Up to this point, Kate Laderoute’s senior swimming season hasn’t been up to her high standards.
The West Linn standout got off to a slow start when she took time off for college visits, and midway through the year, her training was set back when she battled illness.
“It definitely hasn’t been my best,” Laderoute said.
She has a chance to finish her high school career with a flourish, though, in the OSAA 6A championships Friday and Saturday at Tualatin Hills Recreation Center. A year after winning her first individual title, in the 200-yard individual medley, and taking second in the 100 backstroke, she is hopeful of another strong performance.
“I’m really excited for the meet,” Laderoute said. “Anything can happen. I’ve been feeling really good in the water.”
Repeating her title in the 200 IM will be a tall order. With a stacked field, Laderoute enters as the No. 5 seed behind Sunset junior Tia Lindsay, Jesuit freshman Fay Marie Lustria, Mountainside sophomore Jessica Maeda and Lakeridge senior Ellie Jew.
Lindsay beat Laderoute for the title in 2017 and Laderoute turned the tables last season, beating Lindsay by two seconds. The Arizona-bound Jew, who was third last season, has beaten Laderoute twice in Three Rivers League competition this season.
It promises to be one of 6A’s most compelling races.
“I’m really excited,” Laderoute said. “I raced Tia when I was a sophomore and junior. I know that she’s super fast, and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to bring it to her level. I know there are other competitors out there, but I’m really excited to race all of them. I hope we can all kind of make each other better.”
Laderoute is seeded second in the 100 backstroke, an event in which she has finished seventh, fifth and second in the last three years. Her qualifying time of 55.70 is slightly behind Jesuit junior Isabella Wallace (55.62).
“I’m hoping my backstroke will do really well. I’m excited for that race,” Laderoute said. “The 100 back is just a race. You’ve really got to go for it. I’ve felt like I was holding back a little bit, and maybe at state I’ll be able to go full-throttle and kind of go for it.”
West Linn coach Katie Wilson anticipates Laderoute rising to the occasion this weekend.
“She usually always swims better at state than at district, so I’m not worried about it,” Wilson said.
Laderoute was out of the water for about two weeks when she took college trips early in the season, “so it was rough kind of getting back into it,” she said. Dealing with illness was another challenge.
“It wasn’t the worst that I’ve been through, but it did slow me down,” Laderoute said. “I just became a lot more tired, so everything seemed harder than it should’ve been. It was a little surprising to go through that. But I got through it. We’re on taper now, so I can’t complain.”
Laderoute has geared her training for the Speedo Spring Senior Sectionals next month in Federal Way, Wash., so she pushed through the district meet.
“I’m tapering a little bit for state, but our main focus is Senior Sectionals,” said Laderoute, who trains with Oregon City Swim Team. “I’m not rested completely.”
The state meet will mark the end of the line for the Laderoutes at West Linn. Laura Laderoute, now a junior on the team at the University of Houston, teamed with Kate on the state-champion 200 medley relay in 2016. Laura and Kate finished 2-3 in the 200 IM that year.
Laura won the 200 IM as a sophomore and was part of four state titles in the 200 medley relay.
“She definitely motivated me to keep going, and work really hard and not give up,” Kate said. “She’s really good at pushing through anything. She’s a fighter. She’s really inspired me a lot.”
Kate will continue her swimming career at Washington State next season. Before that, though, she would like to make one final mark.
“It would be pretty nice to go out with a couple of titles,” she said.
A look at the state meets, Friday and Saturday at Tualatin Hills:
Teams to watch: Jesuit, Sunset
Returning state champions: Kaitlyn Dobler, Aloha, jr. (50 freestyle, 100 breaststroke); Kate Laderoute, West Linn, sr. (200 IM)
2018 team scores: Sunset 207, Jesuit 205.5, Lakeridge 158
Notes: Sunset and Jesuit have finished 1-2 the last two years, but Jesuit appears to have the upper hand this year. The Crusaders beat the Apollos 96-74 in a Metro League dual and outscored them 503-462 to win the district meet. … The USC-bound Dobler set OSAA meet records in the 50 freestyle (22.35) and 100 breaststroke (59.89) last year and has her eye on the national mark in the breaststroke (58.4). She is going for her third breaststroke title. … Sunset junior Tia Lindsay won the 200 IM in 2017 but was second last year. … All the top seeds, including the relays, are from the Metro.
Teams to watch: Crescent Valley, North Bend, West Albany, Silverton, Springfield, Churchill
Returning state champions: Abby Maoz, Wilsonville, soph. (100 breaststroke)
2018 team scores: Bend 101, Crescent Valley 65, Summit 34, Marist 33, Mountain View 23
Notes: The field is wide open with Bend, Summit and Mountain View moving up to 6A and Marist dropping to 4A. Reigning 4A champion North Bend has moved up and should contend. Bend and Summit combined to win the last seven titles, the last two by Bend. … Crescent Valley has the top seed in two relays and three individual events with juniors Francesca Criscione (100 butterfly, 500 freestyle) and Paula Lomonaco (200 freestyle). … Wilsonville’s Maoz set the 5A meet record in the 100 breaststroke (1:03.66) last year.
Teams to watch: Sweet Home, Catlin Gabel, La Grande
Returning state champions: Lizzy Cook, Catlin Gabel, soph. (200 freestyle, 100 butterfly); Megan Hager, Sweet Home, jr. (100 freestyle); Nina Zweifel, Tillamook, soph. (100 backstroke); Eva Carlson, Catlin Gabel, soph. (200 IM)
2018 team scores: North Bend 66, Sweet Home 57, Catlin Gabel 52
Notes: Sweet Home won titles in 2016 and 2017 and was second last year to North Bend, which has moved to 5A. Sweet Home’s Hager is going for her third title in the 100 freestyle, but her competition includes Marist junior Lauren Barry, who won 5A titles in the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle last year, and Newport sophomore Lauren Bobo-Shisler, who has the top seed. … Catlin Gabel’s Cook is back to defend her title in the 100 butterfly, but instead of going for another title in the 200 freestyle, she has entered the 50 freestyle. … Catlin Gabel has No. 1 seeds in six events, including two relays and two events each for Cook and Carlson (200 IM, 100 breaststroke).
Teams to watch: Jesuit, Central Catholic, Newberg, West Linn
Returning state champions: Trent Martinez, Jesuit, sr. (200 freestyle, 500 freestyle)
2018 team scores: Jesuit 157, Sunset 140, Central Catholic 99, Westview 90, Lakeridge 80, Lincoln 80
Notes: Four-time reigning champion Jesuit once again enters as the favorite. The Crusaders have two top-seeded relays and one of the state’s elite swimmers in Martinez, a USC signee who has won the 200 and 500 freestyle in the last two state meets. … Martinez will be an underdog this year, though, with the return of Luke Thornbrue. The Century senior, who has signed with Notre Dame, won the 200 and 500 freestyle as a freshman and is the top qualifier in both races. … Tigard senior Ben Miller enters with the best times in the 200 IM and 100 butterfly. … Mountain View senior Griffin McKean, the two-time reigning 5A champion in the 100 breaststroke, is seeded fourth in the event. He also won the 200 IM in 2017 and the 200 freestyle in 2018.
Teams to watch: Springfield, North Bend, West Albany, Lebanon
Returning state champions: None
2018 team scores: Bend 53, Lebanon 42, Corvallis 37, Springfield 32
Notes: Reigning champion Bend is in 6A, and the team race looks to be a scramble. Springfield has two top-qualifying relays and two top-seeded individuals in senior Elijah Dapkus (100 freestyle) and sophomore Diego Reyes (100 breaststroke). North Bend, last year’s small-school runner-up, is seeded third in all three relays and has the No. 1 qualifier in the 200 freestyle in senior Kenneth Shepherd. … Crater freshman Marcus Reyes-Gentry qualified first in the 500 freestyle and 100 backstroke.
Teams to watch: Newport, Marshfield, Salem Academy
Returning state champions: Nathan Esplin, Nyssa, sr. (200 freestyle, 100 butterfly); Garren Dutton, La Grande, sr. (100 freestyle); Lucas Ellingson-Cosenza, Newport, sr. (500 freestyle).
2018 team scores: Newport 74, North Bend 48, Salem Academy 39, Sweet Home 37, La Grande 32
Notes: Newport and Marshfield appear ready to slug it out for the title. Newport, last year’s champion, has 13 top-six qualifying entries, including two No. 1 relays and three individual top seeds in Ellingson-Cosenza (200 IM, 500 freestyle) and junior Caden Shanks (100 backstroke). Marshfield has seven top-three qualifying entries, among them the top-seeded 200 freestyle relay. … La Grande’s Dutto won titles in the 500 freestyle in 2017 and the 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke last year. He is seeded first in the 100 freestyle and 50 freestyle. … Esplin is going for repeat titles in the 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly. He is seeded first in both events.
Photos of state championship events are available from Northwest Sports Photography at 4nsp.com