LONGVIEW — A first-time state individual qualifier and a heart-stopping relay team highlighted a strong performance by Aberdeen and Hoquiam during Saturday’s 2A District 4 boys swimming championships at Mark Morris High School.
Overall, Aberdeen took fourth in the team standings and, pending wild-card picks, will have two entries into the state 2A meet in Federal Way on Feb. 22.
Hoquiam, behind Tommy Wallace’s two races, took sixth as a one-man team. Columbia River won the district team title.
“If there is one meet where you have to bring your best performances of the year to, this is the one,” Aberdeen-Hoquiam head coach Rob Burns said. “This was the best two-day performance by the Bobcats and the Grizzlies all season. Everyone came up with their best efforts and I can’t be happier or more proud of them.”
The 200-yard freestyle relay turned out to be the most dramatic race of the day for Aberdeen.
Lead-off swimmer Colton Burns missed the wall on his turn and had to turn around and touch the wall before returning. Burns touched last at the end of his swim, with three more legs of the relay left.
His teammates — Brice Kola, Isaac Brandt and Russell Bates — erased the deficit with back-to-back-to-back sub 24-second swims to clinch a state berth in second place at 1:40.58.
“All four of those guys have worked so hard to get to state and it seemed like it was going to come down to fate and a bit of bad luck,” coach Burns said. “There was no quit in them and they kept at it. It paid off with a state berth and one hell of a memory of grit and determination.”
Bates locked in Aberdeen’s first state berth by staying close for a third-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle at 23.55 seconds. The sophomore was joined by Brandt (fifth at 24.39) and Kola (sixth at 24.62) in the 50 free finals.
Brandt took fourth in the 100 free, while Wallace took fourth in the 500 free, Bates grabbed fourth in the 100 backstroke and Kola finished fourth in the 100 breaststroke to add to the performances.
District IV 2A Championships Results
(Aberdeen and Hoquiam results from Saturday only; top-three berth earn state 2A meet allocation berth.)
Team — 1, Columbia River, 287. 4, Aberdeen, 193. 6, Hoquiam, 15.
200 MR — 4, Aberdeen (Bates, Kola, Burns, Brandt), 1:51.89. 200 Free — 5, Jamieson Berney, 2:25.49. 7, Noah Johnson, 2:29.51. 9, Logen Sequin, 2:46.69. 200 IM — 5, Colton Burns, 2:32.31. 50 Free — 3, Russell Bates, 23.55. 5, Isaac Brandt, 24.39. 6, Brice Kola, 24.62. 9, Jakhongir Ayupov, 27.57. 12, Colin Kenoyer, 31.09.
100 Free — 4, Isaac Brandt, 56.44. 6, Colton Burns, 57.66. 500 Free — 4, Tommy Wallace (Hoq.), 6:10.39. 8, Noah Johnson, 7:00.87. 9, Jamieson Berney, 7:02.12. 200 FR — 2, Aberdeen (Burns, Kola, Brandt, Bates), 1:40.58. 100 Back — 4, Russell Bates, 1:03.82. 11, Colton Elliott, 1:43.53. 100 Breast — 4, Brice Kola, 1:10.51. 8, Jakhongir Ayupov, 1:22.65. 9, Tommy Wallace (Hoq.), 1:23.23. 400 FR — 5, Aberdeen (C. Kenoyer, Berney, Johnson, Ayupov), 4:27.02.
— For the Grays Harbor News Group
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Lower Columbia 89, Grays Harbor 48
Grays Harbor struggled to score against one of the Northwest Athletic Conference’s best teams, losing 89-48 to Lower Columbia College on Saturday in Aberdeen.
Grays Harbor (14-12, 5-6 NWAC West) shot just 25.4% on 15-of-59 shooting from the field, including 3-of-14 (21.4%) from 3-point range.
Tristan Schoepf was the only Chokers player in double figures with 10 points. Michael Sampson had nine for Grays Harbor.
By contrast, Lower Columbia had four players in double figures, led by Alexis Angeles’ 18 points as LCC (22-4, 10-1) shot 62.7% from the floor on 37-of-59 shooting, including a scorching 9-of-13 (69%) from beyond the arc.
WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Lower Columbia 99, Grays Harbor 36
Grays Harbor remained winless on the season after a 99-36 loss to Lower Columbia on Saturday at Grays Harbor College.
The Chokers (0-14, 0-10 NWAC West) scored 11 points in the first quarter and were held to less than 10 points in each of the following three quarters.
Armonnie Byrd led the Chokers with 21 points and 13 rebounds.
Kamimi Papp added seven points for Grays Harbor.