The first big home meet of the season is always a fun one for the Astoria swim team — and it’s even more enjoyable for the Fish when they win.
Which they did Saturday, in a wash, so to speak.
It wasn’t even close, as the Fishermen swim teams both recorded team victories in the annual Andrew Nygaard Invitational — or, “Andrew’s Meet,” honoring the former Astoria youth swimmer who died after a summer workout session in Seaside in 1998.
Four schools took part in Saturday’s meet at the Astoria Aquatic Center, as the Fishermen hosted Seaside, Rainier and Valley Catholic.
The Astoria girls racked up 122 points to finish ahead of second-place Seaside (68), while the Fishermen boys collected 136 points, more than double that of the second-place Gulls (57).
It was certainly enjoyable for Kathryn Zacher, the first-year coach of the Astoria High School swim team.
“We did really well,” Zacher said. “We had a lot of individual success. With our team this year, we have a lot of depth. We may not win a lot of events, but with the depth and the relays that we have, we’ll get a lot of second and third-place finishes. All those score points, and that will help a ton at districts.”
Some of the highlights for Astoria included a win in the first event, the girls’ 200-yard medley relay, as freshmen Tori Smith and Grace Peeler combined with seniors Jazzy King and Megan Schacher to finish in 2 minutes, 12.20 seconds, well ahead of Rainier (2:24.84).
King came back and won the 50-yard freestyle (first out 27 entries in 28.0), and the 100-yard freestyle (1:05.05).
Smith added a victory in the 500-yard freestyle (6:12.65); the Astoria girls had two teams in the 200-yard freestyle relay, and finished first and second; Peeler had a personal best time of 1:19.78 to win the 100-yard breaststroke; and the Lady Fishermen finished by winning the 400-yard freestyle relay.
The Astoria boys had two individual winners, including freshman Davis Wingard, who won a battle to the wall with Valley Catholic senior Harrison Kyser to win the 500 in 5:47.02.
Riley Cameron edged teammate Aleks Matthews to place first in the breaststroke.
The Fishermen added two more wins in the 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relays.
“Davis did fantastic in both of his events, and PR’d by four seconds in the 500,” Zacher said.
The Seaside boys scored points with wins in the 200 medley relay; Josh Shipley in the 200-yard individual medley (2:15.34) and the 100 freestyle (51.62, nearly 10 seconds ahead of Astoria’s Ryder Dopp); and Isaiah Collins won the 100-yard backstroke (1:11.16).
On the girls’ side, Seaside’s Kendy Lin captured the 200-yard freestyle in 2:21.84, then later won the backstroke (1:10.45).
Early season success has Astoria talking district titles.
“The 400 free relay is already faster than our best time last year,” Zacher said. “We’re doing really well for where we’re at. Second meet in, we have all these PR’s, and the kids are feeling the energy. They work hard every day, and they’re really motivated.
“Obviously we have our sights set on the Tillamook girls and the Newport boys. Those are the two hurdles we have going into districts, so we’re trying to figure out our best lineup with our depth, leading up to districts.”