San Dimas’s Henry Shieh competes in the 100 yard butterfly during the CIF Division IV swim finals at Mt. SAC on Thursday.
Thursday: Division IV finals, San Dimas’ top individual finish was a sixth by Scott Jones in the 100 breast in 1:01.86. “I did the best that I could,” he said. “All that training paid off.” He later helped the Saints to a fourth- place finish in the 400 relay. The team, which included freshman Michael Wells, Cody Moore and Henry Shieh, swam a 3:27.00. The Saints were followed by Maranatha and Gabrielino.
Feature Story: Rowland’s Garcia coming up big in the pool
Breaking News: Due to pump problems at the Belmont Plaza Pool in Long Beach, CIF has moved all swimming preliminaries and finals to Mt. San Antonio College College through Saturday. The Div. IV finals begin tomorrow at 6 p.m., and includes the great swimmers from San Dimas and a super freshman from Sierra Vista named Danny Lam.
SCHEDULE UPDATE AT MT. SAC:
Division II Prelims – FRIDAY, MAY 15 competition starting at 10 a.m.
Division I Finals – Friday, May 15, competition starting at 6 p.m.
Division III Finals – Saturday, May 16, competition starting at 10 a.m.
Division II Finals – Saturday, May 16, competition starting at 4 p.m.
Above: After winning two individual titles as a freshman, Gretchen Jaques, is hoping to add two more titles and set meet records in today’s championships.
FRIDAY’S RECAP FROM DIV. II PRELIMS
Glendora High School’s Gretchen Jaques and Walnut’s Andrea Grant are close friends and focused competitors about to embark on a journey that could spark an exciting rivalry over the next two years. Both sophomores, Jaques stormed onto the scene by winning the CIF-Southern Section Division II 50 and 100-yard freestyle titles as a freshman, with Grant finishing fourth her freshman year in the 200-freestyle. At Friday’s Division II prelims at Mt. San Antonio College, Grant won her heat in the 100 freestyle in 51.01, then turned and watch Jaques swim a 50.44 to qualify first overall, with Grant second. They will square off in the 100 freestyle finals when the CIF-SS Division II swimming championships resume Saturday at Mt. SAC beginning at 4 p.m.
Jaques said the Div. II 100-free meet record of 49.77 set in 1979 by Wilson High School’s Jill Sterkel is within reach.
“It’s going to be tough, we have known each other forever and we both want it just as bad,” Jaques said. “Of course you want to beat your best friend, but you want your friend to do well to. Whatever happens, the way we push each other, I’ve got a feeling whoever wins is going to get the record.”
Grant and Jaques swim together on the same club team, but they will put that friendship aside before today’s race.
“It’s going to be a really good race,” Grant said. “I have known her for so long and she’s so competitive. But I’m swimming well and kind of shocked myself with how well I did today.”
Grant’s featured event is the 200 freestyle, and she took care of business, qualifying first overall in 1:52.21. But to win it, she will have to fend off Oaks’ Christian’s Hayley Shillington and Upland’s Oriana Wang.
“I really want that title,” Grant said. “I have been working hard for it.”
Jaques is favored to win her second straight 50 freestyle title after swimming a personal best 23.11, which is slightly better than the 23.20 she swam to win the title last year.
Jaques is going after Sterkel’s record in that race too, which Sterkel also set in 1979 in 22.91.
“It’s reachable,” Jaques said. “I feel like I’m on top of my game like last year.”
Jaques and Grant are hoping to lead their relay teams to medals and titles too.
Damien High School’s Conner Luster is hoping to medal in the 100 and 200-freestyle races after an impressive performance at Friday’s prelims.
Luster won his heat to qualify second in the 100 free (45.94) and qualified third in the 200 freestyle (1:39.46), which is not far off Chase Bloch of Oaks’ Christian’s leading mark of 1:39.25.
Damien’s Aaron Woods also had a big afternoon, qualifying third overall in the 200 medley in 1:54.49, and qualifying for the finals in the 100 backstroke.
Both Woods and Luster are hoping to win a relay title in the 200 medley after the Spartans team qualified second (1:35.99) with teammates Carlos Ibanez and Jason Haney.
Rowland’s 5-foot junior Kylie Garcia is in position to medal in the girls’ 100 backstroke, while Rowland boys swimmer Phillip Chan qualified for the finals in the 100 breastroke.
Walnut sophomore Emily Lu is on pace to medal in the 100 butterfly after qualifying fourth in 57.21.
Division III Finals
Swimmers from Charter Oak and Bonita hope to earn medals in the Division III finals that begin Saturday at 10 a.m., at Mt. SAC.
Bonita senior Amber Pezzola qualified seventh in the girls 100-yard freestyle on Thursday in 54.46, and has her work cut out in hopes of finishing in a top three spot.
Palm Desert’s Shannon Landgrebe turned in the best qualifying time of 51.91, with Annika Dries of Laguna Beach in third at 52.97.
Charter Oak sophomore Haylex Maddox reached the finals in the 500-yard freestyle, also qualifying seventh at 5:28.62. She has has a great season, but chances of medaling are swim with three qualifiers already under five minutes.
The Charter Oak boys 200-yard medley relay team of Brad Thompson, Michael Joyce, James Cano and Matt Johnson reached the finals by qualifying seventh in 1:43.26.
However, the Chargers are not far back of leaders Cerritos (1:38.34), Keppel (1:41.08) and La Serna (1:41.11).