Schoening, Ballard claim state swimming titles for Bulldogs

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  • (Photo by JACINDA BOKOWY) The Bulldog boys, from left to right: Jack Grzincic, Garrett Bamer, Hayden Norling, William Dorman, Jacob Ballard, Jake Aitken and Hayden Leavitt.

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    (Photo by JACINDA BOKOWY) Mikayla Schoening is all smiles in the pool last weekend in Boise, where she claimed two state titles during a strong meet.

  • (Photo by JACINDA BOKOWY) The Bulldog boys, from left to right: Jack Grzincic, Garrett Bamer, Hayden Norling, William Dorman, Jacob Ballard, Jake Aitken and Hayden Leavitt.

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    (Photo by JACINDA BOKOWY) Mikayla Schoening is all smiles in the pool last weekend in Boise, where she claimed two state titles during a strong meet.

Bulldog girls third, boys fourth at 4A state meet

BOISE — Led by a bevy of state champions, both the Bulldog boys and girls swim teams returned home with state trophies after the 4A Idaho State Swimming Championships last weekend at the Boise YMCA.

Junior Mikayla Schoening had a monster meet, using raw power and speed to win a state title in the 100 freestyle by just .18 seconds, finish second in the 50 free by .33 seconds, and teamed with Kaya Wright, Kate Bokowy and Autumn Morgan to win the 200 free relay by a large margin over Wood River.

Junior Jacob Ballard also won a state title in the 100 butterfly by .19 seconds, and just missed another title by finishing second in the 100 breast in a stellar time of 59.67 seconds, just .4 seconds out of first place. Ballard’s time would have won the 5A division, and was just one of the reason Bulldog head coach Greg Jackson was thrilled with his team’s performances.

“One hundred percent of the kids that were healthy set personal bests,” said Jackson, noting the 5A and 4A and below are now separated. “With the new format, each champ established a 4A record. It was a tough meet, tough competitors.”

Bokowy, Morgan, Schoening and Sierra Speakman finished third in the 200 medley relay, Bokowy was 4th in the 200 IM and 6th in the 100 fly, Wright was 5th in the 100 back and 6th in the 100 free, Morgan was 5th in the 100 breast and 8th in the 200 IM, and Speakman 8th in the 100 fly to score points for the Bulldog girls, who finished just three points behind second place Bishop Kelly.

The girls team is young, and will once again be among the 4A teams contending for a title next season.

“We had high hopes of bringing home a first place trophy. We’re happy with third,” said Jackson, who felt his team performed well under pressure. “The athletes did the best they could. I’m extremely proud of them, and looking forward to a great year next year.”

Ballard picked up two personal bests, and will be a threat to repeat next season in both of his individual events. Sophomore Hayden Norling was second in the 500 free and third in the 200 free in a strong showing, hanging with a pack of swimmers in second place for 12 laps before pulling away to earn the runner up finish.

Norling, Ballard, William Dorman and Garrett Bamer finished 3rd in the 200 medley relay, and Bamer, Norling, Ballard and Jack Grzincic were third in the 400 free relay to rack up points. Other scoring finishes on Saturday included Grzincic at 7th in the 200 IM and Hayden Leavitt 8th in the 500 freestyle, helping secure fourth place.

“They finished in fourth place with just seven boys, the smallest of the top seven teams,” lauded Jackson. “It’s a testament to what they can do.”

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