The tone was set on the first race of the day.
Ripon High’s girls 200-yard medley relay quartet of Emma Lewis, Hannah Sweet, Andria Martin and Chloe Winter clocked in at 1 minute, 57.35 seconds — a mere three-tenths of a second faster than Oakdale’s top team.
It was just the first of many close races in this showdown for the Valley Oak League championship, and by the end it was Ripon celebrating a 97-73 victory at Oakdale. The Lady Indians finish 7-0-1, with the tie coming against Kimball in the league opener.
Oakdale won the boys competition, 104-64.
“I am really proud of the team as a whole today,” said Ripon coach Kim Corgiat. “Ripon may not always have the biggest numbers but they swim with their heart and out-touched their opponents today. There were some really great races to watch. It is great to see how the team has come together and support one another as a family. The team’s hard work paid off today.”
The girls 50 freestyle was one of the most competitive events of the day, with 1.06 seconds separating first place from third. Lewis (25.72) out-touched Oakdale’s Shelby Stender (26.88) with Maddie Hawes (26.78) on their heels. Lewis also won the 100 backstroke and was part of the winning 400 freestyle relay.
Sweet (2:16.62) fended off Summer Thompson (2:16.78) for first place in the 200 individual medley. Mallory Brubaker won the 200 free and 500 free and joined Sweet and Lewis on the 400 free relay.
Ripon’s boys squad was simply outmanned, but not necessarily outgunned. Daniel Esenwein (500 free, 100 back), Ty Wells (200 free, 100 fly) and Zach Scudder (200 IM, 100 free) were all four-event winners. Jacob Thompson linked up with the trio for wins in the 400 free and 200 medley relays.
Up next is the VOL Championships on Saturday, May 2 back at Oakdale.
Ripon 8, Hilmar 4
In Hilmar, Nick Price and Zach Horwood homered and Jack Mayer was effective over five innings for the Indians (7-4 Trans-Valley League), who snapped a four-game slide with the rout.
Ripon led 8-1 heading into the sixth inning.
Price belted a two-run home run, while Horwood connected on a solo shot. Three others roped doubles, as the Indians pounded out 14 hits.
Trent Murphy, Austin Pelham and Mayer doubled for Ripon, which hosts three of its final four TVL games. Jarrod Andrews had two hits and Sammy Souza was 3 for 4.
Mayer pitched into the sixth inning, giving up three earned runs on five hits. He fanned seven while walking three. Jacob Duxbury closed out the game.