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East Union, Manteca girls race to deadlock finish
East Unions Elijah Salas works hard in the pool during the Lancers 89-77 loss to Manteca Tuesday in Valley Oak League action.

Both East Union and Manteca highs girls swimming programs finished deadlocked in an 85-85 tie Tuesday in the two clubs’ Valley Oak League matchup.

With Oakdale and Ripon asserting their programs as the upper echelon in the VOL the Lancers and Buffaloes battled in an epic league showdown between the two schools.

“We were down by two points with one race left,” East Union head coach Kara Andrews said. “And our 400 free relay stepped up and gave us the extra two points we needed to tie with a very good Manteca team.”

Manteca got standout performances from Julia Sailing who won the 100 breast and took second in the 100 free, while junior Amanda Christensen took first in the 100 fly and second in the 100 back.

Manteca also got continued improvement from senior Myklyn Balmut, who was third in the 100 free with a time of 1:14.

“This was a team effort from our girls today,” Manteca head coach Elyce Silva said. “Every point mattered and every race was super close. The meet came down to a very close last race and I am proud of every girl who got in the water today for how hard she worked.”

The Buffaloes boys team was able to earn the victory, walking off with a convincing 84-66 win over East Union. Trevor Gardner was dominant in the win, scoring firsts in both the 50 and 100 free. He also chipped in on the first place, section-qualifying 200 free relay team’s time of 1:39.36.

“Our boys had a great day,” Silva said. “This is a really big win for us and the momentum we need heading in to our last meet and championship meet.

“The boys have been practicing hard and fine tuning everything and that showed in the water today.”