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Day: February 6, 2014

Titans slip past Celts

Jared Kelson makes the final turn in the 200 free during the meet with West Salem High School Thursday, Jan. 23. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
Jared Kelson makes the final turn in the 200 free during the meet with West Salem High School Thursday, Jan. 23. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

The West Salem Titans dealt the McNary Celtics their first loss of the season in the pool Thursday, Jan. 23.

However, the Celtics weren’t hanging their heads.

“West is a tough team, but we didn’t give up and we showed them we’re better than they thought we were. We had some individual struggles, but we held it together and kept trying,” said Celt junior Josie Ellis.

The girls took a 98-71 loss to West. The boys narrowly missed a win, the final score with West was 87-83.

“West was really shocked and we all did a lot better than they expected we could,” said Alex Fox, a McNary senior.

The girls didn’t capture as many race wins as boys, but hung with the Titans by turning in placing efforts all evening.

“We really just put it all out there and went out and worked our butts off,” said Kiana Briones. “We’ve been working really hard and we’re all improving every meet. I think we have a good shot at district titles.”

Briones took first in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:33.16, a personal record for the Lady Celt. She pulled out a second place finish in the 100 breast and less than a second separated her and the winner, West Salem’s Allie Rasmussen. Briones was also part of the winning 400 free relay team alongside Samantha Williams, Jewel Boyd and Anjelica Glassey. The team turned in a time of 4:20.67.

The other race winner for the girls was Morgan Kuch in the 100 free with a time of 1:10.35.

One of McNary’s steadiest performers, Monica Howard, was left off the podium in her first race, the 200 IM, and took third in the 100 back, but she still managed personal records in both events.

“We had a lot of energy and team spirit in the room,” Howard said. “That’s what will make a difference as we approach districts and work on sprinting and technique.”

Ellis didn’t capture a race win, but notched personal records in the 200 IM, 100 butterfly and in her leg of the 200 medley relay. Kim Phillips, head coach of the Celtic teams, said Ellis has been setting new lifetime bests every time she steps in to the pool.

“I’m working toward getting my breast stroke under 1:20, and I’m going to be swimming the 100 fly, which is new, but I’m hoping in the teens for that one,” Ellis said.

In the boys events, Fox had one of the best meets of his career. Fox came from behind to take a win in the 200 IM in 2:10:33 and won the 100 breast in 1:06.55. The times were lifetime bests for Fox.

“In the 200 IM, the other guy I was racing (West’s) Ryan Wetzel, was beating me by a body length at the last turn and I told myself I couldn’t let that happen,” Fox said. “In the 100 breast, they’d seeded my teammate, Sloane Yerger, to beat me and that was motivation enough.”

Other winners for the boys were: Perry Groves in the 50 free in 23.36; Fox, Evan Alger, Yerger and Groves in the 200 free relay in 1:36.84; and Jared Kelson in the 200 free in 2:10.25.

Mat men stymied at Reser tourney

Celt Ryan Edsall wrangles an escape from his opponent in the McKay dual meet Thursday, Jan. 23. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
Celt Ryan Edsall wrangles an escape from his opponent in the McKay dual meet Thursday, Jan. 23. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

 

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

If the Celtics of the McNary wrestling teams had any doubts about the stiff level of competition at the Reser Tournament of Champions, they were quickly disabused of them last weekend.

The Celts ended up with only one placer, Riley Repp in the junior varsity brackets, after a grueling first day of the tournament.

“We are operating on year three of no middle school wrestling. We’re still teaching fundamentals to our junior wrestlers, and we have matches where we make seventh and eighth grade mistakes,” said Jason Ebbs, McNary head coach.

By the second day of the tournament, McNary had only seven wrestlers with a shot at placing. In varsity brackets, Louis Palos, Zach Hammerschmith and Alvarro Venegas were close, but found no success. In junior varsity brackets, Hunter Lucas, Jonathon Salcido and Ryan Edsall all made attempts, but found themselves left out of the medals.

Edsall was something of a surprise last-man-standing for the team.

“That’s the sign of a kid just trying to learn. He’s not a superstar, but he plays three sports and he’s a hard worker in each of them. He’s a kid that we’re proud to put on the mat because he wants to get better,” Ebbs said.

Celt Jonathon Phelps said he hopes the lackluster showing for the team is fuel for the coming weeks.

“We were not there, the whole team’s mindset was off. There was no mental toughness, but we were there physically,” Phelps said. “I want everybody to get a little bit in extra work to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

Prior to the Reser event, the Celts swept a tournament with McKay and West Salem high schools Thursday, Jan. 23.

McNary dominated McKay 57-13 and took down the Titans 45-31.

Phelps won both of his matches on the night with a 9-0 major decision in the McKay bout and a 9-6 decision in the contest with West Salem. He said encouragement and coaching from his brother, Rob, went a long way toward the win.

“They were both pretty hard matches. I wasn’t on my A-game, but they were decent matches,” he said.

Celt Taran Purkey had to forfeit his West Salem match due to a stress fracture, but he figured out a workaround in his match with McKay.

“I intentionally took a bad shot and then wrestled from my knees,” Purkey said.

It seemed to work as he emerged with a pinfall victory in 3:55. Purkey planned to take the week off but return as soon as possible.

Other winners for the Celtics in the match with McKay were: Riley Repp by pin in 3:13; Sean Burrows by pin in 1:43; Caleb Conner by major decision, 11-0; Jordan Cagle by pin in 5:33; Noah Townsend by decision in 8-4; Edsall by pin in 3:39; Hammerschmith by major decision, 19-7; Venegas by pin in 46 seconds; and Steven Wilkerson by pin in 1:05.

Additional winners in the West Salem dual were: Burrows by pin in 1:15; Cagle by pin in 37 seconds; Edsall by pin in 1:16; and Hammerschmith by pin in 3:30.

Looking ahead, Purkey said he hoped the team working harder in practice.

“If we don’t work hard in practice we’re not going to be able to compete,” he said. “We definitely just give up on backs sometimes and we’ll need to work on that. Having a desire to win in our minds is going to help us pull through at those times.”