The 2019-20 swim season got off to a strong start for the Sisters High School squad at the Bend Invitational held Saturday, December 21.

Competing against larger schools from Bend High, Summit, Redmond, Ridgeview, The Dalles and Mountain View, the Outlaws held their own according to Coach Bryn Singleton.

“I was so impressed with how everyone swam, especially for the first meet of the season after a hard week of practice,” she said.

In the first race of the day, the 200-yard medley relay team of Cambria Leaver, Iris Diez, Laura Clem and Lydia Bartlett placed sixth in a time of 2:16.35. Lydia Bartlett’s anchor leg was the fastest time among all swimmers in the event at 25.05.

The same quartet also placed sixth in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 2:04.18.

In a very closely contested 50-yard freestyle, Bartlett clocked 25.61 to take second place behind Ula McPherson of Bend in 25.45.

Bartlett earned third place in the 100-yard breaststroke, won by Melia Costa of Bend in 1:12.09.

Laura Clem took on the grueling 500-yard freestyle and placed sixth in 7:04.85. She and Cambria Leaver placed ninth and tenth respectively in the 200-yard individual medley in 3:00.8 and 3:03.27 respectively. Additionally, Leaver took eighth place in the 100-yard backstroke in a time of 1:23.17. Mary Root placed 11th in the event in 1:36.62.

Summit won the meet with 187 points to clip Bend (175). Sisters placed sixth as a team with 29 points.

Highlights for the boys team included a fourth place by Sam Mayes in the 50-yard freestyle in 24.77 seconds. Ryon Konop of Redmond won the race in 22.38. Later in the meet Mayes came back with an eighth-place finish in the 100-yard free with a time of 58.05.

Mayes teamed up with Osmond Bates, Clayten Heuberger, and Austen Heuberger to take fourth in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:48.32. Mayes, Clayten Heuberger, Hayden Roth and Connor Crowe placed fifth in the 400-yard freestyle relay in 4:18.46.

As an individual, Bates clocked 1:17. 58 for sixth place in the 100-yard breaststroke.

Bend High won the boys’ team title with 167 points to easily outdistance the rest of the field. Sisters placed sixth among eight scoring teams with 27 points.

Following the meet Singleton felt pleased with her team’s first outing.

“Returning swimmers came close to or surpassed their best times from last season, and new swimmers did a great job overcoming nerves and swimming great in their first races,” she said. “Every year I enjoy watching kids take on the challenge of learning to swim and then watching them improve so much over the season and their years on the team. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season.”