Newport Sweeps Oregon 4A & Under State Titles, Ending Catlin Gabel’s Reign

OSAA 4A/3A/2A/1A State Championships

The Newport boys and girls swept the Oregon 4A & Under titles last weekend at last weekend’s OSAA State Championships hosted by the Tualatin Hills Aquatic Center in Beaverton.

The Newport girls eked past La Grande by just 11 points for their first title in program history while the boys captured their first state crown since pulling off a three-peat from 2018-20.

Girls Team Scores

  1. Newport – 54
  2. La Grande – 43
  3. Sweet Home – 29
  4. Cove Union – 26
  5. Molalla – 25

The Newport girls didn’t boast any individual event winners, but they did place 1st in both the 200-yard freestyle relay (1:46.55) and 400 free relay (3:53.73) to fuel their team victory. Cubs senior Layla Bretz anchored both relays with splits of 24.52 and 54.56, respectively. She was joined by Newport freshman Ruby Perucci (27.33), senior Claire Hurty (27.08), and junior Allison Pettett (27.62) on the 200 free relay and freshman Glynn Postlewait (59.68), senior Claire Hurty (58.53), and senior Pia Lihou (1:00.96) on the 400 free relay.

Individually, Bretz placed 3rd in the 50 free (24.93) and 2nd in the 100 butterfly (59.62) behind Riverdale freshman Sam Borus (58.57). With the win, Borus became the first Maverick girl in program history to secure a state title. She also placed 2nd in the 200 free (2:01.09) behind Cove Union sophomore Becca Koza (1:53.13).

The Koza sisters — senior Sarah and the younger Becca — combined for 26 points to help Cove Union place 4th in the team standings for the second year in a row. Sarah repeated as 50 free champion with a winning time of 24.53 and earned a runner-up finish in the 100 breaststroke (1:07.72) while Becca added the 100 freestyle (51.91 after 51.83 in prelims) to the 200 free she claimed last year. Sarah shaved two-tenths of a second off her best 50 free time. Becca dropped half a second in the 100 free, but was still about a second off her personal-best 200 free time of 1:52.08 from 2022.

Molalla senior Marie Mason got redemption in the 200 IM (2:07.83) and 500 free (5:17.64 after 5:13.09 in prelims) after placing 2nd in both events last year. The Idaho commit dropped almost a second in the 200 IM, but was several seconds off her best time in the 500 free (5:09.07 from December).

Sweet Home junior Kirsten Sautel defended her title in the 100 breast (1:06.00) holding off Sarah Koza (1:07.72). Sautel also placed 3rd in the 100 free (55.47).

Cottage Grove freshman Avery Bengtson started her high school career with a bang, triumphing in the 100 back (59.65) along with a 3rd-place showing in the 100 fly (59.63). She dropped more than a second in the 100 back while coming up about a second short of her personal-best 58.09 in the 100 fly.

Boys Recap

Team Scores

  1. Newport – 72
  2. Catlin Gabel – 47
  3. La Grande – 31
  4. North Bend – 23
  5. Sweet Home – 22

Newport senior Sam Postlewait swept the 50 free (21.59 after 21.46 in prelims) and 100 free (46.72 after 46.58 in prelims) while anchoring the 200 free relay (1:34.72) and 400 free relay (3:21.81) with splits of 21.14 and 45.96, respectively. His monster performance helped the Cubs dethrone two-time defending champion Catlin Gabel by a 25-point margin of victory.

Newport junior Ben Hurty also played a key role with a victory in the 100 back (54.17) along with a runner-up finish in the 200 IM (1:59.03). Both times were lifetime bests, improving upon his previous bests in the 100 back (54.52) and 200 IM (2:00.84) from earlier this month. Hurty also led off Newport’s winning 400 free relay with a 49.02, just off his personal-best 48.89 from last March.

Although it never came to fruition, Catlin Gabel junior Adam Li kept his squad in the hunt for a three-peat. He defended his 200 IM title in 1:56.14 while placing 2nd in the 100 free (47.00) behind Postlewait. Li also posted a 22.74 fly split on Catlin Gabel’s triumphant 200 medley relay (1:41.93) and led off the 400 free relay (3:25.29) with a personal-best 46.59 to help the quartet place 2nd behind Newport.

Catlin Gabel got another big individual effort from senior Hodge Dauler, who repeated as the 100 fly champion in 50.98. However, the NYU commit couldn’t defend his 200 free title, placing 3nd (1:43.65) behind La Grande junior Zane Ricker (1:43.07) and Valley Catholic senior Kieran Leatherwood (1:41.88). Leatherwood dropped more than two seconds off his lifetime best en route to the victory over a pair of defending state champions. Dauler also led off Catlin Gabel’s victorious 200 medley relay (1:41.93) with a personal-best 24.26 backstroke.

Along with his runner-up finish in the 200 free (1:43.07), Ricker defended his 500 free title with a personal-best 4:46.83 — almost four seconds faster than his winning time last year (4:50.73).

Tillamook senior Jack Sappington dominated the 100 breast (1:00.27) by more than five seconds to clinch his program’s first individual title since 1987. He dropped almost a second off his previous-best 1:01.14 from earlier this month.

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About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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