ASTORIA — North Coast swimmers made a definite splash in the pool Feb. 10, in the finals of the Special District 1/4A swim meet at the Astoria Aquatic Center.
The Tillamook girls and Newport boys scored the team championships, while Astoria and Seaside will both send a handful of swimmers to the state meet, Friday and Saturday at Mt. Hood Community College.
Seaside recovered from a rough preliminary round Friday, bouncing back with junior Josh Shipley winning a pair of individual district titles in Saturday’s finals.
Athletes from Astoria and Seaside won three events in Saturday’s finals — not bad, considering how tough the district is, said Gulls’ coach Shane Spell.
“It is a tough district,” Spell said. “It is loaded. And it’s good to challenge yourself. If you’re not racing big teams, then you’re not improving. There’s plenty of opportunity available for that in this district.”
He added, “(Friday) was a rough day for us, but they came back today with solid swims. It’s a young team in a big meet, and we came back well. And I’m happy with that. I think back to our very first practice, and we have come such a long, long way.”
Shipley was the highlight of Seaside’s day.
He began with a win in the 50-yard freestyle, in a personal best 22.77 seconds. Shipley added another victory later in the day, swimming a personal best 1:02.31 in winning the 100-yard breaststroke.
He also swam a leg on Seaside’s state qualifying 200-yard freestyle relay squad, teaming with Isaiah Collins, Dawson Blanchard and Henry Garvin for a third-place finish (1:40.12).
In the state meet, Shipley will be the fourth-highest seed in the 50 freestyle, and he will be the No. 2 seed in the breaststroke.
“Josh broke two Cowapa League records last week,” Spell said. “He didn’t break any records today, but they were really fast times.”
Shipley sets records
ST. HELENS — Five Cowapa League schools with swim teams met Feb. 2 in St. Helens, for the annual league meet hosted by Scappoose.
And while the Tillamook girls and Scappoose boys made off with the team titles, the Astoria boys placed second and the Astoria girls took third in the team standings, in the tune up for districts. Both Seaside teams took fourth.
The Seaside boys scored 148 points. The Gulls highlighted the meet with a pair of league record swims, both by Josh Shipley.
The junior posted a 22.89 time in winning the 50-yard freestyle, and returned later in event 20, winning the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:03.50, well ahead of the second place time (1:11.68).
The Gulls added a second-place showing in the 200-yard medley relay, with Shipley teaming with Isaiah Collins, Henry Garvin and Dawson Blanchard for a 1:55.07 finish, four-second drop in their season best.
Collins also took second in the 100-yard backstroke.
For the Seaside girls, junior Kendy Lin scored big points with second place showings in the 200 freestyle and the backstroke. Freshman Brooke Blankenhorn had a 15-second drop in her time for second in the 500 (7:05.90), and teammate Kaisa Liljenwall dropped 30 seconds for fourth in the same event.