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Pitman takes first at Nor Cal Relays
Pitman boys swim
Pride varsity swimmer Max Rodriguez takes a breath during the Nor Cal Relay races at Johansen High on Saturday. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ / The Journal

The sun was shining bright and early on Saturday, an added bonus to the local swimmers competing as part of the 12 school teams at the Nor Cal Relays at Johansen High. The bright outlook continued, at least for Pitman High, which ended the day on top in overall points.

Pitman’s junior varsity girls dominated and took first, while the varsity girls took second place. The Pride junior varsity boys also took second, while the varsity squad finished in third.

“I was actually surprised that a lot of kids placed higher than anticipated. I got our stronger swimmers together and I want to give credit to all, but as a team, everybody did above and beyond and beat my expectations for that day,” Pitman boys head coach Ryan Bullard said.

The Pride were also the only school to have every level place in the top three, with the varsity girls having a record-breaking performance. The JV girls took first in all events except for one.

“This meet is always a fun one for the kids, but they are also very competitive so they want to win. So, regardless of what goes on they will fight for that 'W' because they work so hard, they know they deserve it,” Pitman girls head coach Michaela Solario said.

Pitman’s record-breaking group consisted of Jasek Rysdahl, Kaleigh Mills, Sam Rodriguez, and Jordyn Kennell in the 200 back/breast relay. The team toppled a record that stood since 1998 by St. Mary’s High.

“Overall this team is so amazing, they are like family to me and to each other and it makes it so enjoyable to be around all of them. It is a great atmosphere and I think that is why they are doing so well,” Solario added.

The Pitman varsity boys had two second place finishes in the 200 back-breast/fly-free relay, as well as the 200 medley relay, and third place in the 200 back/breast relay.

Next, the Pride will take on Buhach Colony at 3 p.m. Friday, the meet was scheduled for home, but since the pool heater broke over the weekend, the setting has yet to be announced.

Turlock High's boys frosh/soph squad recorded the best finish at the Relays, finishing first overall. The other Bulldog teams struggled.

“I thought the guys did well, first big meet, no culture shock they did pretty well overall I thought,” Turlock boys head coach Nick Serratos said.

With the best finish of the day for the varsity ‘Dogs, CJ Cossey, Zach Glidden, Justin Souza and Angel Alvarez took a fourth place finish in the 200 fly/free relay.

The Bulldogs dive team of Cole Marson and Juan Carrillo took third.

“I see it as a big building block and should help our entire team moving forward,” Serratos said.

In the first relay of the day, the varsity girls squad for Turlock managed to pull away with a third place finish in the 200 free with the team that consisted of Sarah Phillips, Emily Kline, Olivia Cramer and Rebekah Groteguth.

The next meet for Turlock is against Merced at 3 p.m. Friday, as there will be no more home matches this season.