Marshfield relay

Marshfield's quartet of Robert Kliewer, Zach Randle, Aaron Hutchins and Jack Waddington poses with its medals after finishing second in the 400 freestyle relay at the state meet Saturday. 

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BEAVERTON — Marshfield’s finish was fabulous.

The Pirates placed second in a thrilling team effort in the meet-closing boys 400-yard freestyle relay, the best finish of the day for Marshfield’s boys and girls at the Class 4A-3A-2A-1A state swimming championships Saturday.

Head coach Kathe McNutt and assistant Stephanie Marler cheered enthusiastically from the side of the pool as a large group of parents and other supporters roared their support in the grandstands at the Tualatin Hills Aquatic Center.

“That was great,” McNutt said.

The Pirates didn’t finish in the running for trophies, but that didn’t dampen McNutt’s spirits, especially after the strong relay finish lifted the boys to sixth (the top four teams get trophies).

“I’m pretty tickled how the season turned out and how our younger kids improved,” she said, referring to Marshfield’s boys and girls. “Overall, it’s a good year.”

The relay team of Aaron Hutchins, Robert Kliewer, Jack Waddington and Zach Randle finished in 3 minutes and 33.41 seconds, nearly two seconds faster than their time in the prelims a day earlier. A week earlier, they cut 11 seconds while winning the district title. 

Aaron Hutchins swam to a fourth-place finish in the breaststroke for Marshfield. 

“We definitely did not expect to get second,” Kliewer said.

They couldn’t keep up with powerful Newport, which finished in 3:27.60 to cap its march to the team title. But they topped the rest of the field.

“I think we did great,” Hutchins said.

Randle added that the Pirates lived up to the simple goal to “just leave everything in the pool.”

The same group earlier finished sixth in the 200 freestyle relay in 1:37.21, but came back to finish strong in the final event.

Marshfield had a chance at a trophy, but with just Randle and Hutchins in individual events, couldn’t score enough points.

Randle had a strong effort in the 200 freestyle, finishing third in 1:52.15, and took sixth in the 500 freestyle (5:13.97).

Mira Matthews competes in the 100 freestyle for Marshfield. She placed in both the 100 and 50 freestyle races. 

Randle said he had hoped for a faster time in the 200, but was thrilled with his place.

“I realized I changed places (from fourth in the prelims to third in the final) and that made me happy,” he said.

Hutchins, a sophomore, placed fourth in the 100 breaststroke in 1:05.90, taking a second and a half off his time in the prelims, which had been a new best.

“I’m excited,” he said. “I think I did well.

“I’m excited for next year.”

Marshfield’s girls had expected two individuals in final events, but senior Kady Cooley had to go home ill.

On the plus side, that opened up spots in Marshfield’s two relays for a pair of swimmers who otherwise wouldn’t have competed at state — Sydney Trendell in the 200 freestyle relay and Isabelle Hale in the 400 freestyle relay.

Both relay teams finished sixth, with the group of Mira Matthews, Paige Kirchner, Kally Haynes and Trendell finishing in 1:50.13 and the quartet of Matthews, Kirchner, Haynes and Hale finishing in 4:00.62 in the longer race.

All the girls who competed in the relays return.

“I’m looking forward to next year,” Matthews said.

She placed in two individual events for Marshfield, taking fifth in the 50 freestyle with a new best 25.33 seconds and taking sixth in the 100 freestyle in 57.33.

“I gave it my all,” she said.

Zach Randle swims on his way to a third-place finish in the 200 freestyle for Marshfield on Saturday. 

Marshfield’s girls finished in a tie for ninth in the team race, won by Catlin Gabel.

The Class 4A-3A-2A-1A meet was the late meet this year, finishing late in the evening, and turned into a record-setting spectacular, with nine new records among the 22 events over the two days.

New girls records included Sweet Home’s Megan Hager in the 200 freestyle (1:50.29 on Friday), Catlin Gabel’s Eva Carlson in the individual medley (2:04.93) and breaststroke (1:02.60 on Friday), Catlin Gabel’s Lizzy Cook in both the 50 freestyle (23.09) and 100 freestyle (49.81), Lydia Bartley of Sisters in the 500 freestyle (4:58.58) and Sweet Home’s 200 freestyle relay (1:39.65).

Valley Catholic’s Luca Foord set a new boys record in the breaststroke (58.50) and Newport’s Caden Shanks did the same in the backstroke (51.09).

Sports Editor John Gunther can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 241, or by email at john.gunther@theworldlink.com. Follow him on Twitter: @jguntherworld.

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