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Ripon girls rule VOL Swim Championships
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Ripon’s varsity girls dominated Thursday in the Valley Oak League Swim Championships at Oakdale High, placing first with 156 points.

Oakdale was the next closest with 95. Sierra (fourth, 81), Manteca (sixth, 25), East Union (seventh, 12) and Weston Ranch (eighth, six) followed.

Host Oakdale took the varsity boys meet title, edging out Ripon 166-148. Sierra took third with 48 points with Weston Ranch (sixth, 18), Manteca (seventh, 10) and East Union (eighth, three) trailing.

The meet serves as a last chance to qualify for the Sac-Joaquin Section Trials, which takes place May 5-6 at Tokay High of Lodi. The SJS Finals is on May 7.

The Ripon tandem of Michael Chavez and Ben Svoboda were among the top performers from the area at the VOL meet, as each were part of four first-place finishes. They joined Brody Biederman and Teo West on the winning 200-yard medley (1 minute, 49.05 seconds) and 400 freestyle (3:37.34) relays.

Individually, Chavez won the 200 individual medley (2:05.96) crown as well as the 100 butterfly (55.25), while Svoboda conquered the 200 free (1:55.95) and 100 breaststroke (1:08.61).

Biederman nearly doubled individually but placed second to Chavez in the 100 fly. He won the 100 back in 1:01.45. West was the runner-up in the 100 free with a Section frosh-soph qualifying time of 54.31.

Ripon’s 200 free relay of Ryan Bell, Chetan Harvey, Ben Rodgers and Nathan Selna took second but hit the SJS’ frosh-soph qualifying mark at 1:44.51.

Taylor Blair, Valerie Chun and Crystallynn Tran paced Ripon’s girls team.

Blair took first in the 200 IM (2:22.70) and third in the 100 free (57.31); Chun finished first in the 100 fly (1:00.48) and third in the 200 free (2:03.97); and Tran won the 100 back (1:05.88) and was third in the 100 fly (1:04302).

The trio was joined by Kennedy Brubaker on the winning 400 free relay (4:01.05). Chun and Tran were part of the runner-up 200 medley relay (2:02.85) with Hailey Hoy and Hailey Knief. Mia Sickler-Lopez, Blair, Brubaker and Knief finished second in the 200 free relay (1:49.78).

Sickler Lopez was also third and fourth in the 200 IM (2:25.90) and 100 free (59.67), respectively, clocking Section-qualifying times at the varsity level for both. Brubaker took second in the 500 free in 5:53.43.

Jennifer Graves of Sierra had a banner day, placing first in the 500 free (5:36.41) while getting narrowly edged out by Chun in the 100 fly (1:00.56). Kiera Brink (50 free, 27:03) and Gianna Ramos (100 free, 56.39) each took second in their specialty events with Section-qualifying marks.

Amy Fadeff joined the three in the 200 medley relay (third, 2:06.34) and 200 free relay (fourth, 1:54.31), both of which hit Section marks.

Ripon also won the JV girls meet.

Dillan DeLeon (50 free), Baldwin Kaur (100 fly) and Tristen Hunter (50 breast) each won an event. Izabella Miller and Schmidki were with DeLeon and Hunter on the winning 200 medley relay. The first-place 200 free relay was comprised of DeLeon, Hunter, Kaur and Schmidki.

Sierra’s Trina Phan won the 50 breast.