By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

McNary wasn’t able to defeat South Salem on Thursday, Jan. 11 at the Kroc Center.

But the tough competition did bring out the best from some of the Celtics.

Freshman Bella Beard swam a personal record in both the 200 and 500 free, winning both events in 2:08.60 and 5:43.68.

“During warmups, I felt pretty strong,” Beard said. “I felt like I was going to do good. I didn’t expect to get best times in everything because I just dropped last meet.”

Beard defeated Maya Merrill, a teammate at Mid-Valley Aquatics, in the 500.

“It was kind of iffy if I was going to win because I’ve never seen her swim the 500 before,” Beard said. “It was fun to race against her though.”

Beard had less than 10 minutes between the 500 free and swimming the second leg of the 200 free relay. With her twin sister Alex, Alyssa Garvey and Haley Debban, the Lady Celts finished second in 1:50.04, less than a second shy of a PR.

“I was super tired but I still swam as fast as I could,” Beard said. “I think I could have gone faster if I had more rest in between those but I think it was still a good time considering that I didn’t get rest before it.”

Alex, Bella, Debban and Emily Alger opened the meet by winning the 200 medley relay in 2:02.93.

Alex then won the 200 individual medley in 2:26.10 and took second in the 100 backstroke in 1:08.72.

Garvey finished second with a PR of 1:15.88 in the 100 breaststroke.

“She’s been off that event with some injury stuff,” said McNary head coach Casey Lewin of Garvey. “We put her in it because she was feeling better. She’s really coming along in that.”

Garvey also took second in the 100 free in 1:00.84.

South Salem’s girls outscored McNary 105-65.

Harrison Vaughn and Kyle Hooper led the McNary boys.

Hooper swam two PRs, winning the 200 IM in 2:12.06 and placing third in the 100 free in 53.70.

“I haven’t been able to break 55 (seconds) for a really long time,” Hooper said. “And for the past three meets, I’ve got best times in the 100 free. The continuous competition has made it easier to get the PRs, just keeping up with them, knowing that they are faster than me.”

Vaughn won the 500 free in 5:17.94 and finished second in the 50 free in 24.29.

Grant Biondi took second in the 200 free in 2:02.58.

Vaughn, Hooper, Biondi and Jabez Rhoades finished second in the 200 free relay in 1:40.45.

“We were kind of dragging today,” Lewin said. “Everybody is kind of wearing down. We had a lot of best times. I was hoping we would do a little bit better. We have a bye next week so that’s nice to have a little break.”

The Celtics return to the Kroc Center pool on Jan. 25 against West Albany at 4:30 p.m. McNary’s final dual is on Jan. 30 against North Salem at 2 p.m.

The district meet is Feb. 9-10 at the McMinnville Aquatic Center.

“I would love to win dual meets. It’s great but the bottom line is I want to be ready to go for districts,” Lewin said. “That’s our big end game.”