LODI — The Sac-Joaquin Section Swim and Dive Championships were held at Tokay High in Lodi May 5-7.
Competitors included all swimmers from every division who had met or surpassed the section standard times throughout the season. The more qualified swimmers each team entered, the better chance the teams had to place high in the final standings. Unlike most sports, how a team placed during the regular season had no bearing on who swam in the section meet.
The girls swam in the preliminaries Thursday, the boys swam Friday, and the swimmers with the 16 fastest times returned for Saturday’s championships. The top eight qualified for the championship bracket, while Nos. 9-16 swam in the consolation bracket.
Team points are earned in the preliminaries and during the finals swims.
The El Dorado County high school team results are as follows.
Varsity overall: 16-Oak Ridge, 91; 26-El Dorado, 34; 32-Ponderosa, 24.
Varsity girls: 16-Oak Ridge, 36; 43-Ponderosa, 1.
Varsity boys: 12-Oak Ridge, 55; 18-El Dorado, 34; 24-Ponderosa, 23.
Frosh/soph overall: 2-Oak Ridge, 360.5; 7-Ponderosa, 209.5; 16-El Dorado, 93; 60-Union Mine, 6.
Frosh/soph girls: 4-Oak Ridge, 141; 6-Ponderosa, 115; 14-El Dorado, 57; 40-Union Mine, 6.
Frosh/soph boys: 1-Oak Ridge, 219.5; 8-Ponderosa, 94.5; 20-El Dorado, 36.
El Dorado sophomore Kevin Mertz and Ponderosa junior Andy Cunningham were the high scorers among the county swimmers.
Mertz swam to fourth place in the championship bracket in the 500-yard freestyle race with an All American consideration time of 4 minutes, 36.99 seconds. Mertz also qualified for the championship final of the 200 free and took eighth in 1:44.71.
“Friday Kevin broke the school’s 200 free record with a time of 1:44.14,” Cougar coach Marc Hughes said. “And he also broke his own school record in the 500 free with a time of 4:35.50.
“We qualified in a school-record 13 events. All 17 of our swimmers were incredible and of the 17, 14 were freshmen and sophomores. That shows how great this team is becoming. I know we gave the larger schools way more than they were expecting.”
Cunningham took fifth in the championships in the 100 backstroke, touching in 53.33 seconds, and he was first in the 200 individual medley consolation finals in 1:56.22.
“Ponderosa did really great this year and very strong at sections,” Bruin assistant coach Kristen Stumbaugh said.
Oak Ridge varsity diver Jordan Gotro finished fourth with a score of 4:21.90.
In the frosh/soph girls division, Ponderosa’s Taylor Lehr, Katie Weiss, Masie Mora and Sammi Woo won the 200-yard medley relay and the same four girls took second in the 200 free relay. Lehr also finished third in the 200 free championship bracket and seventh in the 100 free.
Oak Ridge was led by Cypress Lampe, who placed in two championship event finals, fourth in the 50 free and fifth in the 100 free. Trojan Maddie Velez was second in the 500 free, and El Dorado’s Haley Owens was fifth in the 100 breast.
Troy’s frosh/soph boys team was led by Brandon Mills, who won two events — the 100 breaststroke and the 200 IM. Teammate Dylan Kubick won the 100 back event and took second in the 200 free. Oak Ridge teams (no names available) won both the 200 medley relay and the 400 free relay events.
Others who placed in the top eight included Cougar Andrew Coen, fourth in the 100 free, followed by Bruin Graham McClone, fifth, and Trojan Trevor Dong, eighth in the same race. Dong also took fourth in the 100 back. Troy’s Ryan Dewante was eighth in the 500 free. Trevor Allen finished third in the diving competion.
The Diamondbacks, the smallest of the El Dorado County teams, swam to 100 percent best times in the meet.
“Union Mine saw some nice improvements all across the board,” D’back coach Steve Skidmore said.
“Emily Thompson placed 13th (third in frosh/soph consolation) in the 100 fly with a new school record time, and Grady Lynch posted personal best times in the 100 and 50 free events. Jason Williams had two best times, along with one for Ryan Plexico.
“The 200 medley relay team of Sean Verbitsky, Plexico, Williams and Lynch recorded a two-second improvement and the 200 free relay team of Lynch, Plexico, Williams and Tyler Watkins swam to another personal best.”
Varsity girls: 50 free: C8-Jordan Shaner, P, 26.05; 100 fly: C3-Hannah Bensman, OR, 1:00.23. 200 MR: C3-OR, 1:59.86. 200 FR: C3-OR, 1:46.38. 400 R: C6-OR, 4:09.61.
Varsity boys: 200 free: F8-Kevin Mertz, ED, 1:44.71. 500 free: F4-Mertz, ED, 4:36.99. 100 back: F5-Andy Cunningham, P, 53.33. 100 breast: C3-Josh Verner, OR, 1;01.76. 100 fly: C3-Garrison Yeandle, OR, 54.09. 200 IM: C1-Cunningham, P, 1:56.22. 200 MR: C2-OR, 1:44.76; C5-El Dorado, 1:48.34. Diving: 4-Jordan Gotro, OR, 4:21.90. 400 FR: C5-OR, 3:28.09.
Frosh/soph girls: 50 free: F4-Cypress Lampe, OR, 24.80. 100 free: F5-Lampe, OR, 54.62; F7-Taylor Lehr, P, 55.85; C8-Ellen Tiedemann, ED, 58.38. 200 free: F3-Lehr, P, 1:56.89. 500 free: F2-Maddie Velez, OR, 5:08.99; C6-Kyle Covington, ED, 5:40.38. 100 back: C5-Sammie Woo, P, 1:05.23; C6-Covington, ED, 1:05.91. 100 breast: F5-Haley Owens, ED, 1:08.31; C7-Shannon Kiss, OR, 1:14.49; C8-Katie Weiss, P, (no time). 100 fly: F4-Velez, OR, 1:00.50; C3-Emily Thompson, UM, 1:02.28. 200 IM: C7-Owens, ED, 2:27.53. 200 MR: F1-PHS, 1:54.83; F2-OR, 1:55.64; F7-ED, 2:02.07. Diving: 5-Sydney Newman, OR, 3:00.40. 200 FR: F2-PHS, 1:44.27. 400 FR: F4-OR, 3:49.87; C4-ED, 4:05.27.
Frosh/soph boys: 50 free: C1-Andrew Coen, ED, 22.79. 100 free: F4-Coen, 49.69; F5-Graham McClone, P, 49.89; F8-Trevor Dong, OR, 50.58. 200 free: F2-Dylan Kubick, OR, 1:44.99. 500 free: F8-Ryan Dewante, OR, 4:57.63. 100 back: F1-Kubick, OR, 53.42; F4-Dong, OR, 55.77; C2-Spencer Harrison, P, 58.77; C6-Dewante, OR, 59.93. 100 breast: F1-Brandon Mills, OR, 1:00.68; C2-Everett Conrad, OR, 1:05.82; C3-Travis Marshall, P, 1:06.65. 100 fly: C8-Bryan Cole, OR, 1:00.00. 200 IM: F1-Mills, OR, 1:58.31; C6-Marshall, P, 2:12.91. 200 MR: F1-OR, 1:41.07; F5-PHS, 1:46.24. Diving: 3-Trevor Allen, OR, 3:16.10. 200 FR: F4-PHS, 1:34.20. 400 FR: F1-OR, 3:20.80; C3-ED, 3:33.05.