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Swimming title decided in last race; Ripon girls 3-peat
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Mantecas Matt Trejo took the lead with 20 yards remaining in the anchor leg of the 400-yard free relay Saturday and pulled away to give Manteca a win in the final event of the day and with it the Valley Oak League boys team championship by a point over Kimball at Ripon Highs Ervin Zador Aquatic Center. - photo by DAVE CAMPBELL/The Bulletin

Entering the final event of the day – the 400-yard free relay – the Manteca boys needed a win in that final event to claim the Valley Oak League team championship. After three legs of the relay the Buffaloes were trailing by at least four seconds with freshman Matt Trejo waiting to swim the final 100 yards. 

Trejo did not disappoint. Not only did he make up the difference, he pulled away in the final 50 yards to defeat second-place Ripon by nearly three seconds and give Manteca first place with 107 points, one point better than Kimball of Tracy at 106.

“This was very exciting,” Trejo said. “I am feeling overwhelmed right now. To be able to catch up was just great. 

“I am really excited for sections.”

Trejo was joined by Jacob Evans, Steele Roberts and Josh Craighead in the 400 free relay, finishing in 3 minutes, 32.81 seconds. Trejo also won the 200 IM (2:03.55) and 100 fly (55.73) and along with Roberts, Evans and Ajani Jones finished second in the 200 free relay (1:35.03), with all four times good enough to qualify for the Sac-Joaquin Section trials on May 11 and 12 at Tokay High in Lodi.  

Ripon’s Andria Martin won the 100 back (1:04.91) and was third in the 100 free (58.57). She was on the first-place 200 medley relay with Elizabeth Wenner, Amber Scheid, and Eleanor Tran (1:58.58) and first-place 200 free (1:45.30) relay team with Amy Bacay, Chloe Winter, and Mallory Brubaker. Both relays qualified for the sections.

“I have been working really hard,” Martin said. “I mostly work on backstroke during practice and it is nice to see some wins come out of working hard.”

For the third year in a row the Indians won the girls, went undefeated in league, and won the league meet with 148 points. Ripon won the combined boys and girls with 254 points. 

Ripon’s Ty Wells posted section-qualifying times with first-place finishes in the 100 breast (58.66) and 200 free (1:48.99). Wells was joined by Jacob Thompson, Lucas Eisenwein and Noah Eisenwein to win the 200 free relay (1:32.08) and the 200 medley relay (1:49.17). Both relays qualified for the sections and the 200 free relay mark was a new Indians school record. 

“That was my third time breaking a minute this season in the breast,” Wells said. “My main goal was being able to improve my seed for sections. 

“This was a season best for me.”

Sierra’s Meghan Tolman won the 200 IM (2:17:07) and 100 breast (1:10.40), qualifying for the sections in both.

“The high-school thing is kind of exciting,” said Tolman, who is in ninth grade. “Getting to be on a new team and make new friendships really helps.”

Weston Ranch’s Garrett Kmiec won the 100 back (59.00) and was second in the 200 free (1:50.98).

“It was a personal best in the 100 back and I am closer to 58 seconds which is what I am shooting for,” Kmiec said. “I’m pretty happy with it.”

Also qualifying for the sections in the girls from Ripon were: 

400 free relay – Wenner, Tran, Bacay, and Scheid (3:53.54, second), Brubaker (500 free, 5:26.63, first;  200 free, 2:01.56, second), Wenner (50 free, 25.41, second; 100 fly, 1:02.56, second), Winter (200 IM, 2:24.23, second; 100 fly, 1:03.42, third), Tran (200 IM, 2:28.75, sixth), Kyra Foley (100 breast, 1:11.29, second), Scheid (100 breast, 1:12.99, third) and Eleanor Tran (200 IM, 2:28.75, sixth).

Manteca advanced Alyssa Trejo (500 free, 5:46.88, second; 200 IM, 2:28.03, fourth) and the 200 free relay (Trejo, Kianna Fortuny, Emma Kadillak, Samanta Cerritos, 1:50.66, third).

The Ripon boys advanced the 400 free relay – Thompson, Maika West, Lucas Esenwein and Noah Esenwein (3:35.50, second) as did Manteca in the 200 free relay (Jacob Evans, Ajani Jones, Steele Roberts, Matt Trejo, 1:35.03, second).

For Sierra, David Tolman (100 breast, 1:01.67, second) and the 400 free relay (Tolman, Erik Enriquez, Nikolas Brink, Esteban Castro, 3:41.13, third) advanced to sections.

Qualifying as a frosh/soph from Ripon was Noah Esenwein (100 free, 51.44, third).