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Champions of the decade: Three frontrunners lead Sweet Home girls swimming to three state titles
CHAMPIONS OF THE DECADE

Champions of the decade: Three frontrunners lead Sweet Home girls swimming to three state titles

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Three future NCAA Division I swimmers pushed the Sweet Home High girls to three small-school team state titles in the past 10 school years.

The Huskies won 4A/3A/2A/1A championships in 2016, 2017 and 2019 — plus runner-up finishes in 2015, 2018 and 2020 — with Lucie Davis, Lauren Yon and Megan Hager playing huge roles as the school continued to fill up the trophy case.

Davis and Yon each were part of 14 event victories at the state meet. Davis won eight individual races, four apiece in the 200- and 500-yard freestyles. Yon won seven as an individual, including four straight in the 200 individual medley.

Hager was a four-time individual champion, including a three-peat in the 100 freestyle. She and Yon each had seven state relay wins and Davis six.

Davis, a 2017 graduate, went on to compete at Boise State. Yon (2018 grad) started at Oregon State and later joined Davis in Boise with the Broncos. Both retired from the sport after Boise State discontinued its program earlier this year.

Hager, who graduated this spring, is a freshman at Colorado State this fall.

After the Huskies were edged out of a state title by North Bend by half a point in 2015, they got their revenge by beating the Bulldogs by seven points a year later. Davis and Yon each won two individual races and the good friends teamed with Jessica Coats and Makayla Nelson to win repeat state championships in the 200 and 400 freestyle relays.

It was the first team title for the school’s girls program.

“If you don’t have the talent at this level, and kids that are willing to swim year-round then you’re not going to get it. There’s too many out there,” longtime coach Doug Peargin said. “They have given up a lot, a lot of dances, a lot of dates, and parents that have given up a lot to come to stuff for them. This is their paycheck.”

The 2017 state meet was a dominant one for Sweet Home with a 41-point margin over runner-up North Bend.

Four different athletes — Davis, Yon, Coats and Hager — combined to win six individual races and Davis, Hager and Yon were all on two winning relays. In all, the Huskies had 12 total finals entries from seven swimmers plus the three relays.

Sweet Home swept the team titles with the boys also getting a state championship.

“It’s really humbling for all of us. I think it’s really exciting. Everybody was just so happy and pleased,” Yon said. “We really felt the team atmosphere here and at districts and we were all so excited.”

The Huskies bounced back from another second-place team finish in 2018 to get one more team title under Peargin in 2019.

Hager won the 100 freestyle and was on the 200 medley and 200 freestyle relays. Sarah Hewitt and Jamie Seward were also on both relays. A deep roster helped Sweet Home finished 19 points ahead of runner-up Catlin Gabel.

Davis, Hager and Yon garnered the biggest spotlight, but they had lots of help putting Sweet Home at or near the top of the award stand so many times.

In that six-year stretch of finishing first or second as a team through the 2020 season, Coats was on five winning relays; Nelson, Sarah Hewitt and Jamie Seward four; and Malia Hewitt and Chloe Tyler three. Coats and Tyler also won individual titles.

Peargin has won four state championships with Sweet Home’s boys team, the latest in 2017.

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