By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
You could tell the hugs were more meaningful for Glendora High School’s Gretchen Jaques, who completed another double and finished a career sweep at the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 swimming finals at the Belmont Plaza Pool in Long Beach on Saturday.
More meaningful because this time she wasn’t celebrating alone, she celebrated with her Glendora teammates, who won the team title they desperately wanted after finishing second a year ago.
The Tartans set the tone in the opening race, Courtney McCadden, Kelly Corso, Rosemary Garcia and Jaques winning the 200-yard medley relay in 1:46.69, breaking the meet record they set last year. After winning the 200 free relay in 138.64, the Tartans
finished the night sweeping the relays, winning the closing 400 relay with Jaques on the anchor, who rallied from third to lead the Tartans to victory in 3:32.50, a team that included McCadden, Garcia and her younger sister, sophomore Ellie Jaques.
Glendora finished with 234 points to claim the title, finishing ahead of second-place Walnut (158), denying the Mustangs’ back-to-back championship bid. (To continue click thread)
“It (team title) was our goal and we knew if we did our best we would could do it,” Jaques said afterward. “That last race was redemption for what happen last year. I wanted to pull through for the team, that’s what this was about.”
It was the Tartans’ first girls team title in school history.
“They wanted it so bad,” Glendora coach Janet Pollard said. “They worked all year to get back in this position. It was great watching them celebrate, they deserved it.”
Jaques, on her way to the University of Texas this fall, won the 200-yard individual medley (1:59.19) and 100 breaststroke (1:01.01) to go with her two relay titles. Individually, she capped a career in which she finishes eight-for-eight in CIF finals races, cementing her status as arguably the best prep swimmer in area history.
Jaques finishes her CIF career with three divisional records too, having won the muscle events as a freshman and sophomore in the 50 and 100 free, her time of 22.80 in the 50 free set in 2009 still the meet record.
Her meet record in the 200 medley set last year in 1:57.91 received national acclaim because it broke U.S. Olympian Janet Evans’ 1989 record, and she also owns the meet record in the 100 breaststroke, which she set last year in 1:00.03.
She’s not finished, Jaques still has the Masters Meet on Tuesday, but going undefeated in CIF is something she will always cherish.
“It hasn’t sunk in,” Jaques said of finishing a perfect career. “I’m very happy and so thankful to my coaches, friends and teammates who helped me get here. I didn’t do it alone.”
Walnut’s Andrea Grant, another speedster finishing an impressive career, will go down as one of the best swimmers in area history too.
Grant doubled in the 50 and 100 freestyle for the second straight year.
Grant won the 50 free in 23.50 with Glendora’s Ellie Jaques finishing fourth in 24.24
Grant returned later and won the 100 free in 51.06, giving the Mustangs senior her fifth individual title of her career to go with a team title she won last year.
“I’m so happy to be done with CIF and all the stressing out and being nervous,” said a smiling Grant, who is on her way to Brigham young University. “But in the end it was worth it. I’m just happy I won two titles again, and I loved being part of this team.”
Walnut’s Emily Yu finished fourth in the girls’ 100 butterfly in 57.33 and second in the 100 breaststroke behind Jaques in 1:03.90
St. Lucy’s sophomore Sammie Keehn was sixth in the 100 backstroke (59.48).
The Damien boys swimming team finished fourth overall in the team standings, finishing with 175.50 points. El Segundo won the team title with 236 points.
Damien’s relay team of Michael Forbes, Quinn Brewton, Austin Miller and Jason Haney won the 100 free relay in 1:25.92, and finished fourth in the 400 free relay in 3:09.93
In the boys 100 free, Haney finished second in 56.36. Earlier,
Haney finished seventh in the 200 free in 1:40.69.
Damien’s Carson May finished eighth in the 500 free in 4:40.34,
and his teammate Johnny Beal finished fifth in the 100 breasstroke in 58.04.
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