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Feb. 6, 2023

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All-Region girls swimming: Campbell Deringer, Camas High School

University of Nevada-bound senior was a two-time runner-up at state meet

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All-Region girls swimmer of the year Campbell Deringer of Camas had runner-up finishes in two events at the 4A state meet last month.
All-Region girls swimmer of the year Campbell Deringer of Camas had runner-up finishes in two events at the 4A state meet last month. (Taylor Balkom/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Whether it’s on a boat, wakeboarding or waterskiing, Campbell Deringer loves to be out on the water.

Heck, even in the winter, she likes to be out on frozen water.

“I like to go skiing,” she said. “In the winter, my friends and I try to go up whenever we can.”

So it was a natural move that when she was 12, Deringer made the move to competitive swimming.

“I did little summer leagues and I thought I was a pretty good swimmer, so I started swimming club,” the Camas High School senior said. “It turned out, I really wasn’t that good when I started. But I still enjoyed it, and I wanted to start doing it more so I could get better.”

Deringer has never the type of person to shy away from challenges. She continued to get better.

At the 4A state swim meet last month, Deringer capped her high school swim career with a pair of runner-up finishes, placing second in the 200-yard individual medley and the 100 breaststroke.

And for those performances, Deringers was selected as The Columbian’s All-Region girls swimmer of the year.

Deringer said the breaststroke is her specialty, but her performance in the IM came as a surprise. She said swimming that event without big expectations helped her relax and swim well.

“My backstroke is my weakest stroke, but I had a really fast split on my backstroke, like faster than it normally is,” Deringer said. “So I think that combined with my freestyle, just coming home strong on the last 50 really fast is what really made the difference.”

Deringer has had a tumultuous four years of swimming at Camas. The pandemic pushed her high school sophomore season from the fall into the spring. Then longtime Camas swim coach Mike Bemis retired after that COVID year.

“When he left the program, it was a really big shock,” Deringer said. “Having a new person come in and fill that role was really scary. It could have shaken the team up a lot, but it didn’t. It made us closer.”

Deringer said she was proud of the role she played in being a team leader and promoting the sport at Camas High School.

“We’ve changed the ways people view swimming at our school and in our community,” Deringer said. “People don’t really show up for swim meets. It’s not something they do. But recently, we’ve been seeing more friends and teachers show up at meets to watch and support us. So that has been really nice and positive.”

Having Camas home meets back at Gold’s Gym in Camas, formerly Lacamas Swim and Sport, also helped, Deringer said.

And it brought her back to the site she got her start in competitive swimming as a seventh grader.

Except now, she is a pretty good swimmer.

Next year, Deringer plans to continue to swim at the University of Nevada in Reno.

“I talked to schools from all over, and I just love the coaches from Reno from the very first call I had with them,” Deringer said. “And when I visited there, the team, I just instantly got along with them. I liked Reno a lot. I had never been there before. It didn’t feel like too huge, but it also didn’t feel too small. I chose it because I felt like I fit right in there.”

Rest of the All-Region team

McKelvey Brewer, Hudson’s Bay

The junior placed sixth at the 2A state meet in the 100 butterfly and placed 16th in the 500 freestyle.

Paige Dangleis, Hockinson

The sophomore placed fourth at the 2A state meet in the 100 freestyle and placed ninth in the 200 individual medley.

Aubrey Horner, Mountain View

The junior was the top local placer in the 3A state meet, placing 13th in the 200 IM and 10th in the 100 breaststroke.

Lila McGeachy, Camas

The sophomore placed fifth at the 4A state meet in the 200 freestyle and placed seventh in the 500 freestyle.

Medea Rusu, Ridgefield

The sophomore placed fifth at the 200 state meet in the 100 backstroke and seventh in the 200 individual medley.

Madison Wick, Mountain View

The senior swam the fastest times of any local swimmer at the state meet in the 50 and 100 freestyle events.

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