Newport High won 11 of 19 events at the sixth annual Rhonda Relays Thursday at Clemens Community Pool and Sweet Home touched the wall first in six other events.
But for Philomath coach Marissa Eng, the season-opening meet is not designed to pile up victories and score a bunch of points. In fact, meet officials don't even keep track of team scoring.
"I think this was a great meet to start with because there's lots of pressure to be like super fast and to not necessarily be worried about place or score," Eng said. "I'm just looking for more experience because we have a lot of swimmers that haven't done an actual swim meet before. So learning to have a really first-time experience, it was really great because I can pair them up on specific relays with people who are older and more experienced. That way, they can learn the ropes at a generic swim meet."
Along with Philomath, Newport and Sweet Home, also participating were Stayton, Taft and North Marion.
Eng said she was impressed with junior Amity Coon's performances.
"She's put in a lot of effort in the offseason and done a lot of extra training and today it paid off," Eng said. "She raced really hard and you could tell she's been putting in the extra time."
Sophomore Brennan Provance was another returning player that is seeing improvement.
"He's really done a great job in the offseason training and improving his strokes and you could totally tell," Eng said. "I didn't get a chance to see the actual times, but his body movement through the water was outstanding and I could see big leaps and bounds."
Among the younger swimmers, Eng saw good things from freshmen Melia Morton and Eli McLennan.
"She had some really great strokes," Eng said about Morton. "I think she's going to add a nice depthness to the team as far as being younger and being able to step up in a leadership role and being a really good swimmer for us."
The coach said McLennan also shows promise.
"We're going to tap more into his competitive side and his racing side but his strokes are solid and he definitely could keep up with the competition, even as a freshman," Eng said.
Philomath's top relays in the results were a pair of runner-up finishes by the boys' 200 backstroke and the girls' 400 breaststroke. Third-place finishes were turned in by the 400 breaststroke relay for the boys, and the 200 backstroke and 200 freestyle relays for the girls.
Individual names of those swimming on the relays were not available.
This year's team for the girls includes two seniors -- Miriam Coskey and Rachel Hindman -- along with five juniors, six sophomores and three freshmen. The boys' roster features three seniors with Charlie Hewitt, Cody Edwards and Jensen Davis along with five juniors, two sophomores and three freshmen.
Overall, Eng said she was pleased with the team's progress.
"We're stepping up our training game and we've got two swim meets next week and then we go into winter training, which is super fun and so we make a lot of deposits into our swim bank so that we can withdraw all at the end of the season," she said.
Philomath heads to the Sweet Home Invitational Thursday and then will pair up with Newport Friday on the coast. The Warriors will also swim at Salem Academy Dec. 19 before winter training.
Thursday at Philomath
Winners & PHS Results
200 medley relay: 1, Newport, 1:57.09; 6, Philomath, 2:12.56; 10, Philomath B, 3:16.82.
200 backstroke relay: 1, Newport, 1:55.45; 2, Philomath, 2:41.15.
400 breaststroke relay: 1, Newport, 4:59.14; 3, Philomath, 6:03.28.
200 butterfly relay: 1, Newport, 1:55.20; 4, Philomath, 2:18.96.
400 freestyle relay: 1, Sweet Home, 3:46.01; 5, Philomath, 4:33.04.
200 breaststroke relay: 1, Sweet Home, 2:10.69; 6, Philomath, 3:07.81.
400 backstroke relay: 1, Newport, 4:13.65; 4, Philomath B, 4:51.71; 7, Philomath, 7:07.95.
200 freestyle relay: 1, Taft, 1:48.14; 8, Philomath, 2:20.97.
400 medley relay: 1, Newport, 4:16.91; 5, Philomath, 5:10.88.
Winners & PHS Results
200 medley relay: 1, Newport, 2:07.90; 6, Philomath, 2:31.23; 11, Philomath B, 3:39.16.
200 backstroke relay: 1, Stayton, 2:28.08; 3, Philomath, 2:44.23; 9, Philomath B, 4:06.20.
400 breaststroke relay: 1, Newport, 5:26.46; 2, Philomath: 6:05.88.
200 butterfly relay: 1, Newport, 2:11.45; 5, Philomath, 2:29.21.
400 freestyle relay: 1, Sweet Home, 4:12.15; 4, Philomath, 4:49.72; 6, Philomath B, 5:19.98.
200 breaststroke relay: 1, Newport, 2:40.15; 7, Philomath, 3:35.50.
400 backstroke relay: 1, Sweet Home, 4:47.79; 4, Philomath, 5:44.67; 5, Philomath B, 6:00.19.
200 freestyle relay: Sweet Home, 2:04.41; 3, Philomath, 2:15.89; 10, Philomath B, 3:35.63.
400 medley relay: 1, Sweet Home, 4:30.47; 5, Philomath, 5:22.31.
Winners & PHS Results
200 freestyle relay: 1, Newport, 1:40.69; 8, Philomath, 2:16.50; 12, Philomath B, 2:40.54.
Note: Team scoring not calculated. Individual members of relays not available.