Records set at finals
LODI – The pool area was nearly cleared out. Only a handful of groups lingered to hear the final team results Saturday at the Sac-Joaquin Section swim finals at Tokay High School. But on the far end of the pool, just one high school female swimmer remained in the water.
She slowly lifted her body over the edge of the pool, took off her goggles and teased her hair out from underneath her swimming cap. She was officially finished with her high school swimming career.
And what a career it was. For one last time, senior Whitney Stephenson left her mark on the Nevada Union school record book. She swam in two individual championship finals events and two championship finals relays.
Stephenson set school records in both of her individual events – the 100 backstroke and 200 individual medley – in addition to swimming a leg on the record-setting 200 medley relay.
Her 100 backstroke time of 57.38 wasn’t just a school record, but an automatic all-American time. The relay team of Stephenson, Caitlin Lee, Colleen Heauser and Hayley Porter was fast enough for all-American consideration.
While Stephenson’s day certainly stood out, she wasn’t alone as her entire Nevada Union girls varsity swimmers took turns stamping their marks on the meet as well – leading to the best girls varsity team finish in school history (fifth).
The Miner girls placed in the championship finals in eight events, earning points in two consolation finals, leaving just one event without a Miner swimming for points.
“That was our goal coming in, to place in the top five,” Nevada Union coach John Sultan said. “It’s exciting. They all realized they had a job to do and did it.”
The top-five finish was even more impressive considering two of the team’s top four girls – Stephenson and Porter – entered the race unrested, deciding not to taper for the meet as to continue to train without an interruption for the club season this summer. Tapering, according to the American Swimming Coaches Association, is the reduction of workload (or workouts) during a period of time immediately prior to a major competition.
Porter finished second in the 50 free and fourth in the 100 free championship finals as a freshman; an untapered freshman at that.
“She’s very talented – one of the most talented kids in section,” Sultan said. “She obviously has a bright future in this sport.”
The Nevada Union varsity boys team finished ninth in the meet, even without earning a single point from the three relays. For the fifth year in a row, the 400 freestyle medley relay was disqualified for a false start, which occurred during the trials Friday. The team was also forced to pull out of the other two relays after a swimmer who was on both relays was sent home because of conduct issues.
Three Miners swimmers placed in the championships finals with senior Drew Harris taking fourth in both the 100 and 200 freestyles, while junior Kyle Virva was fourth in the 100 fly and seventh in the 200 free. Neither was tapered for the meet. Senior all-American Jon Huffman-Eddy finished his high school career with a seventh-place finish in the 500 free and 12th-place finish in the 200 free.
Nevada Union’s frosh/soph boys were 10th at the meet, even after two relays were disqualified for false starts.
Bear River had eight swimmers compete in the meet finals, all at the frosh/soph level. Last year, just one swimmer, Chase Rogers, competed in the section finals.
Rogers, a sophomore, was seventh in the 100 free in the championship finals, while the relay team of Shannon Dayton, Stephanie Ursiny, Elana Faria and Hannah Morehouse were eighth in the championship finals of the 200 free relay.
The section meet was noticeably faster that last year’s meet. At least three section records were broken.
2nd – Stephenson (100 back, 57.38)# ^
2nd – Porter (50 free, 24.53)#
2nd – Stephenson, Lee, Heauser and Porter (200 medley relay, 1:50.67)# %
4th – Porter (100 free, 53.25)
6th – Stephenson (200 IM, 2:10.21)#
8th – Heauser (100 breast, 1:09.23)
8th – Shiloh Fish, Shanna Stefani, Stephanie Larson and Porter (200 free relay, 1:45.86)
8th -Lee, Heauser, Fish and Stephenson (400 free relay, 3:50.12)
11th – Lee (500 free, 5:11.68)
15th – Lee (200 free, 1:58.43)
4th – Harris (100 free, 47.68)
4th – Harris (200 free, 1:43.72) %
4th – Virva (100 fly, 53.56)
7th – Huffman-Eddy (500 free, 4:46.87)
7th – Virva (200 free, 1:45.26)
12th – Huffman-Eddy (200 free, 1:47.16)
8th – Dayton, Ursiny, Faria and Morehouse (200 free relay, 1:47.69)*
11th – Harris (100 breast, 1:13.32)
14th – Stephanie Ursiny (50 free, 26.30)*
7th – Rogers (100 free, 52.76)*
7th – Elitt Golnik (50 free, 23.45)
8th – Eric Wurster (100 back, 1:02.21)
8th – David Monroe, Gabriel Ingersoll, Jason Cobbe and Golnik (400 free relay, 3:45.52)
14th – Ingersoll (500 free, 5:13.01)
15th – Wurster (500 free, 5:13.70)
15th -Rogers, Ryan Bock, Bryan Agnew and Robbie Stoddart (400 free relay, 3:42.41)*
16th – Mike Saturnino (50 free, 24.15)
DQ – Rogers (50 free)*
DQ -Ingersoll, Golnik, Saturnino and Cobbe (200 free relay)
* Bear River athletes (the rest are NU)
# School record
^ Automatic all-American time
% All-American time consideration
To contact sportswriter Stacy Hicklin, e-mail email@example.com or call 477-4244.
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Grass Valley native Brad Sweet drove past the competition and into victory lane last week, snapping his longest winless streak of the season.