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Special District Swimming Championships

Marshfield's Alexander Kliewer competes Saturday in the 100-yard breaststroke event during the Class 4A-3A-2A-1A District 4 Swimming Championships at North Bend Municipal Pool. Kliewer won the race and the 200-yard individual medley. 

NORTH BEND — Marshfield swim coach Kathe McNutt received a premature bath, fully clothed, on Saturday, the reward for her teams sweeping the titles in the Class 4A-3A-2A-1A District 4 meet at North Bend Municipal Pool.

“The kids did great,” McNutt said.

Marshfield’s boys and girls teams both scored over 300 points. None of their opponents topped the 200-point mark.

The Pirates won with outstanding depth that gave them several placers in most events.

The highlight of the day came in a relay, where the quartet of Brian Place, AJ Kliewer, Frankie Figueroa and Connor Fromm achieved their goal of breaking the school record.

“We’ve been working on that record for two years,” Figueroa said after the group of four seniors posted a time of 1:33.35 that also earned them the top seed for the state meet this weekend in Beaverton.

“It’s cool,” Fromm said, noting that all four swimmers stepped up with splits in the 23-second range.

“It hasn’t all hit yet. I’m sure it will later.”

The relay was just the biggest moment in a day full of new bests for the Pirates.

The boys swept the three relays and Fromm and Kliewer each won two individual events while swimming personal bests to reach long-awaited goals.

“Districts has been so successful,” Kliewer said in a concept that both matched his personal achievements and the team’s success.

He won the individual medley with the second best time among the four district meets (2:05.93) and then did the same in the breaststroke, where his time of 1:03.38 was just better than Braedon Scaglione of Cascade Christian (1:03.75).

The two came up from underwater after their final turn dead even, but Kliewer pulled ahead to win.

“I just wanted to win,” he said, “I wanted to get it.”

Fromm, meanwhile, dipped under 1:50 for the first time to win the 200 freestyle in 1:49.44 that will make him the No. 2 seed for state. He also won the butterfly in 56.04, which makes him the No. 3 seed.

“It’s been a good last districts,” he said “I PRed in everything I swam.”

The same quartet that broke the 200 freestyle relay record won the 400 freestyle relay to earn the No. 2 seed for state. Place and Figueroa also were on the winning medley relay (they just did one individual event each) along with Aaron Hutchins and Josh Olson.

Marshfield’s state qualifiers were many for the boys.

Zach Randle won the 500 freestyle and qualified for state in the 200 freestyle with his second-place finish behind Fromm. The longer race was one of the best of the day, with Randle dropping nearly 10 seconds off his previous best to finish in 5:10.05, just ahead of Asa Frisbee of St. Mary's (5:10.38). 

Place and Olson advanced in the butterfly after finishing second and third behind Fromm. Robert Kliewer advanced in the individual medley with his second-place finish behind his brother.

Figueroa qualified in the 100 freestyle and Hutchins in the breaststroke.

Marshfield’s girls didn’t have as many state qualifiers or winners, but were similarly dominant in the team race and with new bests.

The team’s success thrilled senior Anna Hutchins, Marshfield’s only individual girls champion with wins in both the 200 and 500 freestyle.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited at a district meet,” she said, adding that watching teammates hit new best times and be successful “makes my heart full.”

Kady Cooley, who was second to Hutchins in both her races, also qualified for state. Bree Billeter and Mira Matthews also finished in the shorter race and Paige Kirchner and Billeter in the longer one, scoring big points for the team.

Cassidy Carr, Aina Weaver, Sydney Trendell, Pauline Kaiser and Taylor Waddington also had top-six finishes for Marshfield’s girls, though none were quite quick enough to advance to state.

The Pirates did win both freestyle relays with squads including Cooley, Kirchner, Billeter and Hutches (200 freestyle relay) and Cooley, Matthews, Kirchner and Hutchins (400 freestyle relay).

The two titles were the result of a great season of preparation.

“Eveyrone works the hardest at practice,” Fromm said. “I’m proud of everyone.”

Now the entire group is looking ahead to big things at state.

“I’m so ready for state,” AJ Kliewer said.

The other individual winners Saturday were Mazama’s Gordon McCreadie (50 freestyle) and Jasper Zhu (100 freestyle) and Asa Frisbee (backstroke) of St. Mary’s for the boys; and Klamath Union’s Paige Orlando (50 freestyle and 100 freestyle), Ahnykah Lahmann of St. Mary’s (individual medley and butterfly), Ivy Frisbee of St. Mary’s (backstroke) and Macy Hullman of Henley (breaststroke) for the girls.

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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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