Beaverton — It was to be expected and it happened indeed, the Sweet Home Huskies are swimming state champions again in 2022. The feat came as no surprise to anyone, as the Huskies boasted great performances from seniorities like Chloe Tyler, Jamie Seward, and Malia Hewitt, but also great work from youth like Kirsten Sautel and Peyton Markell to capture their fourth state title in school history on Saturday night in Beaverton. However, their swim rival Catlin Gabel Eagles gave Sweet Home everything that they could handle along the way.
The Huskies got right out of the gate with a win in the 200 Yard Medley Relay, picking up a quick 14 points to take the early lead over Catlin Gabel and defending state champion Newport. The Eagles struck back in the 200 Yard Freestyle with a win from Jane Hanson, topping fellow freshman from Sweet Home Kirsten Sautel and Marist’s Sophia James to win the event. Malia Hewitt got the Huskies back on top with a dub in the 200 Yard IM, taking out Catlin Gabel’s Adrienne Tam and Molalla’s Marie Mason to take the event win. After three events, the Huskies led Catlin Gabel 29-22 in the championship standings, with Newport sitting third at nine points.
The Huskies winning continued in the 50 Yard Freestyle with Jamie Seward, who beat Klamath Union’s Paige Orlando and Cove’s Sarah Koza to win with a 24.22 second time. This win pushed their lead to double-digits at a 33-22 advantage on Catlin Gabel through four events. Catlin Gabel responded with a win in the 100 Yard Butterfly from Adrienne Tam, who outpaced Brianna Stadler from Baker and Newport’s Layla Bretz in the event. Chloe Tyler hit the pool in the 100 Yard Freestyle and came away victorious for another Sweet Home win, with Klamath Union’s Paige Orlando and Henley’s Brenna Morgan rounding out the top three. Sweet Home held steady to a pursuing Eagles squad, leading 40-32 after six events on Catlin Gabel, and defending state champion Newport sat in third place. Through the first half of the state championships, Sweet Home and Catlin Gabel had swept every event up to that point.
The dual dominance would continue in the 500 Yard Freestyle, as freshman Jane Hanson brought Catlin Gabel another race win to draw within 41-39 of Sweet Home. Molalla’s Marie Mason and Newport’s Claire Hurty finished second and third in the event behind Hanson. The Huskies would strike back by dominating the 200 Yard Freestyle Relay, dropping a 1:41 flat on the Eagles, who finished second by six seconds and Henley in third. Leading by two points, Sweet Home would turn up the heat and ultimately put the nail on Catlin Gabel’s coffin. In the 100 Yard Backstroke, the Huskies went first and third with Chloe Tyler winning and Jamie Seward coming third. Following that up, Sweet Home went first and third again in the 100 Yard Breaststroke with Malia Hewitt and Kirsten Sautel, blowing up to a massive 77-52 advantage with one event remaining.
Catlin Gabel would pull some wonders and beat the heavily favored Huskies in the final event, but it would be Sweet Home with the ultimate win as they got past Catlin Gabel and Newport to win the 4A/3A/2A/1A swimming state championship! The Eagles would finish second, while the 2021 state champion Newport Cubs would take home third. For the Huskies, it is the storybook ending to a beautiful season for Chloe Tyler, Malia Hewitt, Jamie Seward, and Isabel Sayer, who get to cap their high school careers as queens of the small school swimming landscape. It is Sweet Home’s fourth title in school history, all of which have happened in the last six years, continuing to grow and build the legacy of Oregon’s newer swimming powerhouse.