SACRAMENTO — When the Davis High boys team joined Jesuit and Bellarmine College Prep, a Bay Area powerhouse, in the Marauders’ pool on Friday, there was an impressive collection of swim talent in the water.
And at the end of 11 events, it was the Blue Devils who stood tallest.
Coming from behind in the final three races, DHS beat Jesuit, 93-77, and edged Bellarmine, 86-84. In the matchup against the Bells, the Devils needed not only the eight points from a first-place finish by their 400 relay A squad in the final event, but the two points earned when the B team touched in third.
With those 10 points, Davis defeated Bellarmine for the first time in coach Tracy Stapleton’s nine years at the helm.
“I’m very proud for our team. This gives us a beginning of momentum as we approach the championship portion of our season over the next few weeks,” said Stapleton, whose Blue Devils have the Delta Valley Conference championships on May 2-3, then the Sac-Joaquin Section finals on May 17.
“We have done a lot of work. The trick now is to refine and tune that work into high-intensity, strong technical swims. I am very excited for the team.”
In the decisive relay, the A squad of Riley Hickman, Soren Dickens, Jonathan Pun and Matt Whittle cruised home in 3:12.10, with Cameron Wright, Bradley Nicholson, Sean Li and Tucker Fisk teaming up for a 3:24.40.
The A team’s win provided a nice bookend as the Devils’ 200 medley relay squad — made up of Fisk, Pun, Whittle and Hickman — also finished first (1:37.98) to open the meet.
In the individual events, Whittle added a pair of victories as he beat everyone to the wall in the 100 butterfly (51.43) and the 100 backstroke (52.53). Pun notched the Devils’ other individual triumph when he captured the 100 breaststroke in 58.18 seconds.
Other strong swims came from Hickman (1:45.08 in the 200 freestyle) and Torin Halsted (2:02.87 in the 200 individual medley), among others.
“This meet is not always the best technical performance because a lot of the athletes are still training pretty heavily and are tired. However, this meet is a great barometer of our competitiveness,” Stapleton explained. “In many instances, it was about which athletes were willing to dig deeper to finish the races. Blue Devil swimmers rose to the occasion.”
DHS has two more regular-season meets, an April 23 dual at Rio Americano and the Palo Alto Section Challenge on April 26.