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Yon, Hager, Lupolis named top swimmers

 

March 7, 2018

SWIM TEAM AWARD WINNERS are, from left, Rawlins Lupoli, Lauren Yon, Megan Hager, Sarah Hewitt, Mia Davis and Rowland Lupoli.

Lauren Yon, Rawlins Lupoli and Rowland Lupoli were named Outstanding Varsity Swimmers and Megan Hager was named Outstanding Frosh/Soph Swimmer Feb. 28 at the Sweet Home swimming team's awards dinner.

Co-Captains this year were Mia Davis, Hager, Sarah Hewitt, the Lupolis, and Yon.

Perfect Attendance awards went to Torree Hawken, Cameron Taber and Lauren Taber.

Coach Doug Peargin told a crowd of 100-plus people that the Huskies had a "tremendous" season this year.

"We've had good season for several years, but it's really peaked in the last couple of years," he said. "The teams in the district love to come here but they hate to swim here because they're going to get hammered. That's because of the work you guys have put in."

He related how a "state championship boys team" coach approached him before the state finals.

"He said, 'You know, we have a good team. Right before we came down here I told my team, "I don't care who is in that final with you, watch out for that Sweet Home team because they're going to compete.'" '

"That really makes me proud of you guys, to have a state-quality team coach come to me and encourage me, with respect for the kind of attitude and effort that you guys give. And it's been that way all the way through the year."

Peargin said conventional wisdom didn't have the boys in the trophy hunt – they placed fourth. The girls, he figured, would be in fourth place. They were second.

"In that state championship , as well as the district championship, the kids swam their hearts out.

"We didn't have one kid at the state championships that didn't swim a lifetime best. When you have that kind of performance, with the kind of talent we had up there, you're gonna bring a trophy home and we did."

The Huskies had five four-year letter winners this year: seniors Mia Davis, Roland and Rawlins, Mila Weld and Yon.

Peargin noted that they all turned in lifetime-best times in their final meet, either district or state.

"We've got some good ones coming up as freshmen and we've got some good ones coming back, but when you lose these seniors, and they're a good one and they are the heart of the club, it takes a lot of replacing," he said.

Yon, who has committed to swim at Oregon State University next year, leaves with 14 first-place state medals, out of 16 races.

"Since I've known Lauren, I've never heard her speak a negative word, I've never seen her get mad, I've never seen her to be rude to anyone," Peargin said. "I've just seen her be Lauren. Lauren is not only a special athlete, she's a special person."

The Lupoli twins have yet to decide what they're going to do for college, but each leaves with a state title, Rawlins in the 100 Breaststroke this year and Rowland in the 100 Butterfly as a junior. He placed in both the 50 and 100 Freestyles this year.

"The most excited I saw his brother was when Rawlins won the breaststroke at the state championships," Peargin told the crowd. "I turned around to look at his time and I saw this guy running through the crowd. 'What's he doing?' It was Rowland running to hug his brother.

"That's how the team is, though. They care about one another."

Third-year letters went to juniors Ella Parker, Dakota Seward, Bradley Wolthuis and Sarah Hewitt, and seniors Cameron Taber and Seth Wright.

Peargin recognized all of them for big contributions at either district or state, slicing large chunks of time off their personal bests to power the Huskies to both the boys and girls district titles.

He said Hewitt, in particular, "is gonna have to be a leader for us next year, but we've got her little sister coming in with some other people and we're gonna be tough. They're gonna have to take this team to the next level."

Second-year letter winners were senior Hikari Kawai, junior Stewart Curtis, and sophomores Megan Hager, Moira Curtis, Torree Hawkins and Liz Adams.

All of the underclassmen show promise, he said. Hager, who was this year's 100 Freestyle state champion and runner-up in the 50 Freestyle, was sick during both the district and state meet, he added.

"She's a real worker, a real competitor – she's an athlete. She doesn't just dislike losing; she hates losing. When you get to that level and hate something, you can be really tough at it."

First-year lettermen were senior Carlos Galvez, an exchange student from Spain, sophomore Samantha Coats, juniors Noah Dinsfriend, Katrina Reynolds and Zech Brown, sophomore Brook Womack, sophomore Lauren Taber, freshman Isabel Rodriguez, and freshmen Hunter Calderwood, Maren Weld and Hayden Deatherage.

Freshman Olivia Martineau, senior KateLynn Towry, junior Evan Davis, and sophomore Annalea Shuttlesworth all earned junior varsity certificates.

Peargin, concluding his 44th year of coaching swimming at Sweet Home, said he particularly appreciated the family nature of the team, how his swimmers would just come out on the deck before practice to talk to him.

"I hate to lose these guys. I hate them as swimmers but I really hate to lose them as somebody to talk to me."

 
 
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