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Brown spearheads Ripon’s record-breaking outing

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Rachel Holstrom competed for Sierra High in the 200 Medley Relay. See additional photos on Page B6.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED April 29, 2013 1:32 a.m.

Erika Brown and the rest of the Ripon High girls swimmers put the cherry on top of a banner season in the Valley Oak League on Saturday.

The Lady Indians more or less confirmed their status as regular-season co-champion with their performance in the VOL Championships, placing first with 129 points. Meet host Oakdale, which shares the girls crown with Ripon, posted 105 points.

Oakdale dominated to win the boys competition, and the Mustangs topped Ripon 228-218 on combined points. Four meet records were set by Oakdale, including the boys 200 medley relay (1:41.56), boys 400 free relay (3:21.77), girls 200 freestyle relay (1:31.27) and boys 200 individual medley. Soren Dickens got the touch to break the 200 individual medley record in 2:00.04, squeaking past former Sierra standout Clayton Basepayne’s 2000 tine of 2:00.72.

The league finale has no bearing on team championships, which are decided in regular-season duals, but provide VOL swimmers one last chance to qualify for the Sac-Joaquin Section Trials while vying for top-three medals.

With Brown leading the way, Ripon’s girls had seven first-place finishes, three of which went for new meet records. The outstanding freshman rolled to first-place finishes in the 200-yard freestyle (1:55.26) and 100 backstroke (59.68). She broke Sierra alumna Nicole Draa’s 2001 VOL record (1:46.22) in the 200 free and also helped the 200 medley relay win with a record-breaking time of 1 minute, 55.25 seconds (Sierra, 2001, 1:55.83). Brown nearly set the new standard in three events, as her 100 back time threatened Melissa McClenden’s 1991 mark of 59.45.

Ripon’s 200 free relay team also bested a previous best set by the talented 2001 Sierra squad, winning in 1:43.84. 

Emma Lewis was a double winner in the 50 free (25.83) and 100 free (56.25). Hannah Sweet claimed the 500 free (5:29.94). Simone Gagnon earned silver in the 100 butterfly (1:03.02) and bronze in the 200 individual medley (2:20.25). Ripon’s 400 freestyle relay team placed third (4:15.42).

Sierra’s fourth-place girls had notable efforts from Rachel Holmstrom (200 free, third, 2:15.94) and Natalie Randolph (500 free, third, 6:06.19).

Janelle Macedo was awarded bronze in two events (200 IM, 2:28.81; 100 back, 1:05.86) and set personal records in both for sixth-place East Union. Hannah Estrella took fifth in the 100 fly (1:10.33) but came up 0.33 of a second shy of a section-meet berth.

Manteca’s Amanda Christensen qualified for sections with a third-place time of 1:06.26 in the 100 fly. Julia Saling had already guaranteed her spot in the 100 breast section trials over the regular season. She took third Saturday in 1:14.40. The Buffaloes placed seventh as a team.

Ripon paced area boys teams, finishing third (89 points) behind Oakdale (123) and Sonora (94). The Indians accumulated five individual golds among three competitors.

Zach Scudder took first in the 200 free (1:52.26) and 500 free (5:08.32). Justin Park doubled up in the 100 free (49.91) and 100 back (55.94). Corey Winter triumphed in the 100 butterfly (54.34) and was the 200 IM runner-up (2:04.04). Ripon’s 200 freestyle relay garnered silver in 1:35.45.

Scott Tolman was the top performer for Manteca Unified schools. Sierra’s promising freshman grabbed gold in the 100 breast stroke (1:03.69), silver in the 50 free (23.31) and bronze in the 400 free relay (3:39.03). The foursome also included John Buonauro, Brandon Castro and Zack Thomas.

Sierra ended up fourth in the team competition, East Union was sixth and Manteca seventh.

East Union standout Elijah Salas shattered personal records and placed in both the 100 fly (third, 55.67) and 100 back (second, 56.07). Fellow Lancer Scott Fisher placed third in the 50 free (23.80). The Manteca 200 freestyle quartet of Brandon Craighead, Kevin Perez, Stephen Ruble and Austin Welch clocked a third-place time of 1:38.97.

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