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Swimmers take four at Centennial

A quick glimpse at the scores from last Thursday’s swim meet at Centennial would indicate that HRV is primed for next weekend’s district meet.

The Eagle boys beat Central Catholic, 117-26, and Centennial, 102-66, while taking first place in each of the 11 individual events. The girls beat Central Catholic, 82-56, and Centennial, 81-62, winning seven of 11 individual events.

But a look at the times tells coach Jane Nichols that the Eagles still have plenty to work on before they can compete for a district title.

“The beginner and intermediate swimmers have been improving their times with every meet, which is wonderful,” she said. “But I’m a little worried about some of our seniors, who have hit a lull the past month.”

Despite Thursday’s success, Nichols fears that her state hopefuls — seniors Erik Hidle, Sean Jennings and Cody MacMillan, and junior Henry Burton — may still be on a midseason plateau.

“Our top swimmers have leveled off a bit lately,” Nichols said. “But, if we did it right, they will all hit their goals at district.”

Nichols had hoped that Tuesday’s six-team dual meet at the Hood River Aquatic Center (results not yet available) would give her swimmers an idea of what they will be facing at the Feb. 14-15 district meet.

Intermountain Conference teams from Bend, Redmond, Pendleton and Hermiston joined HRV and La Grande for a late-season tune-up to gear up for district and state (Feb. 21-22).

“I’m starting to get a little concerned now because a lot of our kids are getting sick,” Nichols said. “It’s definitely not a good time to get sick because there are only seven practice days left.”

Time may not be of the essence, but the Eagles still have plenty of positives on their side heading into district.

The boys “A” medley relay team of Hidle, Jennings, MacMillan and Burton is still within range of last year’s state-qualifying time, most recently posting a time of 1:53.87.

Individually, Hidle is still posting times at or near 24 seconds in the 50 free and 54 seconds in the 100 free; MacMillan has been around 2:15 in the 200 IM and 1:05 in the 100 breast; Jennings is around 1:05 in the 100 breast; and Burton is primed to compete in any one of four individual events (100 back, 100 fly, 200 IM, 200 free).

For the girls, senior Joyce Yang and freshman Aeriel MacMillan continue to lead the pack. Yang will be looking to qualify for state in the 50 free and 100 free, while MacMillan will contend in the 200 IM and 100 breast.

Both girls swim on the 200 medley relay team along with sophomore Kelsey Hale and freshman Nicole Shames, and could make a run at state with consistent times of around 2:10.

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