By Steve Ramirez, Staff Writer
The area high school swimming season ended the way it began, with Glendora’s Gretchen Jaques and Damien’s Jason Haney a cut above the rest. They keyed their respective teams to solid finishes at the CIF-Southern Section divisional finals in May, and for their efforts are the Tribune’s girls and boys Swimmers of the Year. Nicole Flores of Sierra Vista and Glendora’s Janet Pollard earned boys and girls Coach of the Year honors, respectively. (To continue click thread).
SAN GABRIEL VALLEY TRIBUNE ALL AREA SWIMMING
Swimmer of the Year: Jason Haney, Damien Jr.
Coach of the Year: Nicole Flores, Sierra Vista
Sam Jardine, Claremont, Sr.
Johnny Beal, Damien, Sr.
Danny Lam, Sierra Vista, Jr.
Bennett Yuan, Diamond Bar, Jr.
Carson May, Damien, Jr.
Sean Kao, Diamond Bar, Jr.
Eric Ting, Wilson, Sr.
Chris Katoh, Diamond Bar, Jr.
Michael Forbes, Damien, Fr.
Jaye Chang, West Covina, Jr.
Swimmer of the Year: Gretchen Jaques, Glendora, Sr.
Coach of the Year: Janet Pollard, Glendora
Andrea Grant, Walnut, Sr.
Noelle Tarazona, Claremont, Sr.
Emily Yu, Walnut, Sr.
Ashley Tse, Ayala, So.
Ellie Jaques, Glendora, So.
Courtney McCadden, Glendora, Sr.
Kayla Clark, Ayala, Sr.
Sammie Keehn, St. Lucy’s, So.
Christina Vu, Walnut, So.
Kelly Corso, Glendora, Sr.
All-Area boys first-team honorees are Claremont’s Sam Jardine; Damien’s Johnny Beal and Carson May; Sierra Vista’s Danny Lam and Diamond Bar’s Bennett Yuan.
The girls first team includes Walnut’s Andrea Grant and Emily Yu; Glendora’s Ellie Jaques; Claremont’s Noelle Tarazona and Ayala’s Ashley Tse.
The season, though, will be remembered for Gretchen Jaques, who concluded one of the more prolific careers in area history by adding two more CIF-Southern Section individual titles to her trophy case in the 200-yard individual medley and 100 breaststroke. But for the senior, 2011 was not about individual accomplishments but team honors, and it couldn’t have ended any better after she helped lead the Tartans to the Division 2 title.
“I will always remember this team, the atmosphere and fun we enjoyed,” said Jaques, who will attend the University of Texas in the fall. “It meant more to me than the success we achieved.”
And there was a lot of success this year, capped with the division championship, which came a year after Glendora finished second to Walnut. The Tartans reversed the trend this season.
“This team showed this year what we can accomplish,” Jaques said. “We (made) winning (the Division 2 title) as our goal. It was a redemption year. I was happy we were able to accomplish it.”
Individually, it was another banner year for Jaques, one of just two area swimmers to win multiple division titles. She breezed in both.
Jaques won the 200 IM in
1 minute, 59.19 seconds, beating the competition by nearly two seconds. She then won the 100 breaststroke a tad short of three seconds by winning with a time of 1:01.1
She also was part of Glendora sweeping the 200 medley, 200 freestyle and 400 free relays.
“As I look back, I’m really proud of what I was able to accomplish,” Jacques said. “I couldn’t have done it alone. My teammates and coaches helped me a lot. It’s those memories I will remember my whole life.”
Haney earned the best finish in the area among boys by finishing second in the 100 free (46.36) and seventh in the 200 free (1:40.69). He also helped the Spartans, who finished fourth in Division 2, to a title in the 200 free relay (1:25.92) at the CIF-SS championships.
“This was definitely a better year,” Haney said. “The competition was better, and it was a great feeling to win the (relay).
“I was happy the way I swam this year. There is definitely room for improvement, so I’m looking forward to next year.”
One of the surprises this spring was turned in by Sierra Vista, and a big key was the guidance of Flores.
The Dons won the Montview League and qualified three swimmers to the Division 4 meet.
The leader was Lam, who placed third in the 100 butterfly (54.70) and fifth in the 200 IM (2:05.23).
May and Beal, along with Haney, keyed Damien’s win in the 200 free relay. Beal also finished sixth in the 100 free (58.04), with May eighth in the 500 free (4:40.34) and ninth in the 200 free (1:42.25).
Jardine helped Claremont to an 11th-place finish at the Division 2 meet after taking third in 500 free (4:33.97) and sixth in the 200 free (1:40.38).
Yuan concluded a solid year with an eighth-place finish in the 100 free (52.99), which keyed Diamond Bar to a 12th-place team finish.
Pollard, who has built a solid program at Glendora, guided the Tartans to the Division 2 title.
The trail to the championship was blazed by Gretchen Jaques, who won two individual titles; Ellie Jaques, who had two top-eight finishes, and a sweep of the 200 medley (1:46.69), 200 free (1:38.64) and 400 free (3:32.50) relays. Glendora also set a Division 2 record in the 200 medley by eclipsing the Tartans’ 2010 mark of 1:47.11.
Ellie Jaques, just a sophomore, appeared ready to carry on the family name after finishing fourth in the 50 free (24.24) and seventh in the 100 free (52.96).
Grant, who is heading to Brigham Young University, was one of two area swimmers to win multiple titles. She achieved a double for the second consecutive season by winning the 50 free (23.50) and 100 free (51.06).
Her teammate Yu was solid in two events, with a second in the 100 breaststroke (1:03.90) and fourth in the 100 butterfly (57.33).
Grant and Yu also helped the Mustangs to second-place finishes in the 200 medley (1:49.33) and 200 free (1:38.94) relays.
Tarazona was one of three area swimmers to earn a Division 2 title by winning the 100 fly (54.54). She was also second in the 100 breaststroke (2:01.13)
Tse was third in the 200 IM (2:03.59) and fourth in the 100 breaststroke (1:04.51).