NORTH BEND — An outstanding crop of freshmen was on display for North Bend’s swim team in the season-opening dual Friday night against Marshfield. Combined with the returning talent the Bulldogs have, the newcomers give North Bend’s boys and girls speed and depth throughout the lineup.
The various freshmen have been making waves with the South Coast Aquatic Team for years, and are fitting right in with the veterans, North Bend coach Sasha Trichler said.
“The high school has been waiting for them,” Trichler said. “They still have to work hard.”
North Bend overwhelmed the Pirates, winning all but one of the boys races and all but two of the girls events. North Bend’s girls won the dual 118-52 while the boys won by a 108-62 margin.
“We have a lot of freshmen coming up who have a lot of talent,” said North Bend senior Vianka Hoyer. “I think we’re going to do well.
“They’re a lot of fun in practice.”
Bella Jones, one of the freshmen, had a pair of wins for the Bulldogs, taking the 200-yard freestyle (2:01.11) and 100 freestyle (55.83) in her debut meet. She also was part of both winning freestyle relay teams, combining with Hoyer, junior Sarah Kuykeydall and senior Sierra Trichler to win the 200 freestyle relay (1:45.40) and with senior Makayla Proett and fellow freshmen Makenna Roberts and Apryl Paquette to win the 400 freestyle relay (3:56.97).
Paquette was second to Jones in the 200 freestyle. In the 200 individual medley, Proett won in 2:25.66 and Roberts was close behind in second in 2:26.83. Natalie Cheal, another freshman, was second behind Hoyer in the 100 butterfly, with Hoyer touching the wall in 1:00.23 and Cheal in 1:04.48.
Sierra Trichler won the 100 breaststroke (1:17.16) and Hoyer took the 100 backstroke (1:05.35) for the Bulldogs.
North Bend also won the opening medley relay, with the group of Kuykendall, Trichler, Hoyer and Proett finishing in 2:00.73.
Anna Hutchins had both Marshfield wins, taking the 50 freestyle (25.71) and 500 freestyle (5:32.62).
In the latter race, the Bulldogs had three finishers under 6 minutes, with Proett finishing in 5:53.98, Cheal in 5:55.33 and Angie Allman, another freshman, in 5:59.16.
Hutchins, Marshfield’s standout junior, had her pick of events for the season opener.
“I (told the coaches), I would kind of like to do the 500 and kind of like to do the 50,” she said. “They said they are complete opposites. I said ‘I’m an opposite person.’
“It’s good I can do both well.”
Hutchins said she is excited for the new season.
“I recruited a few more people this year,” she said. “They’re having fun. That makes me more excited, because if my teammates are having fun, I’m having fun.”
Marshfield coach Kathe McNutt said the Pirates are behind where they would like to be because they only just got to start practicing in their home pool, at Mingus Park, a week ago after prolonged maintenance.
The first two weeks of practice, the Pirates had to work out at North Bend after the Bulldogs finished their practices. And not all the swimmers worked out as much as they would have in the offseason if Mingus had been available.
But, as Hutchins pointed out, sharing North Bend’s pool was “better than not swimming at all.”
North Bend’s boys were similarly dominant to the girls, at least in terms of winning events.
Sophomore Ryan Trichler was impressive winning the 200 freestyle (1:50.66) and 100 butterfly (56.39). Sophomore Craig Hoefs took both the 500 freestyle (5:31.34) and the 100 breaststroke (1:06.12).
Junior Kenneth Shepherd won the 200 individual medley (2:11.68), sophomore Divenson Willis took the 50 freestyle (24.27) and junior Logan Lampe won the 100 backstroke (1:00.56).
Like the girls, the boys swept the relays, with Lampe, Hoefs, senior Andrew Hobson and freshman Tucker Hood winning the medley relay (1:50.38); Willis, Shepherd, Trichler and freshman Zachary Holt winning the 200 freestyle relay (1:37.36); and Trichler, Hoefs, Lampe and Shepherd winning the 400 freestyle relay (3:38.50).
Hood was second to Trichler in the butterfly and Holt was second to Hoefs in the breaststroke.
Senior captain Mitchell Yost, who was unable to compete Friday because of an injury, said he is excited about the year.
“This is our last chance at a state title in Class 4A,” he said. “In terms of winning a state title, this is the best we’ve been.”
When Yost was a freshman, North Bend only had five boys, though all were pretty good. Now the Bulldogs have depth and speed, he said.
Marshfield also was missing one of its top swimmers and captains, junior Mark Larson, because of an illness.
Both hope to be in the pool next weekend for the North Bend Invitational.
Connor Fromm got Marshfield’s one boys win, taking the 100 freestyle in 52.81 seconds after finishing second in the 200 freestyle behind Trichler.
“I was happy with the 100,” Fromm said, adding that he didn’t swim as much as he would in the offseason. “I’m doing a lot better than I expected.
“I’m glad that my speed is still there. I need to work on my endurance.”
AJ Kliewer and Frankie Fiueroa both had runner-up finishes for the Pirates as well.
McNutt said she was pleased with her team’s effort.
“We had some good swims,” she said, adding that the Pirates also had good efforts, given their amount of practice, from football players Brian Place, CJ McCarthy and Tanner Koster less than a week after the championship game.
McNutt also noted that the Pirates were swimming against great competition in the Bulldogs, which hopefully inspired her team to work harder and perform better.
“I feel like we’re swimming against the best in the state,” she said. “That’s good.”