Swimming: Seaside’s Josh Shipley earns state medal

Seaside junior Josh Shipley, left, placed second in the final of the 50-yard freestyle behind T.J. Morgan of Henley, center.

GRESHAM — Seaside’s Josh Shipley entered the state swim meet as the fourth-fastest swimmer in the boys’ 50-yard freestyle event, with a time of 22.77 seconds.

In Friday’s preliminary heat, the Gulls’ junior swam a 22.55, the third-best qualifying time.

And in Saturday’s final, Shipley improved his time and place yet again, finishing the 50 freestyle in 22.10 seconds for a second-place medal.

Shipley — a student at Warrenton High School who swims for the Gulls — was the only North Coast athlete to score points in the OSAA state meet, held Friday and Saturday at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham.

His second-place finish behind Henley senior T.J. Morgan (22.10) earned Seaside five points in the final team standings. Newport won the boys’ team title with 74 points, well ahead of second-place North Bend (48).

North Bend won the girls’ team championship with 66 points, edging Sweet Home (57). Tillamook was fifth and Newport seventh.

Ironically, Shipley was unable to qualify for the finals in his top event, the 100-yard breaststroke, in which he had the second-fastest mark (1:02.31) entering the meet. His time of 1:03.69 in the preliminaries was seventh (the top six advance to finals).

Shipley may have been short of energy, after swimming the anchor leg for Seaside’s 200-yard freestyle relay in the prelims.

“The 100 breaststroke was only about 10 minutes or so after the 200 free relay,” said Seaside coach Shane Spell. “Josh had an amazing anchor leg to help us move up from 11th to 10th, but that probably cost him some valuable energy for his individual race.”

Other North Coast entries included the Astoria girls 200-yard medley and 200-yard freestyle relay squad of seniors Jazzy King and Megan Schacher, and freshmen Grace Peeler and Tori Smith.

The Lady Fishermen were disqualified in the preliminaries of the first event, the medley relay. Astoria finished eighth (1:50.13) in the prelims of the 200 freestyle relay.

Individually, Smith was seventh in qualifying for the 100-yard backstroke (1:04.06) and eighth in the preliminary of the 200-yard individual medley (2:22.40). Peeler was 11th in qualifying for the 200-yard freestyle.

Elsewhere, Tillamook freshman Nina Zweifel won the backstroke in a state meet record time of 57.45 seconds.

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