Independence — Over the course of the Mid-Willamette Conference district swim meet in Corvallis last weekend, sister duo Taylor and Gentry Hagedorn were putting up the numbers, breaking records, and pushing the Central Panthers program into a new era. This new era is defined by expectations being higher than ever, setting new standards for future Panthers to meet and supersede, doing it all together as a sisters that will only continue to grow. Now, they are going to state together on Friday in Beaverton.
Let’s start with the older sibling: Taylor Hagedorn. A junior for Central, Taylor has been known in the Mid-Willamette Conference for years, breaking out as a freshman in 2020 by qualifying for state in the 200 Yard Freestyle and 500 Yard Freestyle events. She took second in the 500 Yard and third in the 200 Yard, coming out with strong starts to her high school career. Swimming in 2021 without state championships allowed her to focus on improvement, competing in club, and ultimately switching to the 200 Yard IM from the 200 Yard Freestyle. With a quick 2:15.67, Taylor broke her own school record in the 200 Yard IM and qualified for the 2022 5A State Championships with the second overall seed in Beaverton. Aside from her personal achievements, Taylor helped Central qualify in the 200 and 400 Yard Freestyle Relays, being part of both school records being broken in the relay events. According to her coach, “Taylor leads by example and is there when her teammates need her the most.” Her leadership and push for personal achievement has gotten her an individual school record, helped her break two relay school records, and has her in Beaverton racing in four events on Friday.
Then there is the younger sibling: Gentry Hagedorn. Being new to high school landscape hasn’t had Gentry miss a beat or have any growing pains, instead she has thrived with flying colors. At the Mid-Willamette Districts, Gentry set program history as the first district champion in the 200 Freestyle and 100 Freestyle events. Even better? She broke both school records individually, setting a standard for a freshman that hasn’t been seen before at Central. Alongside making her own name on the Panther program, Gentry joined Taylor on the record-breaking relay teams at Districts, obtaining a total of four school records and being able to do it alongside her sister. With those district titles, Gentry will be racing in four events herself on Friday in Beaverton, finding herself in striking distance for the 200 Yard Freestyle state title and a runner-up in the 100 Yard Freestyle. As a freshman, Gentry has proven herself as among the best in Oregon at her sport, with three more years of growth and improvement still to come.
Once the awards were handed out, everyone packed up and went home, and all the state seeds were released, the Central Panthers were ushered into a new era of higher expectation and achievement. Part of the success is a sister duo that are not only fantastic athletes, but are team players that work to help everyone improve while still pushing themselves in their individual way. Taylor and Gentry Hagedorn are a duo that every program dreams of having, and their leadership has helped Central turn the corner and open up a new chapter in their program history.