District Swim Meet: Cubs girls make history

Taft finished third in the girls with 179 points, while the boys secured second place with 198. (Photo by Nugesse Ghebrendrias)

NEWPORT — The 2019-20 District Swim Meet is officially in the books, and once again, the Newport boys captured another 4A/3A/2A/1A District Championship, their ninth straight, while the Newport girls clinched their first title in school history.

Swimmers from Taft, Newport, Toledo, Astoria, Tillamook, Valley Catholic, Seaside and Rainier all descended on the Newport Aquatic Center for the two-day event, but it was the hometown swimmers that took the plaudits.

On the girls side, 1,199 points were scored total, with the Cubs leading the way with 279, while Tillamook and Taft finished second and third respectively with 188 and 179. The AquaBoomers placed seventh with 72 points. 

For the boys, it was pretty much the same. The Cubs ran away with the meet taking 297 total points, 99 more than Taft, who finished in second place with 198. Toledo earned seventh with 70 points.

Friday and Saturday showed the sheer dominance from the Cubs boys, but also showed the emergence of a new beast, the Cubs girls swim team.

“We are swimming so hard. and these girls have worked so hard this season and there is more of (girls) than boys this season this year, so we are really looking forward to seeing what we can do at state and just in the next few years too even when I’ll be gone,” Newport’s Lauren Bobo-Shisler said.

Bobo-Shisler’s performance was key for the Cubs girls team, as she was a part of the first place 200-yard medley relay team (2:01.53), first place in the 200-yard freestyle (2:00.06) and the girls 50-yard freestyle (24.87).

The Newport standout accounted for more than 70 points, helping her girls take their first district championship.

Ana Kaldy (5:42.43) took home first in the 500-yard freestyle, and Chyanna Blackburn (1:17.06) finished second in the 100-yard breaststroke and Lorelei Bretz placed fire in the 100-yard butterfly (1:05.22).

For the boys, Saturday’s final day made it nine years in a row as district champions.

The boys almost won 300 total points over the course of two days, reaching near legendary status as the team has back-to-back state titles to go along with nine district titles in a row.

Newport had a plethora of strong performances in the pool. The Cubs took first in the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:45.60, had the top two finishers in the 200-yard freestyle (Luke Bachart and Tristan Scarborough) and had the top finishes in the 500-yard freestyle (Bachart and Scarborough).

“Last year, we had a lot of depth and a lot of swimmers, so we were able to be very strong, but this year we didn’t have quite the numbers, but we still push each other,” Bachart said. “We realized what we were capable of doing with the people we have now, so a lot of us push ourselves during practice.”

The Cubs commitment to winning in the water isn’t something that came out of nowhere — it’s taken years of success and failures for Newport to be where they are now.

It’s become a culture.

“We all know what it takes to be a swimmer here, and we’ve built a winning culture around here, so that’s what we strive for,” Bachart said.

And not only does Bachart have his eyes on more silverware from the state swim meet, but he expects to set a record for the 200-yard freestyle.

He’s off by a few seconds, but Saturday’s performance set him up for a record-breaking swim next week in Tualatin.

Along with Bachart and Scarborough, Newport’s Toshio Toguchi (59.00) took first in the 100-yard butterfly and Caden Shanks who won the boys 100-yard freestyle.



For the Taft Tigers, a third and second-place finish for the girls and boys (179 and 198) put the Tigers on par with some of the best teams in the district.

The boys had their moments in the pool, including the 200-yard medley relay team: Sam Cortes, Jose Segura, Mugen Evenson and Dylan Barrera.

The boys finished in second place behind Newport with a time of 1:52.20, earning 26 total points for the Tigers.

Cortes also took second place in the 200-yard IM with a time of 2:09.36 and Barrera who took third in the 100-yard butterfly.

Overall, it was a strong day for the Tigers swimming program.

“The boys relays are really well placed, and we’ve had some kids that have gotten either ribbons or medals in the top six so far,” Taft swimming coach Lissa Parker said.

And despite the state meet looming large the following weekend, the Tigers were focused on what was in front of them.

“When you get to districts, you have to make everything legal,” Parker said. “You can’t false start, and you can’t get disqualified or you won’t make it. With 4A and below, it becomes very tricky — only the top four finishers make it.”

The Taft girls showcased their abilities as well, earning a third-place finish throughout the two-day event.

Sammy Halferty took home a fourth-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke and she was a part of the 400-yard freestyle relay team with Ella Knott, Napy Meyer and Lesley Lagunes that took second place behind Newport with a time of 4:16.68.

The hard work isn’t over for Parker, assistant coach Maria Cortes and the swimmers.

The state swimming meet in Tualatin is right around the corner.



Despite coming in seventh, the AquaBoomers had their moments on Saturday, as well.

After scoring at least 70 points in both the boys and girls divisions, the AquaBoomers showed they can compete with any team.

Caleb Fourier, Grayson Dick, Cache Jones and Reece Smith finished sixth with a time of 2:06.42 in the 200-yard medley relay, while Mariah Frederick finished sixth in the 200-yard freestyle with a 2:51.49 time.

Isabelle Jones earned a fifth-place finish in the 200-yard IM with a 2:49.69 time and took fourth in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 6:44.26, four seconds off a third-place finish.


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