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Bend High girls swim team a dynasty in the making

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) The Bend High girls swim team is back-to-back state champions. The Lava Bears continue to dominate the pool, as they won by more than 70 points and set a 5A record, totaling 119 points.

"I think it's really fun to just all already know that you are going in with a guaranteed win," sophomore Emma Bronson said.

Fans in Central Oregon are witnessing one of the greatest dynasty's in high school sports. The Bend High swim team repeated as state champions, winning nine of 11 events.

Junior Hadley Hayes added, "I think it's an experience that not a lot of people get to experience. I think it's really special."

The Lava Bears won all three relays and broke three state records to finish with the most points in 5A history.

Bronson noted the culture and the people help with the team's success: "It's just a really supportive community, and it's really fun to be with this community."

Head coach Brandon Powers has coached most of the girls since they were young.

"I've known a lot of them since they were 9 and 10, coaching on the Bend Swim Club for the last seven years, and watching them grow and become more amazing athletes as they get older," Powers said.

 The state meet earlier this month began with the Lava Bears breaking the state record for the 200-yard medley relay.

"Having the four of us, we've all competed together on swim club, so we kind of have that rhythm down with competing at high-end meets," Hayes said, "I feel like it's like a little family where I have it in tune, we're dominate, and it's really fun."

Hadley Hayes, Emma Bronson, Kamryn Meskill and Maddie Thorton dominated the relay, and all won individual titles. Maddie Thorton was named the Athlete of the Meet, and her passion for swim never ends,

"I just love the feeling of training and putting the work in and then dropping time," Thorton said. "It feels really good. it's a lot of fun!"

With Thorton and several others returning next year, Bend High is aiming to have one of the most dominant runs in state history. If the Lava Bears win next year, its a three-peat and will be their sixth state title since 2015.

Powers said, "Knowing that next year they're going to be just as dominant, even more so with another year of training under their belt."

Article Topic Follows: Sports

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Dylan Anderman

Dylan Anderman is sports reporter for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Dylan here.


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