PORTLAND — When the stand-outs on any team are performing at their best, the results can be contagious.
That’s what first-year HRV swimming coach Jane Nichols is finding out as her team continues its preparations for the Feb. 14 district meet.
“We’re getting close, but we still have lots of work to be done,” said Nichols, whose team competed against former Mt. Hood Conference foes Parkrose and Central Catholic last Thursday.
“Our top guys are really working hard, and the younger swimmers are able to learn from their examples.”
The top guys Nichols is referring to are her senior standouts Erik Hidle, Sean Jennings and Cody MacMillan, along with junior Henry Burton.
The No. 1 medley relay team continued to impress at Parkrose with a first-place time of 1:51.50. The four stalwarts also teamed up to win the 200 free relay, and won nearly all of their individual events.
“Only 26 practice days left until district,” Nichols said last week. “The kids are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and are starting to work even harder.”
Five boys team members and six girls team members each posted personal bests in each of their events, giving Nichols plenty to be excited about heading into this Thursday’s dual with David Douglas.
Adam Brown, Chris Fenwick, Jeremy Fogle, Chris Jennings, David Voigt and Tyler White showed how far they have come for the boys team, while Kelsey Hale, Elsie Denton, Nicole Shames, Aerial MacMillan, Danielle Mellow and Joyce Yang all posted season bests for the girls team.
“It’s good to see progress like this at every meet,” Nichols said. “The kids have been consistently getting better, and that is what we’re mostly concerned with.
“Most notably, Jeremy Fogle blew everyone out of the water in his events (200 free and 50 free),” Nichols said of the sophomore, who swam in his first varsity meet.
Fogle finished second behind Burton in the 200 free with a time of 2:18.39, and third behind Hidle and Brown in the 50 free with a time of 28.35 seconds.
Brown’s time in the 50 free was 25.88, while Hidle clocked in a 24.38. Burton’s winning time in the 200 free was 2:02.04.
On the girls side, Hale posted personal bests in the 200 free (2:29.96) and 100 fly (1:19.58), while Denton bested herself in both the 500 free (7:30.41) and 100 breaststroke (1:33.70).
MacMillan was strong in the 200 IM with a time of 2:39.00 and the 100 breast (1:18.36), while Shames excelled in the 200 IM (2:43.68) and 100 back (1:31.32). Yang’s best times came in the 50 free (28.42) and 100 free (1:06.56).
Mellow swam in junior varsity events, and official times were not available. Kendra Mohar and Elizabeth Cobarrubias also competed well at Parkrose, and will help the varsity team at district.
Rounding out the boys varsity results were MacMillan, who finished first in the 200 IM (2:14.12) and 100 breast (1:07.54); Sean Jennings, who finished second in the 200 IM (2:26.22); Hidle, who took first in the 100 free (54.80) to go with his top time in the 50 free; Daniel Chance, who finished first in both the 100 fly (1:03.90) and 100 back (1:10.59); and Chris Jennings, who won the 500 free in a time of 5:52.53.
Sophomore Louis DeSitter also had a good afternoon, posting a time of 58.21 in the 100 free, and swimming on the second-place 200 free relay team and first-place 400 free relay team.
Next up for HRV is a Thursday dual meet at David Douglas and The Dalles Invitational on Jan. 25 at the Hood River Aquatic Center.
“Some kids are starting to hit a plateau,” Nichols said, “so we really need to focus on staying fit.”