Wednesday, February 23, 2011/lk
The Hood River Valley High School swim team will need a bigger van this year.
The Eagles qualified two girls relay teams and five swimmers individually - seven swimmers overall plus three alternates for the relays - their biggest number in years.
The Eagle girls also won the inaugural Columbia River Conference league meet title.
The wins in the relay were among the most impressive of the meet.
In the 200-yard medley relay the team of Alyssa Walker, Kayla Schilling, Danielle Miller and Taylor Tyynismaa cruised to a 10-second margin of victory over the second-place team from The Dalles, finishing in 2:02.30.
The Eagle girls also won handily in the 400-yard free relay, with Walker, Schilling, Miller and Tyynismaa beating Pendleton by seven seconds with a time of 4:01.77.
The Eagle girls won the team title by 35 points largely thanks to their performance in the relays.
"After the first event we had the girls finish first and second but the relay B team got disqualified," HRV coach Shea Macnab said. "So I knew it would be close with Pendleton."
The Eagles and Buckaroos dominated the meet, with the Eagle girls winning every individual event but one, and the Pendleton boys winning every individual event but three.
After winning the boys championship the Bucks tossed coach Susan Collins into the pool. The Eagle girls meanwhile did no such thing with Macnab.
"He would have been mad at us," laughed freshman Danielle Miller, who qualified in the 200 IM, 100 backstroke and the relays. "We still have one more week with him!"
"I made sure to stay way over here," Macnab said as he stood well to the side of the pool. "Plus I made sure to have my cell phone on me at all times as insurance."
Walker, Schilling, Miller, Tyynismaa, Anika Engbersen and Rebecah Galvez all qualified for the HRV girls, while Connor Webb qualified for the boys. Joining the seven automatic qualifiers as relay alternates are Anne Iskra, Tori Grace and Ali Danko.
All the swimmers that are going means that an Eagle will be in the pool nearly constantly during Friday's preliminary state heats at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham. It also means those swimmers will have plenty of support from their teammates.
"It's going to be busy," Galvez said.
The Eagles have high expectations going into the meet. Webb is the only returning state qualifier to make it to a finals heat last year, but this year many of the swimmers are seeded in the top eight spots, with the top six qualifying for a finals heat.
Even the swimmers who are not going to state have been helping out the 10 who are going.
"All the boys and the JV girls are still here helping us practice," Tyynismaa said.
The Eagle swimmers want to do well at state for another reason as well. They owe Macnab a soaking.
"Oh, it will happen," said a devious looking Galvez. "It's going to happen."