Turlock and Pitman High's varsity swim teams are chasing a Central California Conference title this upcoming season — but before embarking on that journey, both sides battled in the pool this past Saturday at the Nor Cal Relays.
With the season in full swing, this provided both teams with an opportunity to get a full scope of what they have to offer with some of the best swimmers in the area competing at Johansen High.
When the day had concluded, Turlock placed second with 181 points, while Pitman followed in third with 177 points. Lincoln of Stockton placed first with 201 points.
“Good day overall. Our goal is to be top three in league and I think that we have a lot of hard work ahead of us,” said Turlock coach Lauren Bettencourt.
The girls placed fourth and the Turlock boys placed first with 56 points, which was anchored by a top place in the 200-free relay (1:39.97) and 200 fly/free relay (1:56.43).
Turlock's girls took first in the 200 fly/free relay that was led by Karissa Roof, Izzy Romeo, Lindsey Amos and Katy McMillan.
The 100-medley relay placed 2nd (Allison Serratos, Amos, Nicole Groteguth and Romeo). That was followed by a 3rd place finish in the 200-medley relay (Amos, McMillan, Romeo and Roof). The Bulldogs also placed 3rd in the 200 IM relay with Groteguth, Allison Malmberg, Giana Ontiveros and Kacqueline Vierra.
Pitman followed in second with 51 points, just six points away from first while the boys tied for third with Modesto Metro Conference power—Gregori.
“Our varsity boys team is mainly comprised of underclassmen,” said Pitman boys coach Shane Nunes. “We only have two seniors and three junior swimmers. One of the main highlights from the meet was how our team really came together, bonded, and are getting excited about the rest of the season.”
Pitman won two events in the 200-free relay with a time of 1:54.94, followed by a first-place performance in the 100-free relay (53.38).
Now, both Turlock and Pitman turn to league in full strength.
“We'd like to try and win league again with the girls and for the boys side; it'd be nice to finish top three,” said Pitman girls coach Erica Crain. “But, most of our swimmers are young so being able to just compete would be great after our boys tied for second with Atwater last year and girls won.”
“We know already that El Capitan is going to be tough to keep up with and we're anticipating close meets with Pitman and Merced as usual,” Bettencourt added. “Both of those meets were within 10 points of each other last year. It's a tight league again this year, but our advantage is that we have a lot of experienced swimmers this year and a veteran roster of juniors and seniors, we haven't had that luxury before.”
Turlock will next host Atwater at 3 p.m. Friday.
Pitman's next meet will be against Merced at 3 p.m. Friday.