The HRV boys and girls swim teams saw plenty of success during the 2015-16 campaign and though both squads lost some key athletes due to graduation, the teams largely expect to pick up where they left off last season.
The team started out the season in early December by participating in a meet with Gresham. The girls tied with the 6A Gophers, but the boys, once again sporting a small roster this year (seven swimmers), were unable to defeat Gresham. Full race results still hadn’t been released as of press time. The team didn’t get another competition until a meet at Bend last weekend, where preliminary results (official results have not been released yet) showed the girls in fifth place out of eight teams and the boys in sixth.
“At the Gresham meet, we had a good showing for our first meet,” said Kelly Cunningham, who is in her second year as head coach for both teams. “The kids hadn’t had much time in the pool yet this season, but they brought a lot of spirit to the pool. There were lots of first-time swims and fast and close races.”
The girls collected their second consecutive Columbia River Conference title last year and sent four athletes to the state championship meet last year, where they placed eighth of 12 teams. Senior Dhani Freeland was a large part of HRV’s prowess in the pool, but Cunningham said there was still a lot of talent returning and didn’t expect things to change much this season. This year, the girls’ team fields 21 swimmers.
“With Dhani graduating, we lost one fantastic athlete. However, we still have a very strong girls team,” she noted. “We have some returning juniors: Allison Burke, Courtney Castaneda, Yasmeen Ziada, and Amber Kennedy that will make a strong showing. We have some new additions to the team as well that I am excited to work with and see how they do.”
The boys lost seniors too, most notably David Walker, who was the lone athlete to make it out of the prelims for HRV in the state meet (the boys placed third of four teams in the CRC meet last season). Seven swimmers will represent HRV this season in what Cunningham called a “small yet formidable group.” Three of the seven are freshman “who are year-round swimmers with a lot of talent.” She added that the team also features “two returning juniors (Tyson Miller and Andrew Rinella, now seniors) who have grown immensely over the past year” and a “new senior (Phillip Hecksel)… who is likely to make a good showing at CRC and likely state as well.”
HRV hosted The Dalles in a relay meet Tuesday (results not available at press time) and then doesn’t compete again until a Jan. 7 meet with the Riverhawks.
Bend meet, HRV top 10 finishers
200-yard medley relay: Allison Burke, Yasmeen Ziada, Courtney Castaneda, Lillie Tomlinson (7th, 2 minutes, 12.47 seconds); Alea McCartly, Mackenzie Booth, Celilo Brun, Amber Kennedy (9th, 2:20.05)
200 freestyle: Sarah Gottschalk (1st, 2:03.25); Lillie Tomlinson (8th, 2:25.16)
200 IM: Burke (6th, 2:29.44), Ziada (10th, 2:38.91)
50 freestyle: Castaneda (9th, 28.37)
100 butterfly: Gottschalk (3rd, 1:01.97); Brun (10th, 1:16.27)
100 freestyle: Ziada (6th, 1:04.15)
500 freestyle: Burke (4th, 5:52.49)
200 freestyle relay: Castaneda, Burke, Brun, Gottschalk (5th, 1:51.63)
100 backstroke: Castaneda (9th, 1:14.28); Tomlinson (10th, 1:16.29)
50 backstroke: Annalena Keunbach (8th, 46.48); Lexi Burke (10th, 53.36)
400 freestyle: Ziada, McCartly, Tomlinson, Gottschalk (4:16.68); Claire Powell, Sarah Wang, Booth, Kennedy (9th, 5:08.01)
200 medley relay: David Hecksel, Pen Blair, Tyson Miller, Adam Burke (7th, 2:09.81)
200 freestyle: D. Hecksel (6th, 2:12.91)
50 freestyle: Phillip Hecksel (3rd, 23.38)
100 butterfly: Andrew Rinella (3rd, 1:03.41)
100 freestyle: D. Hecksel (6th, 55.02)
500 freestyle: Miller (7th, 7:03.81)
200 freestyle relay: Rinella, Miller, Blair, P. Hecksel (5th, 1:50.05)
100 backstroke: P. Hecksel (2nd, 1:01.38); Rinella (9th, 1:10.10)
100 breaststroke: Burke (10th, 1:25.79)
400 freestyle relay: D. Hecksel, Rinella, Burke, P. Hecksel (4th, 3:56.41)