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4A swimming: Union boys have record-breaking day at bi-district meet

Junior Sam Empey wins individual titles in 200 free, 100 butterfly

By , Columbian Assistant Sports Editor
Published:
4 Photos
Union's Sam Empey swims to victory in the 100 butterfly at the Class 4A District 4-8 meet at Kelso High School on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023.
Union's Sam Empey swims to victory in the 100 butterfly at the Class 4A District 4-8 meet at Kelso High School on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023. (Tim Martinez/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

KELSO — The Union boys swim team had a record-breaking day at the Class 4A District 4-8 meet on Saturday.

And the Titans think they can get even faster.

Union capped the day by winning the 400-yard free relay with a team Alexander Wahlman, Owen Robertson, Steven Empey and Sam Empey in a time of 3 minutes, 10.68 seconds, shattering the meet record by five seconds.

“I think considering how much rest we got as a team coming into the meet, we all performed well,” junior Sam Empey said. “We showed up for the team.”

The win helped Union secure second-place in the team standings with 256 points, just ahead od Camas at 251. Hanford won the meet with 333 points.

The same quartet opened the meet with a win in the 200 medley relay (1:35.86).

Sam Empey broke up Hanford’s stranglehold on individual titles. The junior, who committed to Auburn last fall, won the 200 freestyle (1:41.03) and the 100 butterfly (49.15).

And the Titans got a surprise win in the 200 free relay.

With Union’s top swimmers in the other relays, Union got big performances from Duc Bui, Jackson Webb, Reid Shepard and Hien Bui.

“They are not our typical No. 1 relay,” Union coach Jay Jones said. “But they were No. 1 today.”

“We were not expecting that,” Sam Empey said. “The boys got off and swam crazy and got that win.”

Earning automatic state berths with runner-up finishes were Camas’ Nathan Kim (200 free, 100 fly), James Crawford (200 individual medley) and Sahn Kim (100 breast), as well as Union’s Steven Empey (50 free) and Wahlman (100 free).

Saturday’s meet had Union thinking big heading into the state meet in two weeks.

“I think we can definitely have a shot at a few records, individually and on the relays with the team,” Sam Empey said. “And hopefully we can get a top three at state.”

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