McNary freshman Marissa Kuch competes in the 200 yard freestyle on the second day of the Greater Valley Conference high school swim meet at the McMinnville Aquatic Center on Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015.
MCMINNVILLE – Carter Garfield and Noah Cutting mowed down a bunch of South Salem High School’s school records and won a bunch of Greater Valley Conference district championships Saturday.
But there was no stopping McMinnville’s team depth.
McMinnville made its presence felt by winning the boys and girls district championships Saturday afternoon at the GVC district swimming meet at McMinnville Aquatic Center.
McMinnville’s boys won with 390 points with South Salem second with 369 and West Salem third with 341.
“We won more events today than we have in years past, but in the same boat we’ve won district championships in the past the same exact way,” South Salem coach Eric Richey said. “They’re a better version of what we’ve been doing in the past few years.
“I’ve told my kids that you can’t play defense in swimming. You can only dictate what you can do.”
South Salem’s boys won plenty of Central Valley Conference district team championships in years past with depth, but for once their big guns did a lot of damage, racking up six district titles.
Cutting won district championships in the 100 butterfly (51.90) and 100 backstroke (52.15), setting school records in both.
Garfield broke his own school record in winning the 100 breaststroke (57.55) and won the 200 individual medley (1:57.35).
It was the fourth year in a row Garfield had won the 100 breast, making him the first Salem-Keizer swimmer to win four straight in the event.
“It was kind of an intense situation because everybody in that race except for me tapered for this meet, I was tapering for state,” Garfield said. “They’re all feeling great and I’m sort of halfway through my taper. I knew it was going to be close. Today I decided I didn’t want to lose.”
South Salem’s 200 medley relay team, which included Garfield and Cutting, won the district championship in a school record of 1:37.44 and they combined on the winning 400 free relay team that won in 3:16.44.
“We knew they had a pretty good freestyle team, which is the thing we were most worried about,” Cutting said. “We were pretty confident we were going to win (the team championship), and we didn’t, but we came out second. Strong finish anyway.
West Salem junior Andrew Kauffman pulled off an impressive double, winning the 500 free (4:59.77) and 200 free (1:48.67), the latter just getting past South Salem freshman Tyler Cook.
“For the race itself I saw that I was seeded pretty high, but I saw Tyler Cook, who I know he swims way faster than me,” Kauffman said. “I used to swim with him back when we both swam club.
“I knew he was right after me and I could see that after the first day. I was just kind of watching him, trying to stay in front of him for the race.”
The district champion in each individual and relay qualify for the Feb. 20 and 21 OSAA Class 6A state swimming meet at Gresham’s Mt. Hood Community College. Finalists who meet the qualifying standard automatically qualify along with the next fastest times from district meets.
McMinnville’s girls won the district title with 383 points. West Salem was second at 350 and West Albany was third with 332.
West Salem senior Mackenzie Rumrill, however, completed her district meet career with a perfect 12 district championships.
She won the 200 individual medley in 2:07.35 and the 100 butterfly in 56.59. She then anchored West Salem’s winning 200 free relay (1:41.18) and 400 free relay teams (3:43.37).
“I was just super excited for the relays today, so that was definitely hands down my favorite part,” said Rumrill, who didn’t compete in high school swimming as a junior.
“My teammates were just there for me. Everybody had high spirits today so even though I wasn’t the happiest with my times I went out and did what I needed to do today to help my team.”
McNary freshman Marissa Kuch made an instant impact by winning the 100 free (52.35) and 200 free (1:55.23), both by huge margins.
“For the 200 I just had one goal and that was to get my school record, and I did that,” Kuch said. “I didn’t really care what I got, I just wanted a 1:56 or better and I did that so that was fine.
“The 100 free, I just went. I was like, it’s a 100, I can just go for it. And that’s how I did that race and I was so blessed with how it ended with both races. I’m excited to go to state and see what I can do.”
Sprague had two individual champions: Senior Kate Goldsworthy was a surprise winner of the 50 free in 25.44 and senior Evette Dow won her second 500 free championship, this one in 5:12.33.
bpoehler@StatesmanJournal.com, (503) 399-6701 or follow at twitter.com/bpoehler