Swimming Pool

Upland and West Valley girls swim teams claim CIF Southern Section titles – Press Enterprise

The Upland girls team wins the CIF Southern Section Swimming Championships Division 3 on Saturday, May 6, 2023 at Riverside City College. (Photo by Milka Soko, Contributing Photographer)

RIVERSIDE — Spencer Damaske and her teammates were ready to charge away from the Riverside Aquatics Complex after winning the Division 3 400-yard freestyle relay at the CIF Southern Section Championships on Saturday afternoon.

There was a prom to reach, but Damaske and teammates had to wait a little longer for one final celebration.

Upland secured the Division 3 team championship with that relay win, securing the program’s first section title since 2003. The Highlanders finished with 170 points, 29 points ahead of Xavier Prep and La Serna.

“Our girls swam extremely well today and it’s a great feeling to win that,” said Upland coach Cody Bell. “I’m really proud of them and excited because they put all the work into making this possible.”

More than half of Upland’s points came from winning the freestyle relays. Damaske teamed with Petra Evans, Jaylinn Miller and Taylor Stute to win the 200m relay (1 minute, 43.10 seconds) and the 400m relay final (3:44.60). Damaske led both relays, winning the 100m butterfly (57.47) and also finishing second in the 200m freestyle (1:53.65).

“I’m so excited to be a part of this and to see how far we’ve come as a team to make this happen,” said Damaske.

The Highlanders also picked up 17 points combined from divers Hannah Bixby (10th) and Alsyon Brooks (12th). Upland was the only team in the Division 3 title fight to have divers in last week’s playoffs.

Upland wasn’t the only domestic team to make a celebratory plunge into the waters of Riverside City College on Saturday.

West Valley won the Division 4 girls team title with 151 points, seven points ahead of Placentia Valencia. It was a historic moment for the Mustangs as they became the first all-girls team in school history to win a section championship.

“It’s something we didn’t think was possible, so it’s an incredible moment,” said Mustangs coach Rob Avila.

West Valley opened the meeting strong as Arianna Martinez, Gia Cadiz, Ashley Leon and Claudia Bautista combined to win the 200 medley relay (2:05.77). This quartet also finished second in the 400m free relay (4:05.23), securing the title.

The Liberty boys’ swim team finished runners-up in Division 4, an impressive feat for a school that’s only two years old. The Bison finished the meet with 138.5 points, 4.5 points behind Sierra Canyon.

Two inland swimmers brought home a pair of individual championships on Saturday afternoon.

Pacific’s Connor McAleer won the Division 4 Boys’ 100 Butterfly title (51.61) and returned to the pool shortly after to win the 100 Freestyle (49.18). He became the school’s first swimming champion in two decades.

“Last year I was just a substitute, so I never thought I’d get this far,” McAleer said after his Butterfly win.

Eric Rowe of Notre Dame won titles in the Division 4 boys 50 freestyle (22.38) and 100 backstroke (55.18).

Yucaipa’s Joshua Peace won the Division 3 Boys 500 Freestyle (4:30.40) with a late attack on the course.

“I knew he (Costa Mesa’s Avrum Xagorarakis) was going to get away quickly at the start. I’ve done my research,” Peace said. “I let him do his thing because I know I can get back to almost anyone. In the last 100, the only thing on my mind was how badly I wanted to win… I just kept pushing and pushing until I finally caught him.”

King’s Jared Ladinez held off a late attack from the field to win the Division 3 boys 100 breaststroke title (57.91).

The Hemet boys’ swim team won the Division 4 freestyle relays. Erik Jones, Branson Johnston. Gabe Smith and Tyler Reeves won the 200 relay (1:34.92), while Johnston, Smith and Reeves teamed with Mark Fredricksen to win the 400 relay (3:31.55).

Chino’s quartet of Melanie Arredondo, Erica Valenzuela, Mikhaila Reyes and Ida Wellensiek combined to win the Division 4 Girls 400 Relay (4:04.22).

Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button