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SWIMMING IN THE RAIN

Drizzle can’t dampen T’Wolves, Lancers at VOL Championships

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SWIMMING IN THE RAIN

Natalie Heihn emerges off the turn during the 100 backstroke.

BRANDON PETERSEN/The Bulletin


POSTED May 3, 2009 1:11 a.m.
A sullen overcast sagged over Sierra High Saturday as the league’s elite did battle in the Timberwolves’ chlorine, but the mood around the pool was anything but dreary at the Valley Oak League Championships.

That was especially true for both Sierra and East Union, which finished high atop the team standings and moved on a number of swimmers to the Sac-Joaquin Section Championships May 14 through 16 at Tokay High.

The Bulletin’s two-time All Area Swimmers of the Year, Natalie Heihn of East Union and Josh Revives of Sierra, proved worthy of their sizable reputations once again, as both defended their numerous VOL crowns with style.

Revives defended his titles in both the 100 and 200 freestyle events, and will travel to Lodi alongside Zach Holmstrom, who had a monster day as well, finishing first in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:05.76.

Heihn, meanwhile, took first in the 200 free (2:00.85), and out-touched good friend and long time rival Allie Freer of Sonora in the 100 backstroke.

“It was hard, I didn’t expect Allie to be that fast even though she was entered as a faster time,” Heihn said. “I thought she was going to get me. She beat Alicia (Alfter) in the 100 fly, so apparently she was having a good day.

“I kept looking at her off the stream lines and I thought, ‘I know I can get it.’ On the last lap I could see her hands, and I thought, ‘I have pretty long arms, so if I can see her arms, I must be okay.’ Then I just prayed that I wouldn’t smash the wall.”

Alfter, who finished second in the 100 fly, rebounded with a win in the 200 IM.

Alfter and Heihn are the senior leaders on East Union’s girls squad that took fourth during the VOL dual season.

Head coach Chris Johnson said it was the EU girls’ goal to finish second Saturday and make things interesting with the league-champion Timberwolves.

Mission accomplished.

East Union racked up 104 points to leapfrog Oakdale (102) for second behind Sierra (156).

“The girls did a great job,” Johnson said. “Across the board our entire coaching staff couldn’t be prouder of them. They swam the absolute best they have all season.”

Johnson was particularly proud of Heihn, who won every event she swam.

“We didn’t expect Allie to swim (in the 100 back),” Johnson said. “Natalie was outstanding. It was good for her to swim against someone the caliber of Freer. It made the race more exciting.”

On the girls’ side however, the day belonged to Sierra, which won the event as expected.

Kim DeLeon, Megan Viduya, Kara Hall, Niki DeGeorge and Madison Andermahr all inked their names in the section finals.

Hall finished second in the 200 IM and first in the 100 breast with a time of 1:08.72.

Viduya finished runner-up to Heihn in the 200 free and won the 100 free in 57.64, clipping DeLeon, who finished in 58.40 seconds, her best time of the year.

DeLeon also clocked her fastest time of the season in the 100 back (1:06.09, third).

Among the many Sierra highlights, Chelsea Fitzgerald finished with a personal record (6:11.08) in the 500 free, good for second overall, while Sophia Ferreira finished sixth at 6:41.61.

Janette Thomas broke a personal record in the 100 breast (1:16.51, third), as well.

“Clay (Basepayne), Pat (Windschitl) and I couldn’t be happier,” Breitenbucher said. “I want to thank our parents. Without them, we don’t get here. All of the volunteers and everything they do in support of our team – we have the best parents in the country.”

Manteca’s Davina Bennett placed fifth in the 100 breast (1:19.88), and third in the 50 free (27.21).

Jon Brandi took fifth in the 200 IM with a time of 2:27.66, and Ismael Torres was third in the junior varsity 50 free (31.83).

Weston Ranch’s Nicole Bowen placed fifth in the 50 free in 33.87 seconds, and Max Martinez finished 12th in the 100 breast (1:23.81).

Cougars head coach Tim Boyd was pleased with his squad Saturday, as a number of Cougars improved their personal best marks.

Oakdale took home the team points title on the boys’ side with 153 accrued. Sonora finished second and Sierra third.

The Mustangs claimed the combined-points crown, as well, clipping the Timberwolves by 24 points.
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