By Jeremy McDonald
SILVERTON, Ore.– It’s another day in the water for Catherine Hyde working on her craft. It was an easy practice coming off of the District Meet back on Saturday as the Silverton junior found herself working on the little things during Monday’s practice, coming off the heels of qualifying in four events at this upcoming Friday’s 5A State Swim Meet.
“Very big. Like at Districts, I could’ve potentially been under a minute in fly. But I just messed up on a couple of things and it has such a big impact on your time because every second counts. This week in particular is really just going to be nailing the small things and hopefully we can move up in the standings,” Hyde said of this week.
Here’s the thing that’s weird. She broke the school record in the 100-yard fly, the butterfly event. And she wasn’t that much over a minute in the event either with a time of 1:00.39 during the District Meet that broke the school record in the process. That’s about an equivalent of blinking your eyes, about 0.40 of a second on average, away from a sub-one minute event.
And that was just one of two records she broke during her junior season, breaking the 100-yard backstroke in the process during the district meet with a time of 59.38. All while leading off for the District Champion 200-yard Freestyle Relay and 200-yard Medley Relay.
In the backstroke, Hyde is seeded second. Right behind Churchill’s Kylie Taylor, the senior in Taylor had edged Hyde when the two swam against each other at the State Meet two years ago at the Tualatin Hills Aquatics Center in Beaverton and is excited to see how she’ll do against Taylor on Friday in the 100-yard backstroke.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing what I can do and what I can accomplish. I’m definitely trying to move my way up in the standings, so we’ll see,” Hyde said.
Swimming is a strange sport. It’s all based on time. Win your district and you’re in automatically. If not, you’re hoping to be in the next eight in times to get one of those bids to go to the State Meet. And for Hyde, this is the second time she’s going to State. This time taking more of a leadership role compare to her freshman year, learning and improving from those that were there when she was a freshman going to the big meet.
“Freshman year, I was lucky quite literally. I had a lot of the girls to look up to and ‘oh they’ve done this before’ and now this year, after missing last year, this is ‘oh this is your home now’ and now I’m trying to step into what they were to me and trying to make some school history,” smiled Hyde.
Hyde’s two records were just part of a few records she broke, she thinks roughly four at this point of this season, already leaving her mark in the Aqua Foxes record books with one more meet left in her High School career and a whole senior season ahead of her. Not to mention being a part of the 200-yard freestyle record (set in 2020), 400-yard Freestyle (also set in 2020). Really surreal really to ponder over.
“It’s kind of surreal really,” laughs Hyde. “It’s not even real yet. When I was a little kid I was ‘oh. I want to have these records’ and coming into High School it was ‘oh it’s actually could be a possibility’ and now I have many it’s like ‘oh wow’,
“I’ve progressed so much. Just even from freshman year, I was actually telling (Silverton Head Coach Lucky) Rogers about this. Just from freshman year I have noticed how much I’ve improved so much as a swimmer and who I want to be. I’ve come a long way that’s for sure.”
In two of the lanes used by the team Monday, one for the guys and one for the girls, Silverton’s sending five relay teams, and having three boys swimming in at least one event and Libby Gorgan joining Hyde in the 100-yard backstroke, Hyde led the girls out a few times during their six, 100-yard sprints to close out practice.
Hyde jokes that she hopes she’s a leader of the squad, but knows too how important the remainder of the week will be in preparation for State. Not just for her, but for her team knowing the task at hand. But also too, have fun with all of it. Knowing it’s a culmination of the hard work that they all put into this season.
“Just give it everything I have and I’m going to be happy no matter what. Like I’ve already done so much this season and it’s just a culmination of all of that. I’m just going to go out, see what I can do and try to help because I’m the only one that swam at State so I’m going to try to help them. Make sure they have fun and I’ll have fun,” Hyde said.
The 5A State Race will take part Friday at the Tualatin Hills Aquatic Center with 6A and 4A/3A/2A/1A taking part Saturday.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald