It’s been a long time since a swimmer from a Salem-Keizer public school has won a state championship.
Mackenzie Rumrill has the best shot of ending that drought
The senior from West Salem High School is the No. 3 seed in the 200 individual medley (2:07.35) and the No. 4 seed in the 100 butterfly (56.59) for the OSAA Class 6A state swimming meet Friday and Saturday at Gresham’s Mt. Hood Community College.
“I feel like it’s my last, final chance to shine and just to go out there and show people what I’ve worked for in life,” said Rumrill, who didn’t compete in high school swimming as a junior. “Some people don’t understand swimming. They’re like oh you just jump in the water. I’m like, no, you don’t.
“There’s so much more to swimming, in and out of the pool every single day. Next week at state I’ll be a lot more focused just on my individual races. I really want to get the state record so that’s my goal.”
The last state swimming champion from the Salem-Keizer School District was Amber Boucher, of McNary, who won the 50 free championship in 2006. West Salem’s only state champion in swimming was Nelson Westby, who won the 100 breaststroke championship in 2005.
Rumrill, who has signed to compete at Arizona, placed second in the 200 IM as a sophomore in 2003 and was fourth in the 100 free in 2012.
Although she is the No. 4 seed in the 100 fly behind Clackamas swimmer Lainey Visscher (55.83), Rumrill went 52.77 in winning the national championship in the event at the Speedo Winter Junior National Championships in December.
And in the 200 IM, she is seeded behind No. 1 Lisa Kaunitz of Lake Oswego (2:04.45), but she swam 2:00.75 in December.
“I think she’s really focused,” West Salem coach Dan Evans said. “She’s healthy. She should do extremely well.”
There are more Salem-Keizer swimmers who are highly seeded for the state meet than usual.
South Salem senior Carter Garfield is the No. 1 seed in the 100 breaststroke in 57.55 with West Salem’s Micah Masei third in 59.02.
South Salem senior Noah Cutting is the No. 3 seed in the 100 butterfly in 51.90 and the No. 3 seed in the 100 backstroke in 52.15.
South Salem’s 200 free relay team of Cutting, Garfield, Daisuke Fitial and Tyler Cook is the No. 2 seed in the 200 medley relay in 1:37.44, West Salem’s 200 free relay team of Masei, Victor Werner-Bustamante, Scott Svadlenak and Ryan Wetzel is the No. 3 seed in 1:29.11, and South Salem’s 400 free relay team of Garfield, Paul Lomax, Cook and Cutting is the No. 3 seed in 3:16.44.
South Salem coach Eric Richey said there were several swimmers to watch at the state meet and noted Rumrill’s speed.
“I’ve been doing this as a head coach and an assistant coach for 17 years, and she’s arguably the best I’ve seen,” Richey said.
“In the past we’ve focused on district and our state hasn’t been great. This year, Mackenzie is going to be awesome. Marissa Kuch at McNary is going to have some great swims. The 57.55 for Carter, that’s the fastest I’ve seen in the breaststroke in my time. That arguably will compete at a state level. I think both Noah’s swims will compete at a state level. I think that’s going to be a little bit of difference in our league.”
In the 4A/3A/2A/1A state meet, Salem Academy junior Kiera Supple is the No. 1 seed in the 100 back in 59.55 and the No. 3 seed in the 200 IM in 2:17.65. Salem Academy’s 200 medley relay team of Supple, Grace Warde, Emma Boles and Joelle Debban is the No. 2 seed in 1:54.91.
In 5A, Dallas sophomore Jolie-Rae Ford is seeded fourth in the 200 free in 1:57.85 and Central senior Nathan Glade is the No. 4 seed in the 100 breaststroke in 1:02.38.
bpoehler@StatesmanJournal.com, (503) 399-6701 or follow at twitter.com/bpoehler
State swimming meets
Where: Mt. Hood Community College, Gresham.
When: 6A at 9 a.m. Friday, 8:15 a.m. Saturday; 5A at 1:45 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday; 4A/3A/2A/1A at 6:30 p.m. Friday, 6:45 p.m. Saturday.