May 14, 2012
Halsted, Whittle help lead Davis to overall section swim title

Matt Whittle, a sophomore, and Tara Halsted, a junior, each won two events and were members of first place relay teams that helped Davis to win the team title at Saturday's Sac-Joaquin Section swim championships in Lodi.

The Blue Devils had 541 combined points to finish well ahead of Granite Bay with 470 points.

The Davis girls won their 17th section team title with 307 points while the Davis boys took third with 234 points.

Whittle repeated as a section 100 breast champion with a winning time of 55.74 seconds, tying the section record set by fellow Blue Devil Keenan Newman in 2002. Whittle also won the 100 fly in 48.98.

Freshman Riley Hickman, who attends Harper Junior High because Davis does not have a ninth grade, edged Del Oro senior Brain Westlake in the 200 free. Hickman swam 1:40.30; Westlake was second in 1:40.91.

But Hickman's bid for an individual double was squashed when he was disqualified for a false start in the 100 free. Hickman teamed with Whittle, Connor Stapleton and Jonathan Pun to win the 200 medley relay title in 1:33.94.

Halsted won the 500 free (4:55.70) and 100 back (55.63) and swam on the winning girls 200 medley relay team - along with Alex Rieger, Princeton-bound Beverly Nguyen and Kathlee Benjamin - that broke a 17-year-old section record with a time of 1:44.66. Davis set the old mark of 1:45.49 in 1995.

Rieger, a sophomore, also won the 100 free in 51.68 and took second in the 50 free, an event she won last year as a freshman at St. Francis.

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