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Defining DOMINANCE

Posted on May 2nd, 2013 at 6:55 pm, in Recent News, Swimming

Now THAT’S dominance.

Righetti’s boys varsity swim team rolled through the dual meet season unbeaten. Wednesday, the Warriors out-scored everyone else in all but one of the 11 events at the PAC 7 League Finals that Righetti hosted at Pioneer Valley High School.

On a day that five boys varsity meet records and three girls varsity meet marks fell, Righetti rolled to the team title with 602 points. Arroyo Grande was a distant second with 479. San Luis Obispo, the second-place team in duals, was third with 464. St. Joseph and Pioneer Valley were sixth and seventh in the seven-team field, with 79 and 63 points, respectively.

“By far,” Righetti coach Kyle Shaffer replied when he was asked if this was the deepest Warrior team he’s ever had. Shaffer has been Righetti’s coach since 2003.

“Every last guy was on it today. They swam (the races) out. They dropped time.” Arroyo Grande’s 200-yard freestyle relay quartet of Zach Stevens, Zach Georgii, Hissam El-Efendi and Tyler Gamble won in a school record 1:29.08. That was the only race in which Righetti wasn’t the team with the most points.

San Luis Obispo’s varsity girls went 6-0 in league duals, and the Tigers won the meet Wednesday with 453 points. Atascadero (405 points), Arroyo Grande (402) and Righetti (400) went a tight 2-3-4. St. Joseph finished sixth with 116 points. Pioneer Valley was seventh with 96.

Righetti senior Jeremy Grden had quite an 18th birthday. He followed up his 50 freestyle win (21.57) with a meet record 47.43 in the 100 freestyle. He also swam a leg for both the meet record-setting 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay teams.

His win in the 100 freestyle was a particularly gripping one. Grden passed favored Nolan Newland of San Luis Obispo in the last 15 meters. Newland finished second in 47.93. Both times are automatic qualifying ones for the CIF Southern Section Division 2 Preliminaries.

“He and I have a friendly competition,” said Grden. “All season, it’s been fairly competitive.

“I was hurting. I just wanted it that last 25 (meters). I just wanted to leave everything I had in the pool and whatever happened, happened.”

The record Grden broke was the mark Newland set in the preliminaries last Saturday.

The Warriors won five boys events. Lukas Sheckherd took the 200 freestyle in 1:46.90.

Arroyo Grande senior Zach Stevens took down two meet records himself. He set a new meet standard of 1:53.78 in the 200 Individual medley and followed that up by breaking his own meet record in the 100 breaststroke. His old mark was 57.10. He swam 55.84 Wednesday.

Righetti’s Kaybree Albright, Kimberly Hendrick, Kristina Hendrick and Casey Kennemann teamed up to set meet records of 1:40.81 in the 200 freestyle relay and 3:37.43 in the 400 freestyle relay.

Rachel Gruetzmacher of Atascadero set a 50-meter freestyle meet record in 24.48.

“I’d say it was more how I’ve been training all year than how I’ve been tapering,” in workouts when it came to how he was able to break two meet records, Stevens said.

“In the breaststroke, I just tried not to overthink it. When I was tired I tried to keep the strokes long instead of rushing, which causes you to shorten the stroke and lose time.”

Devon Tomooka (backstroke leg), Grden (breaststroke), Keanu Martinez (butterfly) and Colter Knight (freestyle) combined for a 1:36.39, shattering their old record of 1:39.26, set last year by almost three seconds.

“I knew I just had to bring it home and we’d have the record,” in the 200 medley relay, said Knight.

Tomooka, Martinez, Knight and Grden teamed up for a record-smashing 3:11.65 in the 400 freestyle relay. The old mark was 3:14.82.

Kennemann secured the win and the meet record for Righetti’s 200 freestyle relay quartet when she held off Atascadero’s anchor swimmer.

“I told myself there was no way I was going to let that girl catch me,” said Kennemann.

Albright said, “Adrenaline was the main reason we set that record.”

During her 400 freestyle relay leg, “I was just trying to hang on,” said Kimberly Hendrick.

Kristina Hendrick said, “We knew we had a chance at that record. All of us swam our fastest splits of the year.”

Kennemann won the girls 200 Individual Medley in 2:10.40. Kristina Hendrick took the girls 500 freestyle in 5:07.87. Both times are automatic qualifying ones for the sectional preliminaries. Every boys winning swimming time was an automatic qualifying one.

Gabrielle Penvenne of San Luis Obispo was a double girls winner. She took the 100 butterfly in 57.94 and the 100 backstroke in 49.83. Amanda Oliver of Paso Robles won the 200 freestyle in 1:59.99. Teagan Griffith of San Luis Obispo won the 100 freestyle in 54.32, Claire Leong of Atascadero took the 100 breaststroke in 1:09.63 and Amanda Gritzfeld of Paso Robles won the diving with 399.55 points. Atascadero won the 200 medley relay.

San Luis Obispo competitors won four boys events. Blake Griffith won the diving with 449.35 points. Graham Johnson won the 100 butterfly in 52.71, Evan Holtz took the 500 freestyle in 4:45.82 and Newland won the 100 backstroke in 53.54.

Pioneer Valley sophomore Maddie Diaz finished fourth in both the girls 200 Individual Medley and girls 500 freestyle. St. Joseph freshman Jessica van der Laan placed fifth in the girls 500. freestyle.

As for the Righetti boys, “We got (even) more than we wanted from this meet,” said Tomooka.

The division 2 preliminaries are May 10 and 11 at Riverside City College.

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