so it’s looking good,” Stitt said after Saturday’s district finals. “If we do well we definitely have a good chance of winning it.”
Teammate Cole Hurwitz also had a stellar district meet, breaking a district record in the 100 breaststroke and placing first in the 200 individual medley.
Hurwitz edged his brother Jordan and teammate Kasey Kwong in the breaststroke, one of the team’s most competitive events in practices. “We have a lot of great breaststrokers,” he said, “so it’s always kind of a dog fight to see who gets first.
“Getting a lot of people back into state – like 1, 2 or 1, 2, 3 – in a lot of events shows we are going to have a lot of depth.”
Although the district meet proved successful for the Apollos, that doesn’t mean guaranteed success in the state event.
“We have to be smart,” said Jonathon Zoucha, a member of two of the winning relays. “Cooling down and making sure you swim fast in the prelims to make sure you make it to the finals.”
Zoucha also qualified with the third fastest time in 6A in the 500 freestyle.
Sunset was able to qualify into three relays for the state meet and coach Adam Farber pointed to that as a major key for their chance at a repeat.
“Last year we had two so that should be a big help,” Farber said.
Sunset qualified second, behind Tualatin, in the 200 medley relay and second in the 400 freestyle behind McMinnville.
After his team’s domination in the district meet, a meet they didn’t win last year entering the state finals, Farber said his team’s confidence is ready to power it to a repeat.
“We have some guys that are real strong and are going to sit at the top in anything they do,” he said. “We’re looking to do well.”
SUNSET CLAIMS METRO LEAGUE TITLE
The Sunset boys and Jesuit girls swam away with 2012 Metro 6A-1 district swimming titles on Saturday afternoon.
Sunset, the defending boys state champs, earned 435 points, nearly 100 points ahead of second place Jesuit.
Cameron Stitt and Cole Hurwitz came up big for the Apollos as each earned two individual victories and two relay victories.
Stitt took a first in the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle and earned All-American consideration for both. Stitt broke the meet record in the 500 freestyle with a time, 4:32.39, more than two second faster than the previous record.
Hurwitz also broke a meet record with his first place finish in the 100 yard breaststroke. Hurwitz also took first in the 200 individual medley. Stitt and Hurwitz were both members of the 400 free and 200 medley teams that took first place finishes for Sunset.
“I felt pretty good,” Stitt said of his meet record, “but I think when state comes I'll be able to drop even more time.”
The state meet record in the 500 freestyle, set by Alex Stiles of Lincoln at 4:27.33, is the oldest one left for boys or girls having survived since 1984.
Hurwitz's response to the record was nearly the same as Stitt's. “It feels pretty good,” he said. “I was close last year so it was good to finally get it.”
Jonathan Zoucha and Jordan Hurwitz were the other two members in the winning relays for Sunset. Zoucha also earned a victory in the 100 yard free.
Max Yakubovich of Southridge swam to victories in the 100 yard backstroke and 100 yard butterfly.
Jesuit's Blaise Wittenauer-Lee was the big performer on the girls side as she helped lead the Crusaders, the defending state champions, to the team victory. Wittenauer-Lee picked up individual wins in the 500 yard freestyle and 200 IM. She was also a member of the 400 freestyle relay and 200 medley relay teams that picked up first place finishes.
Sunset's Lotta Novotny earned wins in the 200 and 100 freestyle.
“Excitement. It was a lot of fun to watch,” Sunset coach Adam Farber said after the meet was complete. “It was nice to see us step up and get this meet.”