Beaverton — It became a three-way race entering the final event: Churchill with 46 points, Crescent Valley had 45 points, and Redmond with 44 points. With the slimmest of margins separating the trio, it would come down to the 400 Free Relay event, the final race of the 2022 5A Swimming State Championships. Churchill entered the event favorite by about two seconds over Crescent Valley, while Redmond sat in the bottom of the Top 10 times entering state, ultimately making it a race between the Lancers and Raiders.
Just as it was expected, Churchill would out swim Crescent Valley in the most important event in program history, finding themselves crowned state swimming champions for the first time in school history. For the Lancers, a journey to the summit of Oregon swimming has been completed! Churchill kicked off the meet with a trio of wins in the 200 Yard Medley Relay, Lauren Larsen winning the 200 Yard Freestyle, and Kylie Taylor taking the 200 Yard IM. Redmond and Crescent Valley took second and third in the relays, Vivi Criscione took runner-up at the 200 Yard Freestyle for CV, and Redmond’s Molly Konop took third in the 200 Yard IM. After three events, Churchill led the pack with 28 points, CV was second with 16, and Redmond in third with 14 points.
Wilsonville’s Helena Jones would make the 5A record book in the 50 Yard Freestyle, setting a 5A record with a 22.96 run, topping the previous record of 23.26 by Willamette’s Kaila Lee in 2010. CV’s Viola Teglassy and Redmond’s Willow Messner came in behind Jones in the 50 Yard event. The Panthers would pick up their first event win in the 100 Yard Butterfly courtesy of Messner, who won the state title to cap off her freshman season at Redmond. Churchill would sneak in Lauren Larsen at third place to keep their lead steady with 32 points, but Redmond had closed it to a seven point spread with 25 points up to that point. It was Jones again in the 100 Yard Freestyle event, setting another 5A record with a 49.83 time to break Kaila Lee’s 2010 record. For Helena Jones, it was the cap to a perfect state meet with a senior season still to come at Wilsonville in 2023.
In what was a massive momentum shifter, Crescent Valley returned from a break in the action to put up a huge 1-2-3 finish in the 500 Yard Freestyle, blowing past Churchill to take a 39-32 lead with Redmond in third at 26 points. Next up was the 200 Yard Free Relay, where Redmond seized the lead in the 5A race with a dub in the event to make it a 40-39 lead over CV, while Churchill had fallen to third with 32 points still. The Lancers would return to victory in the 100 Yard Backstroke, as Kylie Taylor took the dub to get Churchill to a tie with CV at 39 points and sitting a lone point behind Redmond with two events left. The 100 Yard Breaststroke featured the trio again, as Churchill won with Kelsey Wasikowski leading the way to a 5A state record 1:02.73 in the race. CV’s Viola Teglassy and Redmond’s Molly Konop rounded out the Top 3, putting the score at Churchill 46, CV 45, and Redmond 44 entering the final event of the state championships.
The decisive race would come down to Crescent Valley and Churchill: Would the Raiders dynasty keep chugging or was it time for a new champion to emerge? Lauren Larsen would get the Lancers a 1.8 second lead at the first change, Emily Ashton put up a near four second gap in her 100 yard split, Kylie Taylor and Kelsey Wasikowski finished the job to clinch the 5A state championship. The Lancers would beat Crescent Valley in the 400 Yard Free Relay, securing their place in Churchill history with their first state title in program history. Crescent Valley took home second, Redmond would finish third, all in the course of about 4 and a half hours’ worth of swimming that came down to the last race. It was a hard fought, gritty battle of contenders and ultimately a first-time champion would emerge with the trophy from the battle, toppling a dynasty and setting their own history in the process.