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The New Era Paper
Sweet Home, Oregon
February 22, 2012     The New Era Paper
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February 22, 2012

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Page I0 :I T ra - February 22, 2012 _ _ _ - -- Spo - _ - _ [ Boys 2nd in 4A swimming; Gunselman, Pearce win By Scott Swanson Of The New Era Senior Zac Pearce has swum long enough to know that in meets with elite competition, just about anything can happen. Going into the final of the 100 Breaststroke at the OSAA 4A/3A/2A/1A state champion- ships Saturday at Mt. Hood Com- munity College, he knew he had some big competition from Scap- poose's Ryan Rafferty and Cen- tral's Robert Berry, both of whom swam Friday's preliminaries just 10ths of a second behind him - which was a second-and-a-half improvement for Berry. "I had my doubts," said Pearce, who last year won the state 200 Individual Medley tire last year as well as anchoring the boys 200 Freestyle Relay team to a state title and a school record. But 50 yards into the race on Saturday, he knew he had the lead - and the win - and that's what he finished with, setting a per- sonal best of 1:01.12, just short of the goal he'd set for himself - to break one minute. That finish clinched a second- place trophy for Sweet Home's boys, though, as the Huskies scored 41 points to finish be- hind Cottage Grove, which rode a strong corps of sprinters to 60 points and the state champion- ship. "They swam their hearts out," said Coach Doug Peargin. "Every boy PR'd in every event. That's tough to do." Despite an individual cham- pionship by junior Naomi Gunsel- man in the 200 Individual Medley (2:17.02), the girls had no other finalists and finished with the 12 points Gunselman scored by also placing second in the 100 back- stroke, posting lifetime bests in both individual events. The IM win came after she was touched out by Becca Haynes of LaGrande in Friday's prelimi- nary. "I kept rewinding the finish throughout the night." she said. "I kept thinking and thinking about it. I decided that that wasn't go- ing to happen again. I'm very happy." The girls 200 Freestyle Re- lay team of Gunselman, freshman McKenzie Curtis, Paige Sanders and Kimber Swanson set a school record of 1:53.96 in their pre- liminary Friday, but it wasn't fast enough to qualify for the final as the Huskies finished. The 200 Intermediate Re- lay team of Gunselman, Emily Thompson, Swanson and Curtis got closer to qualifying but fin- ished in seventh, one spot out of the final, in 2:05.91. The same thing happened to Swanson in the 100 Freestyle, as she got a slow start and finished seventh, in 1:00.91 -two-tehths of a second short of the final. "I know Kimber was unhappy and the girls were unhappy about that relay, but when you swim Huskies at state Naomi Gunselman Zac Pearce Victor Stupin McKene Curtis Kimber Swanson Don Rockstead Jake Johnson your lifetime best - which they did - there's not much more you can do," Peargin said. "She got caught on the blocks. She's usually a quick starter. "I'd rather a kid get llth than seventh. Seventh is a bitter bite." Swanson said a big challenge for the Husky girls was their lack of depth - the girls team this year was roughly half the size it's been in recent years, though the boys numbers stayed up. See State, page 16 Emily Thompson Gravy Gunslman Paige Sanders  ".    " ' : : r " [ '  ' . ' ,   --  "Z: r  '   ' r   = "