GRESHAM — Doug Peargin sure was busy at the 4A/3A/2A/1A swimming state meet Saturday night.
Sweet Home High’s coach had plenty of medals — first-place ones at that — to hand out to his boys and girls swimmers.
And at the end of the day, Peargin’s teams took home the best award of them all — team state titles.
After coming up a half point short in 2015 and topping North Bend by seven last season for their first title, the Sweet Home girls dominated from the start to win back-to-back championships with a team score of 99 points. North Bend was a distant second with 51.
Not to be outdone, the Sweet Home boys joined in the celebration by sealing another program title with a victory in the 400 freestyle relay to close the meet.
Sharing the title with the boys made this year even more special for the girls.
“It’s really cool,” junior Lauren Yon said. “A bunch of our boys are seniors so it was the last meet for all of us together, so it was really emotional but it was just awesome.”
The girls benefited from having 12 individual finalists from seven swimmers, as well as all three relays. North Bend had just nine finalists and all three relays.
"This year we had a really strong team,” said senior Lucie Davis, who is headed to Boise State. “We brought in a new freshman (Megan Hager) who is really fast and so we’ve had a really, really good year.”
Davis did her part as she was named the female swimmer of the meet.
And for good reason.
Davis made it three straight state titles in the 200 free, slowly pulling away and winning in 1:52.30. Sarah Hewitt was third in 2:00.37.
A little later, Yon joined Davis as a three-time champ as she easily won the 200 IM in 2:07.76. Teammate Elea Hewitt was sixth in 2:29.72.
After three events, the Huskies led North Bend 27-20.
Hager gave the Huskies a lift with a state title in the 100 free, clocking a 53.57 to easily win. She was second in the 50 free in 24.95, helping counteract North Bend’s win and sixth-place finish to keep the Huskies up 32-28.
The Huskies led 43-37 after Hager’s win in the 100 free.
The biggest difference came in the 500 freestyle where Lucie Davis, Sarah Hewitt and Mia Davis all made the finals.
Lucie Davis captured her third title in the event with a 5:00.39 while Hewitt (5:27.73) edged Mia Davis (5:28.25) for third place.
That gave the Huskies a 57-37 edge over North Bend and all but ended any possibility of a Bulldogs comeback.
“That was really, really great and it was really exciting for me,” Lucie Davis said of the depth in the 500. “My little sister Mia bumped way up and it was a great, great race for her.”
In addition to her title in the 200 IM, Yon took home gold in the 100 breaststroke in 1:06.38.
Jessica Coats won the 100 backstroke with a 59.04 and finished third in the 100 butterfly in 1:00.37.
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The 200 medley relay of Coats, Elea Hewitt, Mia Davis and Sarah Hewitt was third in 1:56.13.
The 200 free relay of Hager, Coats, Yon and Lucie Davis won the title, just missing out on breaking their own record they set on Friday in the prelims. They finished in 1:40.39 on Saturday after a 1:40.25 the previous day.
The Huskies closed in style as the 400 free relay also won gold. The team of Hager, Sarah Hewitt, Yon and Lucie Davis finished in 3:36.55 to break their own state record they set on Friday (3:36.88).
It was the perfect ending for the Huskies.
“It’s really special for us,” Lucie Davis said. “It’s special to give it to our coach, too.”
Added Yon: “It’s really humbling for all of us. I think it’s really exciting. Everybody was just so happy and pleased. We really felt the team atmosphere here and at districts and we were all so excited.”
The Huskies were third last year with just five swimmers. With one more in 2017, it meant a state title.
Sweet Home pulled away from La Grande for the team title, scoring 68 points to 51 for the Tigers.
After being sixth in 2015 and fourth last season, Nathan Hager captured gold in the 100 freestyle, taking home the title in 1:48.54. He just missed a double, coming in second in the 50 free with a time of 22.33.
“Senior year, first place, I couldn’t be happier,” Hager said.
Hager’s win gave the Huskies a 33-23 lead over La Grande and the Tigers never threatened again.
“It’s been amazing, it’s been an amazing four years working for this and I've got to thank my coach, coach Peargin,” Hager said. “He’s been the reason I keep swimming and the reason I still love this sport.”
Hager admitted he was a little skeptical going into districts about whether the Huskies could compete for a team title.
“After we came out at districts and the times we swam, I knew that we had a really good shot,” he said. “We’ve been working all week on the little things like the turns and it really paid off.”
Rowland Lupoli took home a title in the 100 butterfly, winning with a time of 54.32 in a close finish. He was fourth in the 100 breast in 1:02.73.
Rawlins Lupoli was fourth in the 200 IM in 2:04.13 and Brandon Vasfaret was sixth in 2:05.89. Lupoli was also third in the 100 breast in 1:01.22.
The 200 medley relay of Sean Wolthuis, Rawlins Lupoli, Vasfaret and Stewart Curtis was second in 1:45.56.
The 200 free relay of Rowland Lupoli, Rawlins Lupoli, Vasfaret and Hager topped La Grande for the title in 1:31.22.
The Huskies had a 47-40 lead at that point.
The 400 free relay of Rowland Lupoli, Wolthuis, Vasfaret and Hager won in a time of 3:19.58.
Philomath’s James Dye finished third in the 100 fly in 55.84 and was fourth in the 200 free in 1:49.38. He helped the Warriors finish 13th with seven points.