Pats, Reitz take one win apiece in coed meet

Photo by Jimmy Lafakis/The Herald
Heritage Hills freshman Sidney Ayer swims in the 200 medley relay during Monday evening’s meet against Evansville Reitz in Lincoln City.


LINCOLN CITY — Although the calendar year has presented a plethora of twists and turns, Monday evening offered another opportunity for the Heritage Hills swim teams to compete. After the Patriots engaged in a competitive coed meet against Evansville Reitz, Heritage Hills head coach Gary Ayer had several reasons to smile.

The Pats captured a 96-73 win on the boys side. The girls meet was significantly closer, with Reitz taking a narrow 95-90 edge. Still, the final results marked notable progress for Heritage Hills.

“I’ll take that,” Ayer said. “I wanted to see how close we could be to them. They beat us at the Mount Vernon Invite. It’s a little different because you can only swim two individuals and you only have one relay. They thumped us pretty good at the Mount Vernon Invite. I felt like if we had close to our full roster, we could give them a run. I’m still missing six girls.”

The Heritage Hills boys started off the meet with a bang. The Pats captured two solid wins in the 200 medley relay and the 200 freestyle. Josh Halvorson helped Heritage Hills begin its winning ways.

Kyan Bell captured a decisive win in the 50 freestyle before Garrett Nix added another win in the 100 butterfly. Halvorson seized the 100 breaststroke’s top spot and contributed to a 400 freestyle relay victory. The quartet of Halvorson, Bell, Nix and Kyle Eubank put the finishing touches on the final win.

“It’s a good win for the boys,” Ayer said. “Reitz’s numbers are down, but they’ve got some good swimmers. Our guys need that. We need to keep the ball rolling here, so to speak. We opened up tough against Boonville, who is probably the favorite to win our conference this year. We came back and had solid swims against Pike Central. I’ve got almost all my boys eligible to swim.”

The girls were deadlocked in a tight contest throughout the evening. Bridget Flannagan earned an early victory in the 200 freestyle. Jada Banks followed suit with wins in the 50 and 100 freestyle events.

The Pats claimed two more wins in two freestyle relays — the 200 and 400. In between those events, Lily Gogel took a victory in the 100 backstroke.

“For them, it’s realizing that we can compete with good teams,” Ayer said. “Reitz’s girls team is a good team. I think it should be a confidence-booster for them.”

As the season continues, the Pats are becoming more comfortable with swimming in their home pool.

“I’m feeling pretty good about that,” Ayer said. “We’ve got four more home meets. We’ve got two to finish out 2020. We open up 2021 with two home meets, and then we’re on the road for the rest of them. We’ve got to take advantage of our home pool.”

Heritage Hills will compete at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 14. The Pats will face Pocket Athletic Conference foe Southridge at home.

“Their girls were strong last year,” Ayer said. “They graduated a few, but not a lot. They’ve got some pretty talented freshmen that moved up. So, we’ll see.”

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