May 11, 2013
Davis girls overwhelm the competition at section swim finals; Wieser breaks 20-year-old record in helping Jesuit to boys title

Davis High's Tracy Stapleton has coached swimming and/or water polo for 25 years at the school.

But even he admits to still getting butterflies.

So when the first event got underway Saturday morning at the Sac-Joaquin Section swim championships at Tokay High School in Lodi, Stapleton was busy gnawing on his fingernails.

"That first event, the medley relay, is so important, it sets the tone," Stapleton said. "But once we get through a couple of events, I settle down."

Stapleton's swimmers settled for something special.

In one of the most dominating performances in section history, the girls placed first in eight of the 11 events in claiming their 18th girls title with a walk-away 360 points. Second-place Granite Bay finished 65 points behind.

Stanford-bound senior Tara Halsted won the 200 individual medley and 100 back; freshman Chenoa Devine the 200 and 500 frees; junior Alex Rieger the 100 free and junior Kathleen Benjamin the 100 breast.

Halsted, Benjamin and Rieger joined Emma Barksdale in winning the 200 individual medley in a section best 1:44.26. That beat the old mark the Blue Devils set last year of 1:44.66.

Halsted, Rieger, Devine and senior Marrisa Lafreniere combined for a new 400 free record of 3:26.51, topping Rio Americano's 2012 record of 3:28.44.

"Tara, I and all the seniors wanted to go out with a blast," said Lafreniere who also placed second in the 100 free and will swim in the fall for UC Davis.

With junior Matt Whittle and sophomore Riley Hickman each winning two individual events and helping the Blue Devils also win two relays, the boys missed by 4.5 points of making it a sweep. Jesuit won with 239.5 points.

Coaching consistency, a community swim culture and tradition are reasons cited for the Blue Devils' high-caliber performances through the years.

"It's all about the team here," said Whittle, who also won two individual section titles last year. "I've been fortunate to be at Davis High where we're always in the (relay) races. So we swim for each other, not just ourselves. That's what makes high school swimming so awesome."

Until this year Stapleton was the boys coach only.

But when longtime girls coach Doug Wright retired and Stapleton decided to do double duty, the Blue Devils didn't miss a beat.

"It's been great working with both groups, but there's no way one person is going to be able to work with all those kids," said Stapleton, who oversees 84 swimmers. "My assistant coaches Ro Davis and Matt Crawford have been instrumental. And so have the Davis Aquadarts (United States Swimming), who train many of our kids."

Ironically, it's a swimmer who lives closer to Davis than Carmichael who helped stymie the Blue Devils' bid for a girls and boys sweep - and he did it with flair.

Jesuit junior Chris Wieser of Vacaville had the crowd screaming as he swam to a 4:23.01 in the 500 free, breaking a 20-year-old section record (4:23.77) held by another Jesuit swimmer, Kent Johnson, who went on to become an All-American at USC.

"It's been a goal of mine to get this record since seventh grade," Wieser said. "I've never met (Kent). But he must have been a heckuva of swimmer."

Jesuit coach Mike Solander noted that a Jesuit swimmer has held that 500 free mark for 35 years. Olympian Jeff Float swam a record-setting 4:30.39 in 1978 before Johnson bettered that mark three consecutive years from 1991 to 1993.

Wieser, who placed second in the 200 free, also was on Jesuit's winning 200 free and second-place 400 free relay teams.

That helped the Marauders add to their section-leading total of 21 boys titles.

Two other section records also fell on Saturday.

The Rio Americano girls 200 free relay team of Cathy Woo, Morgan McClure, Robyn Butler and Taylor Yamahata swam a 1:35.32, .62 seconds better than the record three of them set as a relay last year.

Golden Valley of Merced's Connor Hoppe swam a 54.81 100 breast, breaking the old section mark of 55.74 held by Whittle (2012) and Davis' Keenan Newman (2002).

Here are results of the top three varsity finishers. Diving was contested May 4 but factors into the team scoring totals.

GIRLS

200 Medley Relay - 1. Davis, 1:44.26 (new section record); 2. Granite Bay, 1:45.80; 3. Rio Americano, 1:50.05

200 Free - 1. Chenoa Devine, Davis, 1:49.61; 2. Annclaire Macart, St. Francis, 1:50.21; 3. Sydney Larson, Rio Americano, 1:50.27.

200 IM - 1. 1. Tara Halsted, Davis, 2:02.07; 2. Emma Barksdale, Davis, 2:02.16; 3. Whitney Jorgensen, Roseville, 2:03.70.

50 Free - 1. Brittany Aoyama, Linden, 23.32; 2. Alex Rieger, Davis, 23.46; 3. Summer Spradley, Granite Bay, 23.85.

100 Fly - 1. Brittany Aoyama, Linden, 53.69; 2. Paige Maynard, Vacaville, 55.27; 3. Hannah Calton, Granite Bay, 55.80.

100 Free - 1. Alex Rieger, Davis, 51.49; 2. Marrisa Lafreniere, Davis, 52.27; 3. Annclaire Macart, St. Francis, 52.38.

500 Free - 1. Chenoa Devine, Davis, 4:49.18; 2. Sydney Larson, Rio Americano, 4:52.62; 3. Hayley Winter, Bear River, 4:45.94.

200 Free Relay - 1. Rio Americano, 1:35.32 (new section record); 2. Davis, 1:36.31; 3. Granite Bay, 1:36.50.

100 Back - 1. Tara Halsted, Davis, 55.46; 2. Paige Maynard, Vacaville, 56.69; 3. Taylor Yamahata, Rio Americano, 56.93.

100 Breast - 1. Kathleen Benjamin, Davis, 1:03.31; 2. Brittany Oxley, Vista del Lago, 1:03.61; 3. Hailee Baldwin, Pitman, 1:03.95.

400 Free Relay - 1. Davis, 3:26.51; 2. Granite Bay, 3:27.58; 3. Rio Americano, 3:27.83.

Diving - 1. Mikaela Lujan, Nevada Union, 463.30; 2. Amy Crayne, St. Francis, 461.90; 3. Karissa Conner, Granite Bay, 418.20.

Team scores - 1. Davis 360, 2. Granite Bay 295; 3. Rio Americano 258.

BOYS

200 Medley Relay - 1. Davis, 1:34.22; 2. Oak Ridge, 1:36.32; 3. Jesuit, 1:37.94.

200 Free - 1. Riley Hickman, Davis, 1:38.27; 2. Chris Wieser, Jesuit, 1:39.99; 3. Josh Cutter, Bear River, 1:40.47.

200 IM - 1. Matt Whittle, Davis, 1:49.69; 2. Dylan Kubick, Oak Ridge, 1:52.14; 3. Adam Banks, Vista del Lago, 1:52.84.

50 Free - 1. Kevin Wylder, Granite Bay, 20.96; 2. Connor Hoppe, Golden Valley, 21.21; 3. Bret Fogelberg, Merced, 21.30.

100 Fly - Matt Whittle, Davis, 48.26; 2. Matt Abernethy, Vacaville, 50.07; 3. Matt Spallas, Pleasant Grove, 50.49.

100 Free - 1. Riley Hickman, Davis, 45.28; 2. Kevin Wylder, Granite Bay, 46:04; 3. Keegan Shuping, Jesuit, 46.61.

500 Free - 1. Chris Wieser, Jesuit, 4:23.01 (new section record); 2. Josh Cutter, Bear River, 4:30.70; 3. Collin Craig, Del Oro, 4:30.95.

200 Free Relay - 1. Jesuit, 1:25.37; 2. Granite Bay, 1:25.87; 3. Vacaville, 1:27.47.

100 Back - 1. Adam Banks, Vista del Lago, 50.74; 2. Dylan Kubick, Oak Ridge, 51.01; 3. Matthew Klotz, 51.33.

100 Breast - 1. Conner Hoppe, Golden Valley, 54.81 (new section record); 2. Jonathan Pun, Davis, 56.73; 3. Jacob Beland, American Canyon, 57.32.

400 Free Relay - 1. Davis, 3:06.23; 2. Jesuit, 3:06.69; 3. Bear River, 3:08.37.

Diving - 1. Jorden Gotro, Oak Ridge, 612.55; 2. Thomas Dillon, Oak Ridge, 469.70; 3. Todd Alden, Wood, 453.65.

Team - 1. Jesuit 239.5; 2. Davis 235; 3. Granite Bay 231.



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