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EU, Sierra send four each to todays section finals
EU’s Natalie Heihn will compete in the 200 free and 100 back. - photo by Bulletin file photo
LODI — Both East Union head coach Chris Johnson and Sierra assistant coach Clay Basepayne were ecstatic following the Sac-Joaquin Section Championship Trials Thursday and Friday at Tokay High, and for good reason.

While East Union will send four simmers into today’s championship round — the highest number of Lancers in a decade — so too will Sierra.

Natalie Heihn and Alicia Alfter, the Lancers’ headlining acts, both qualified for the finals, as expected, in two events each.

Heihn will take on the section’s best in the 200-yard freestyle and the 100 backstroke, while Alfter qualified in the 100 butterfly and the 100 backstroke.

Heihn and Alfter are also a part of EU’s 4 x 100 relay squad which also qualified for the finals.

Heather Craft and Maryline Host round out the team.

“It’s tough to get a secondary drop from league to (sections),” Johnson said. “But we improved times across the board. They’ll do well (today). It’s a fast year, and it’s going to be very competitive.”

Nevertheless, Johnson says East Union’s goal is a top-10 finish in the team point standings.

“That’s our goal,” he said. “We’re set up pretty well right now to get it. The potential is there.”

Potential is the name of the game for the Timberwolves as well, as Nikki DeGeorge, Kara Hall, Megan Viduya and Josh Revives will all swim Saturday.

Hall is seeded 14th in the 200 individual medley and third in the 100 breaststroke, her best event.

“Kara had a really impressive swim (Thursday),” Basepayne said. “She’s right there, and there is a possibility that she could win it.”

DeGeorge, just a freshman, was seeded 16th at trials in the 100 fly and moved up one spot to the 15-seed heading into the finals.

“It was a big swim for Nikki,” Basepayne said. “It was her first time at sections and she swam a personal record.”

Megan Viduya will travel to Tokay as a second alternate in the 100 back.

Revives was amped up for what could have been his last high school swim at trials Friday and swam the 200 free very aggressively.

Heading into the finals, Revives is seeded 12th overall.

“We expect everyone will swim fast,” Basepayne said. “This is Josh’s last go around, and I know he wants to go out with a bang. Kara wants (the title) in the 100 breast, and Nikki is looking to improve her time.”

The championship finals start at 10 a.m. at Tokay High, and will last until mid-afternoon.
— Brandon Petersen