The Central California Conference swim finals were underway on Thursday with Turlock and Pitman High present at Buhach Colony to see who would prevail as the league champions of 2014.
Unfortunately all levels, except the Turlock boys JV squad, would fail to top out in first place but many swimmers saw their personal best while others struggled to see Merced top out in nearly every category including boys and girls varsity.
“Overall a good day but when it counted we couldn’t do it. Merced came out knowing they would have to go all out to win and they did,” Pitman girls head coach Michaela Solario said.
Annika Jasek-Rysdahl finished fourth in the 200 IM and third in the 500 free.
For the Turlock girls, they were able to top out in fourth place with 271 points, only three points away from third place Atwater.
“It was a bittersweet finish, but the girls exceeded everyone’s expectations this season,” Turlock girls head coach Lauren Bettencourt said. “We started with six upperclassmen on the varsity squad and rounded out the team with 3 freshman and 3 sophomores and I believe that this is a better finish than I think anyone could have hoped for.”
Some notable finishes for the lady ‘Dogs was sophomore Sarah Phillips who had a personal record, dropping about five seconds off her previous time and took second in the 100 breaststroke, while senior Rebekah Groteguth placed third in the 50 free. Phillips will be moving on to sectionals after hitting a personal record.
The 200 medley relay team that is consisted of Phillips, Groteguth, Taylor Askil and Olivia Cramer finished their race in third place with a time of 2:04.76.
Another big personal best was from sophomore Lucy Deitz in the 500 freestyle, who came in at 5:45.17, 10 seconds faster than the beginning of the season, finishing in fifth place and also qualifying for sections.
“This team’s future is bright and I can't wait to be back for next season to continue building the next formidable powerhouse of the CCC,” Bettencourt added.
For the Pitman Pride boys, they saw a third place finish at the conference meet which led to a second place finish for the year at the varsity level.
“It was kind of an ok day, we saw better day in trials, we didn’t really match too many times, some of our guys were down. Saw some personal records over the week but some events we were not as strong as we could’ve been,” Pitman boys head coach Ryan Bullard said. “We don’t have the depth this year we’re still very young.”
The top standouts for the Pride boys were sophomores Josh Buck and Nathan Olsen who scored high points for Pitman. Olsen would take second in the 200 IM with a time of 53.3.
In the 200 medley and 200 freestyle, the Pride would come away with third and second place finishes.
Senior Max Rodriguez finished in third place after a stellar performance in the 100 breast.
“Today those were the guys that did the best,” Bullard added.
Improving over the week was junior Gavin Madrigal who placed fourth in the 200 and 100 free.
For Turlock, their boy’s varsity team took sixth as only seven boys made it into day two for varsity with CJ Cossey placing in the top three in both individual events. Cossey would finish in second place in the 200m along with a third place finish in the 100m.
“CJ had a great day and stepped it up the last couple days, did so much and qualified for sections,” Turlock boys head coach Nick Serratos said.
Zach Glidden would place sixth in the backstroke but had a good enough time to qualify for sectionals.
“Really the only team we didn’t beat was Merced. We can challenge big teams and that shows promise of where our program is going,” Serratos added. “They all did a great job, went out and competed hard, improved our times, good day and good way to end the season looking into the postseason.”
Sectionals are scheduled for May 16-17 at Tokay High School.