The girls swim team from Pitman (539) and Turlock High (311) finished 2nd and 3rd, respectively, at the Central California Conference finals at Pitman High on Saturday. The boys from Turlock took third (342) and the Pride fifth (269).
“I think we did very well, we were down a couple but we still placed where we should’ve,” Turlock girls coach Sonja Raynes said. “We placed and we had some great times.”
The Pitman girls saw eight individuals place in the top three. Pride boys Ian Belloli and Max Rodriguez placed third in the 500 yard freestyle and in the 100 yard breaststroke, respectively. Bulldogs boys placed third in the 200 yard medley relay with a time of 1:49.94.
“I am really proud of Ian and Max,” Pitman boys coach Ryan Bullar said. “I knew [they] were a few seconds off, but they had a personal best… they all did well, relay was good, but really, these guys stepped it up for sure.”
Hailee Baldwin added 40 points to the squad's total by placing first in both the 200 IM (2:10.79) and the 100 breast (1:05.57). Baldwin also contributed to Pitman’s 200 medley relay team that placed first with a time of 1:56. The girls also took first in the 200 freestyle relay, with a time of 1:44.60 and third in the 400 yard freestyle relay (4:08.51).
“I knew it was going to be close; I was up at night trying to figure out the scores cause these girls needed to step up majorly and they did,” Pitman girls coach Michaela Solario said. “They know what they needed to do and stepped up the game. [We] saw some personal bests, all and all I am 100 percent happy with how the season ended and everything. The girls did amazing and nobody can take that away from them.”
The next step for both the Pride and ‘Dogs swimming teams are sections, with trials set to begin on Thursday for girls diving and Friday for boys at Johansen High School. Section finals will take place on Saturday at Johansen.
“You know, we don’t have enough to place in sections, but working hard for personal bests is our goal,” Raynes said. “Another chance to put the frosting on the cake.”
Boys and girls section trials are set for May 9 and 10 at Tokay High in Lodi. The section swimming finals are scheduled for May 11 at Tokay High.