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Ripon junior breaks VOL record
VOLS SWIM8 5-5-14
Ripon Highs Corey Winter competes in the 100 fly. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

A Valley Oak League record almost a decade and a half old was broken and another 1994 mark was almost shattered at Saturday’s VOL Swimming Championships as the Ripon boys and girls teams each finished second and claimed nine of the 22 first places.

Kimball won league for both sides, while Oakdale and Sierra rounded out the top four for both boys and girls at the meet conducted at Lathrop High.

The Indians had an impressive showing to say the least, crowning three double champions despite having a program so small in size with a severe lack of depth.

Zach Scudder and Corey Winter were two of three Indians who won a pair of titles and were also part of the winning 200-yard medley relay team along with Daniel Esenwein and Hunter Crum who are section bound. They won the title against Sierra’s John Buonauro, Trevor Fast, Scott Tolman and Jacob Hampton (second), who just missed the section cut.

Scudder won the VOL in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:46.02, qualifying him for sections. He also broke a league record for that event that was set in back 2001 of 1:46.82. Sierra’s Buonauro took second and just missed the cut for sections.

The junior Scudder also won the 100-yard breaststroke with a 1:00.60 and will move to sections in that event. He nearly broke the record that was set back in 1994 (59.80).

“(The 200 free) was almost a 14-year record that stood, and (Scudder) almost broke the 100 breast record at that,” Ripon head coach Eric Zador said. “It’s a pretty big deal. That 2001 record has been sitting for a long time, and for Ripon to be such as small school and to have some standout swimmers is definitely fun.”

Hannah Sweet and Emma Lewis were Ripon’s other double winners. Sweet won the 200-yard Individual Medley with a 2:18.08 and was the champion in the women’s 100 breast and will advance to sections for both events.

Sweet finished just in front of Kimball’s Scarlett Green in the 200 IM, followed by Amy Windschitl (fourth) and Kaylie Sheaffer (fifth) of Sierra. Sheaffer also took third in the 100-yard butterfly and East Union’s Hannha Estrella rounded out the top five for that race.

Lewis won VOL for the 100-yard freestyle with a section-qualifying 55.39. Sierra’s Vanessa Flores finished third and East Union’s Jennelle Macedo fifth. Lewis’ other VOL championship was in the 100-yard backstroke that also propelled her to sections for that event.

Corey Winter won the VOL title in the 100 fly with a 53.83 and will advance to sections while Manteca’s Brandon Craighead took fourth. Winter will also go to sections for the 100 back (56.74).

Sierra sophomore Scott Tolman won the 50 free title with a 22.37, a section-qualifying time. Stephen Ruble of Manteca took third with a 23.65, just missing the section 23.40 standard. Ruble was also crowned VOL champion in the 100 free with a 51.70.

Tolman was also part of the Timberwolves’ 400 yard freestyle relay team that took first and broke the Sierra High School record for that event, along with Buonauro, Fast and Hampton with a 3:27.99. That time qualified them for sections with Ripon’s 400 free relay team of Scudder, Winter, Esenwein and Nick Gagnon (3:32.56). Manteca’s 400 free relay members Craighead, Ruble, Austin Welch and Juanzin Espejel took fourth and also qualified for sections with their 3:36.21.

Tolman, Fast, Buonauro and Hampton also took second in the 200 free relay and qualified for sections, while East Union’ Lucas Romero, Jordan Collins, Christian Riley and Justin Bygum were fifth.

Ripon’s Esenwein took second in the 500 free and will move go to sections and Hampton was fourth and Neil Sandberg fifth. In the women’s 500 free, Natalie Randolph, Ashlea Green and Natalie Jamero, all of Sierra, took third, fourth and fifth.

Ripon’s Hawes took second in the 50 free, which was good enough to get her to sections. Hawes was also a member of Ripon’s 200 medley relay team with Lewis, Sweet and Sheaffer took second and will move on to sections for that as well. Flores was also a part of the T’Wolves’ 200 medley relay team of Randolph, Widnschitl and Holmstrom that finished fourth and punched a ticket to sections also.

“I’m very proud of the kids and how they swam today,” Sierra head coach Dave Breitenbucher said. “The places they ended up weren’t equivalent to how they performed. They really swam out there like champions.”

The Sac-Joaquin Section Swimming Trials will be May 15 for boys and May 16 for girls, with the finals being held on Saturday, May, 17 at Tokay High School in Lodi.