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Area favorites abundant at VOL Championships

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East Union's Alicia Alfter is a favorite to qualify for sections in numerous events Saturday at Sierra High, the site of the 2009 Valley Oak League Championships.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED May 2, 2009 1:53 a.m.
The postseason has arrived, and with it comes another opportunity for the Valley Oak League’s best to shine and a chance for a few unheralded newcomers to make a name for themselves.

Hosted by the Ceres Bulldogs, the VOL Tournament will begin at 9 a.m. today at Sierra High.

Timberwolves head coach Dave Breitenbucher and the rest of the league is hoping that the inclement weather will stay a way for a few hours at least, but if the wet stuff should fall, everything should go on as planned.

“There’s a chance of showers,” Breitenbucher said. “It will be between 66 and 76 degrees, we’ll see how it plays out. Either way, it won’t be a cold, winter storm.
“We’re prepared for it.”

While the weather is in question, the VOL favorites are not.
Among the boys, Sierra’s Josh Revives, the two-time Bulletin All Area Swimmer of the Year, will attempt to capture his third league championship in both the 200 and 100 freestyle events.

Revives’ female All-Area counterpart, East Union’s Natalie Heihn, has already turned in section qualifying times in the 200 IM and 50 free, and EU’s Alicia Alfter has qualified in the 200 free and 100 fly.

Manteca’s Davina Bennett is a favorite in the 50 free and 100 breast, and Cari Carl will battle Alfter in the 100 fly.

Jon Brandi, meanwhile, will try for the top spot in both the 200 IM and 100 breast.

Sierra’s Zach Holmstrom is another name to look out for, as is John Osborn and Serge Veretennikov, who, alongside Revives, round out the Timberwolf boys’ 200 medley relay team.

Breitenbucher expects the foursome to turn in a Top 3 finish.

Kara Hall, who will look to top the competition in the 100 breast and 200 IM, leads Sierra’s three-time league champion girls squad, which is riddled with VOL favorites.

Among the group, look out for seasoned veterans Kim DeLeon, Megan Viduya, Madison Andermahr, and Christina Ngo.

“We have five or six seniors who have been there all four years,” Breitenbucher said. “Having those veterans helps with the younger swimmers. Practice was good; the kids are relaxed.”

Besides the familiar names, Sierra also sends a talented group of younger swimmers including Niki George, Ariel Moreno and Ashley Burns.

Section Trials begin May 14 at Tokay High in Lodi, with the championships to follow May 16.

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