Poetzl Shines for Lions At State

Following a successful weekend of hosting districts, the Cottage Grove Aqua Lions swim team headed to the state championships held in Tualatin hoping to capture magic again. It would be the final time for many Lions swimmers to give it their all in the pool.

The prelims opened up last Friday (Feb. 17) at 9 a.m., where the Lions boys started the morning with the 200-yard relay.The Lions team that consisted of sophomores Matthew Fergason and Alexander Hawks, as well as senior Michael Hornick and Jason Chavez, finished 12th in the event at 1:59.27, with Catlin Gabel finishing in first place.

It was a difficult start to the Aqua Lions day, but up next was senior Kassidy Poetzl in the girls 200-yard freestyle, where she finished 6th out of 12 swimmers with a time of 2:08.27, advancing Poetzl to the finals the next day. Becca Koza of Cove took first with a time of 1:57.35. Poetzl also took 6th in the 500-yard freestyle at 5:40.61, and Koza took 1st place in the event.

In the girls 50-yard freestyle, senior Mag Greer took 8th with a time of 26.84; Lydia DiGennaro of The Dalles finished 1stat 24.93.

Next up was the boys 500-yard free style event. Lions junior Charles Kent finished 11th with a time of 5:45.81. LaGrandes Zane Ricker finished first at 5:01.25.

In the girls 200-Yard Freestyle relay, the Aqua Lions team that consisted of junior Elliot Buehler, senior Kalee Walter, Greer and Poetzl finished in 7th place with a time of 1:52.49. Sweet Home won the event at a time of 1:46.69.

Next for the Aqaua Lions was senior Michael Hornick in the boys 100-yard breaststroke event, where he finished at 11th with a time of 1:09.95. LaGrandes Glenn Ricker finished first at 1:01.40.

In the final two events of Fridays prelims, the Cottage Grove girls team entered the 400-yard Freestyle relay with Buehler, Walter, Greer and Poetzl, finishing at 10th with a time of 4:10.38. In the boys 400-yard freestyle, the team of Hornick, Clark, Chavez and Hawks finished 11th at 4:02.44.

Unfortunately for the boys, none of the team was able to qualify for the finals, which were held on Saturday, Feb. 18. For the girls, Poetzl was the lone representative for Cottage Grove. She went on to finish 6th in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:12.48 and then also took 6th in the 500-yard freestyle finals (5:49.87.)

As a whole, Catlin Gabel was dominant at the state championships, winning the girls title with 54 points. The Sweet Home girls finished second with 51 points, while St. Marys finished third with 36 points. The Lions girls, led by Poetzl, finished at 16th.

The Catlin Gabel boys also won the state championship with 70 points. Newport finished 2nd with 48 points, while La Grande rounded things out in third place with 43 points.

 The state championships were the final swim meet for Lions boysseniors Michael Hornick, Dakoda Barr and Jason Chavez. For the girls team it was the final showing for seniors Martinique Greer, Kalee Walter and Poetzl.