Salem Sports and Breakfast Club For February 28

By Jeremy McDonald

jeremymcdonald73@gmail.com

SALEM, Ore.–  This week’s Salem Sports and Breakfast Club Honoree’s include two basketball players (Cole Hardy, South Salem and Gretchen Olson, South Salem), plus four swimmers coming off of strong performances at this past weekend’s State Swimming Meet.

Our Salem Sports and Breakfast Club Les Schwab Athlete of the Week is from South Salem boys basketball – Cole Hardy.

Cole, a senior, scored 20 points and had six rebounds, five assists, two blocks, and three steals in the Saxons 66-49 win over West Salem on Friday that clinched the Mountain Valley Conference championship. Going into tonight’s game versus the Celtics the Saxons are undefeated in conference play and ranked #3. With an average margin of victory in conference play of 19 ½ points and a deep bench, Cole has averaged 15 points in approximately 3 quarters of play. He has been the “rock” of the Saxon press and zone defense, often guarding the best player on the opposing team. According to Coach Travis Brown, “Cole is very coachable and has grown into a top performer in the MVC.” Cole will continue playing basketball as he heads into college but is undecided as to his future destination.

Our Salem Sports and Breakfast Club Les Schwab Athlete of the Week is from South Salem girls basketball – Gretchen Olsen.

Gretchen is a senior and 4.0 student for the Saxons. She has always been a threat as a shooter. With great range, she is a shooter who can bury a 3-point shot at anytime for the Saxons, who are 19-4 and undefeated in conference play and have wrapped up the Mountain Valley Conference championship going into tonight’s game with the McNary Celts. Coach Adrian Lewis says that this year, however, “Gretchen has really evolved into being a leader” for the #6 Saxons. “She is level-headed during any situation and is a staple defensively.” Against West Salem she had nine points and six rebounds, but, most importantly, had free throws at the end to seal the game. Last week against Summit, she had 19 points – 5-of -0 from the 3-point line – and 7 rebounds, helping to break open a game in which the Saxon led by only two at half. After high school, she plans to major in athletic training at the “University of Undecided” and is still in the process of deciding whether to pursue basketball there.

Our Salem Sports and Breakfast Club Les Schwab Athlete of the Week is from South Salem boys swimming – Julian Melton. Julian, a junior for the Saxons, competed in four events at the state meet this past weekend. He placed 14th in the 200-yard medley relay and 11th in the 400-yard freestyle relay. Julian was the lead-off swimmer in the 400-yard freestyle relay and swam the breaststroke leg of the medley. Individually Julian placed 14th in 200-yard IM in 1:59 and 5th in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 59.94. Julian was also the Statesman-Journal Athlete of the Week and scored 36 points for the Saxons at the district swim meet.

Our Salem Sports and Breakfast Club Les Schwab Athlete of the Week is from North Salem girls swimming – Morning Ped.

Morning is a junior for the Vikings who has been a three-time qualifier for the state swim meet and has been a team leader since her ninth grade year. In last week’s state meet at the Tualatin Hills Aquatic Center, Morning competed in three events. She swam the first leg – the backstroke – in the 200-yard medley relay that finished 9th in the state. She then went on to swim two individual races, grabbing a bronze medal in the individual 200-yard medley, and a silver in the 50-yard freestyle. Coach Taylor Rash describes her as “always looking to improve her swimming and is open to swimming any event that helps the team succeed” and “one of the hardest workers I’ve ever coached.” Finally, student-athlete describes Morning well as she is currently taking college level courses at Chemeketa Community College.

Our Salem Sports and Breakfast Club Les Schwab Athlete of the Week is from West Salem girls swimming – Paige Anderson.

Paige is a sophomore for the Titans. At districts Paige finished 3rd in the 500 free style, earning the only individual medal for the Titans. She also was a member of the 200 and 400 Titan free style relay teams that qualified for state. Paige swam the 3rd leg of the girls 200 yard freestyle relay that finished 13th in the state with a time of 1:44 and the anchor leg of the 400 yard freestyle relay that finished 17th in 3:49. Individually she swam the endurance race – the 500-yard freestyle – finishing 14th in the state with a time of 5:25.5. A young woman from whom we expect to see many more great things.

Our Salem Sports and Breakfast Club Les Schwab Athlete of the Week is from South Salem boys swimming – Trevor Cook.

Trevor, a junior for the Saxons, competed in four events at the state meet. He placed 14th in the 200-yard medley and 11th in the 400-yard freestyle relays. Trevor, in his 3rd year as a swimmer for South, swam the 3rd – butterfly – leg in the medley relay and swam the anchor in the 400-yard freestyle relay. Individually he finished 12th in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:02 and 11th in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 53.97.

Trevor is a 3.95 student, is in student leadership, and is currently taking both Physics and English in the International Baccalaureate program. His coach – Brittany Awalt – describes him as a “team leader who is always thinking about the team first and is willing to swim different events to do what is best for the team.”

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