McNary’s 200-free relay team qualifies for state

Tyshin Nguyen swam the first leg of the 200-yard freestyle relay for McNary at the Mountain Valley Conference district meet. The relay team was able to nab the final spot at the state meet (KEIZERTIMES/Matt Rawlings).  

Casey Lewin has been the McNary swimming coach since 2014, but never had a member of the boys team qualify for state during his tenure.

That all changed after the Mountain Valley Conference district swim meet.

McNary’s 200-yard freestyle relay team of Tyshin Nguyen, Caleb Skipper, Zach Kilby and Brayden Kaehler finished third at districts on Saturday, Feb. 12 with a time of 1:37.77, good enough to qualify for the state meet this weekend.

“It’s extremely exciting. They had been swimming at about 1:39 during the season, but I told them if they were able to get down to 1:37 it might be enough to sneak them into the meet. I knew that they had in them,” Lewin said. “They had incredible swims and their splits were off the charts.”

After not receiving an automatic qualifier berth into the state meet, the relay crew had to wait for 24 hours before finally getting notified that had nabbed the last wild card spot — a total of 18 teams qualified for the event.

“It means so much to be able to do this in my senior year. I feel elated,” Nguyen said. “We just swam our best and the result spoke for itself.”

“That was our goal from the beginning of the year, to make it to state. It’s really cool that we were able to accomplish our goal,” added Skipper.

Skipper, a sophomore, also had a good showing in his individual events, placing fourth in the 100-backstroke with a time of 1:01.55.

“To have him make up two seconds in the backstroke was a big deal. If he can get under a minute next year, I think he will be able to get into state for sure,” Lewin said.

Nguyen placed eighth in the 100-breaststroke (1:15.30) and Zander Rhoades took seventh in the 100-butterfly (1:02.21).

On the girls side, Paris Boyd led the team with a pair of top-six finishes. The senior placed sixth in the 100-fly with a time of 1:04.51 and fifth in the 50-free (26.12).

“I was really impressed with how she swam. For her to go out and swim like she did was awesome. She was right on the cusp of qualifying in both events,” Lewin said. “It was a good way for her to go out.”

The state meet will take place at the Tualatin Hills Aquatic Center in Beaverton on Saturday, Feb. 19.