Dozen Cougar Swimmers Make a Splash at State Meet

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After a successful season where both the Canby boys and girls swim teams dominated throughout their respective seasons, the Cougs sent 12 members to the state tournament in Beaverton.

The best of the Three Rivers League champion girls swim team and third-place boys squad traveled to Tualatin Valley Hill Aquatic Center on Saturday.

In total, 54 teams competed at the state swim final; the strong Canby girls crew set several personal bests and placed 10th overall, the highest finish for the girls’ team since 2007. Meanwhile, the boys tied for 22nd in the state.

The Canby girls were led by Kali Mull, Avery Keinonen and Allison Yancey. Mull swam to two lifetime best times on the day, finishing fourth in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:54.57 and eighth in the 100 free in a time of 53.79.

Photo courtesy Canby Athletics.

Keinonen also swam to two lifetime bests, in the 200 individual and the 100 butterfly, finishing ninth with a time of 2:10:99 in the 200 IM and seventh with a 58.66 in the 100 fly.

Allison Yancey followed the trend by setting two of her own personal bests on the day. Yancey finished seventh in the 200 IM in a time of 2:10.03 and eleventh in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:07.64.

That mark in the 100 breaststroke lowered the team record, one already owned by Yancey.

In the 200 medley relay, the team of Keinonen, Mull, and sisters Allison and Amanda Yancey, swam to an eighth-place finish in a season-best time of 1:51.18.

Unfortunately, the meet ended sourly in the 400 free relay when Keinonen, Mull, Allison and Yancey and Kennedy Hester swam to a time of 3:38.64 but were disqualified for an early take-off.

Photo courtesy Canby Athletics.

“[The 400 free] was disappointing, but really there is a huge upside to the swim,” said Canby head coach Eric Laitinen. “All four swimmers will be returning next year to swim even faster. The Canby girls really had a fantastic meet.”

The Canby boys started off like the girls, finishing eighth in the 200 medley relay with a season-best time of 1:42.80. The relay swimmers for this race were Hunter DeRisio, Kai Laitinen, Connor DeRisio and Jack Hayhurst.

Senior Hunter DeRisio swam the 100 free and 100 back individually. He finished 12th in the state in the 100 free in a time of 49.63 and placed 18th in the 100 backstroke in a time of 59.46.

Sophomore Isaac Beck, swimming in his first high school state meet, finished in 15th place with a time of 5:03.75 in the 100 back. One spot behind his teammate, senior Jack Hayhurst finished 16th with his lifetime best time.

The boys also swam the 400 free relay with members Connor DeRisio, Jack Hayhurst, Isaac Beck and Hunter DeRisio.

Photo courtesy Canby Athletics.

The boys bettered their best time in the final race for both of the DeRisios and Hayhurst and swam to a time of 3:23.98, good for 11th in the state.

While many Canby swimmers will continue swimming year-round with the Nathan Templeman and the Canby Gators Swim Club, Saturday marked the end of an impressive year for Laitinen and the Cougs.

“Overall, it was a great meet, and I am so proud of what the Canby Cougar Swimmers accomplished this year,” Laitinen said. “It was a very exciting year.”

The Cougars will be back and stronger than ever next winter for their 2023 campaign.

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