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Turlock swim sweeps Pitman in final league meet
Turlock girls swim 1
Turlock's Abby Braley finished first in the 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly events during Friday's final league meet of the season against Pitman (PAWAN NAIDU/The Journal).

Turlock and Pitman High School swim teams met in a crosstown matchup on Friday to finish their respective league seasons. The Bulldogs used their experience and athleticism to secure the win — for both the girls and boys varsity teams — and Central California Athletic League titles. Pitman girls finish league in fifth place and the boys in fourth place, however, the Pride scored a lot of personal best times at Friday’s meet.

“We had a lot of fast times and improved a lot since the start of the season,” said Turlock boys head coach Zach Gliddon. “Typically, Pitman and Turlock go back and forth and it feels good to get the win in this one.”

The Turlock varsity girls earned the victory with a score of 111-58 and the Turlock boys won 97-50.

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Turlock’s Luke Thomas finished first in the 50 and 100 freestyle events on Friday (PAWAN NAIDU/The Journal).

Some of the standout performances were Pitman’s Rick Vander Veen in the 100 and 500 backstroke. For the Turlock boys, Luke Thomas was a standout in the 500-freestyle stroke and Christian Souza in the 200 freestyle. For the Turlock girls, Kaylee Amarant performed well in the 500 freestyle and Abby Braley won the 200 IM fly. Finally, Megan Hall was a double winner in 50 and 100 freestyle events.

Even though Turlock came away with most of the wins, the Pitman coaches were proud to see improvement and have a lot of swimmers set personal best times.

“We had some very good swims today,” said Pitman girls head coach Lisa Avrett. “We had a lot of them set their personal best times today and at the end of the season that’s what we look for, because it goes back to being an individual sport, where that one person needs to focus on themselves and get faster.”

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Pitman’s Amanda Salgado finished first in the 50 and 100 freestyle events (PAWAN NAIDU/The Journal).

This matchup is something coaches and swimmers look forward to all season, and there is always a little extra motivation to be on top of their game.

“This matchup is a special one for coaches and swimmers,” said Pitman boys head coach Justin Jones. “There is a lot of tradition and rivalry between the two teams, this is a meet we look forward to all year.”

With both teams setting personal bests in multiple categories, they're going to have to keep up the momentum as they look forward to the conference meet next Wednesday and Thursday at Pitman.

“We'll be swimming really well untapered, which means we’re not cutting back on yardage yet,” said Turlock girls head coach Anne Cornell. “We’re swimming really well and moving into the conference meet and that’s a really positive sign.”