Jesuit's Sophia Nosack won the 500 freestyle against Sunset on Thursday.
Jesuit's Sophia Nosack won the 500 freestyle against Sunset on Thursday.

Jesuit’s boys and girls prevailed over Sunset in a Metro League dual meet featuring two of the state’s top programs Thursday at Tualatin Hills Recreation Center.

Jesuit’s girls, 6A runners-up to Sunset the last two years, defeated the Apollos 96-74, and the four-time reigning state champion Crusader boys team rolled to a 114-56 win.

Jesuit and Sunset are ranked first and second, respectively, in both OSAAtoday 6A coaches polls.

“Sunset’s always a challenge,” Crusaders coach Bryan Butcher said. “They always bring their A game, so we went in with the same attitude. It’s fun for us to go head-to-head with them every year in a big meet.”

The high-level competition was illustrated in the girls 400 freestyle relay. Sunset (Tia Lindsay, Kiki Lindsay, Hannah Trainer, Lily Gardner) clocked an impressive 3:30.44 to beat Jesuit (3:31.40) by one second.

“A 3:30 right now in a dual meet, that’s pretty good on both sides,” Butcher said, “having all those girls step up like that at this point. That was a fun race to watch.”

Jesuit’s Fay Lustria won the 200 IM and 100 butterfly and Sofia Nosack was first in the 500 freestyle and second in the 100 backstroke. Sunset got wins from Tia Lindsay in the 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke.

In the boys meet, the Crusaders won all three relays and had three double winners in Trent Martinez (100 freestyle, 200 freestyle), Marco Nosack (200 IM, 100 breaststroke) and Nick Simons (100 backstroke, 100 butterfly). Miles Imai won the 50 freestyle for Sunset.

Going in style: In what is likely to be his final season of competitive swimming, La Grande senior Garren Dutto is taking aim at the record book.

The three-time 4A/3A/2A/1A champion does not plan on swimming in college, so he has one last season to make his mark.

“This is kind of the last hurrah for him, I believe,” said La Grande coach Darren Dutto, his father. “Going into this season, this past summer, he kind of indicated he wanted to be done with swimming. We made a deal to get through the high school season, just one last time.”

Garren Dutto won state titles in the 500-yard freestyle as a sophomore and in the 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke as a junior. This season, he has focused his attention on the 50 and 100 freestyle, events in which the school records are within reach.

“That’s kind of his motivation,” Darren Dutto said. “He has those records in the back of his mind.”

Considering his times in the 100 freestyle so far, Darren said that Garren is “on a good trajectory.” This season, he has set 100 freestyle records in the Lebanon Invite (49.07) and Madras White Buffalo Classic (49.4).

The times represent a half-second to one-second improvement over this time last season, which ended with him swimming a personal-best 47.3 at the state meet.

“If everything works like it has in the past, he should expect a decent time drop,” Darren said. “He hasn’t really been challenged in the 100 free yet. He hasn’t had to race. When he gets a little bit of a race, it’s going to make a difference.”

In 2004, Brenton Dowdy set La Grande’s school records in the 100 freestyle (46.84) and 50 freestyle (21.37). Dutto narrowly missed the 100 freestyle mark last year and has swam 22.3 in the 50 freestyle this season, despite rarely competing in it.

“In the 50 free, has hasn’t really swam tapered before, so we’re not quite sure what he’s going to do,” Darren Dutto said.

Garren Dutto will try for the school record in the 200 IM on Saturday in a five-team meet at La Grande. He personal best is 2:01.8, well within range of the mark of 2:01.4 (Bryce Ebel, 2016).

As for the district and state meets, for now the plan is for Garren to race in the 50 and 100 freestyle, forgoing a chance to repeat in the 100 backstroke.

“The only thing that might change going into districts is he might decide to do the 200 IM and 100 free,” Darren Dutto said. “But I think he’s still pretty set on the 50 free.”

State meet moves: Due to ongoing repairs on the 50-meter pool at the Mt. Hood Community College Aquatics Center, the OSAA has moved the state swimming championships to Tualatin Hills Recreation Center in Beaverton on Feb. 15-16.

Mt. Hood has been the meet’s regular venue since 2007. Prior to that, the meet alternated between Mt. Hood and Osborn Aquatic Center in Corvallis for 15 years.

“This is a one-year hiatus from Mt. Hood,” OSAA assistant executive director Kris Welch said, “unless something happens and the swimming pool is not available, or if Tualatin Hills ends up being a fantastic venue. It all depends on how the state meet goes.”

The dome covering Mt. Hood’s outdoor pool was torn in early December when workers returned it after replacing the pool’s liner. The dome was repaired, but when pumping it up in mid-December, the foundation crumbled near the facility’s doors.

The news sent Welch scrambling to find a venue for the state meet. Only two other facilities in Oregon can accommodate the meet: Tualatin Hills and Osborn.

“Both were available, but it just came down to spectator seating, which Tualatin Hills has more than Osborn, and the fact that Osborn only has eight lanes, and we need nine for 6A,” Welch said.

The OSAA’s third option was to split the state meets between Mt. Hood’s six-lane indoor pool and Tualatin Hills, but it wasn’t feasible due to lack of officials.