HRV swimmers strong in opener

GRESHAM — The HRV swim team matched up against two familiar foes and one unfamiliar one on Thursday at the Reynolds Swim Center.

Former Mt. Hood Conference rivals Reynolds and Sandy provided the competition for the Eagles, but so did former HRV standout Caitlyn Shortt.

Last year’s 100 backstroke state champion now dons a Reynolds cap, and much as she did in her two years at HRV, she thoroughly dominated her events.

“It’s kind of weird that my first meet with Reynolds is against my old team,” said Shortt, whose family moved to Troutdale in May so she could train for Nationals with the Mt. Hood Swim Team.

“I really miss Hood River, but it just makes more sense for me to live here since I’m swimming every day.”

So after exchanging a few hellos with her former teammates, Shortt swam away with first place in the 100 breast, the 200 IM and two relays.

But Shortt’s former teammates also showed well in their first meet of the year, with two boys swimmers already approaching their 2002 district times.

Junior Henry Burton and senior Erik Hidle each made a splash in their banner events — for Burton, the 100 back (1:01.15) and 100 fly (56.4); for Hidle, the 50 free (24.5) and 100 free (54.9).

Seniors Cody MacMillan (2:16 in the 200 IM; 57.6 in the 100 free) and Sean Jennings (2:05 in the 200 free; 1:09 in the 100 breast) also posted competitive times in each of their individual events.

“Times are the most important thing right now,” said Burton, a 2002 state qualifier in the 100 fly and 200 medley relay. “They don’t count our points against Mt. Hood Conference teams this year, so we just need to focus on improving on our times.”

Burton said it may be difficult for the swimmers to determine where they stand in the district because they will compete in mostly non-conference meets this year. But Burton and his teammates also know that if they continue to better themselves, they are doing what is expected of them.

“This was a pretty good race to start the year,” said Hidle, who won the 50 free, unofficially. “I was hoping to go in the low 24’s, but it was still pretty gratifying to win.”

Standouts for the HRV girls on Thursday were senior Joyce Yang (29.1 in the 50 free; 1:10.5 in the 100 free), freshman Nicole Shames (1:19.3 in the 100 back), sophomore Kelsey Hale (1:20.5 in the 100 fly; 2:31 in the 200 free), and junior Elsie Denton, who swam all four of her races during the meet’s final five events.

“Elsie was a real workhorse for us,” coach Jane Nichols said. “Being down a couple swimmers, we needed someone to step in like that.”

Denton, one of only three returning varsity swimmers, swam the 500 free (7:47), the 200 free relay, the 100 back (1:27.8) and the 400 free relay — all of which took place during the final hour of the meet.

Freshman Kendra Mohar also competed in four varsity events, posting times of 1:12.3 in the 100 free and 1:28.9 in the 100 back.

Additional boys varsity results included senior Daniel Chance (2:32, 200 IM; 1:08.9, 100 back); sophomore Adam Brown (7:05, 500 free; 27.3, 50 free); sophomore Chris Jennings (2:09, 200 free; 1:14, 100 breast); and Louis DeSitter (1:09.3, 100 fly).

Also competing for the Eagle boys on Thursday were sophomores Spencer Johnisee, David Voigt and Jeremy Fogle, senior Chris Fenwick, and freshmen Tyler White and Tanner Hall.

Rounding out the girls team were freshmen Danielle Mellow and Barbara Holmes, and sophomore Elizabeth Cobarrubias.

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