Taking a break from dominating their league opponents in dual meets, the Davis High boys and girls swim squads took on a ton of talented teams at the NorCal Invitational Friday and Saturday.
The Blue Devils girls set three new meet records — two of them by Chenoa Devine — to finished second to San Ramon, while the DHS boys used Matt Whittle’s new NorCal Invite mark in the 100 backstroke to capture third place in the team standings.
“This meet offers us a great opportunity — a first run-through, if you will — against strong competition such as (boys winner) Granite Bay, Woodcreek and … East Bay power San Ramon Valley,” said Devil coach Tracy Stapleton. “We are very pleased with many of our performances, but certainly realize that we have more work to do. As coaches and athletes, we are excited at the prospect.”
Both of the Davis girls who won events did it in record-breaking fashion as Devine — a sophomore — swam a 1:51.55 to capture the 200 freestyle and a 4:53.75 to touch first in the 500 free. Emma Barksdale took first place in the 200 individual medley with a 2:07.29, after breaking the meet record with her 2:05.06 in the prelims.
The Blue Devil girls enjoyed a raftload of strong swims but Stapleton was specifically happy with the performances of Heather Johnson (second in the 200 back and seventh in the 200 free), Kyla Leacox and Claire McElhern.
Leacox and Johnson were among those helping with DHS’ impressive relay finishes: the 200 medley squad took second, as did the 400 free quartet, and the 200 free team was third.
On the boys side, Whittle set a new meet record with a 50.73 in the 100 back, then went on to win the event, while second-place finishes from Cameron Wright (53.16 in the 100 breaststroke and 2:01.27 in the 200 IM), Soren Dickens (58.59 in the 100 breaststroke) and Riley Hickman (47.86 in the 100 free) also gave the Devils big points.
Whittle added a second-place finish in the 50 free (21.77).
Torin Halsted joined Whittle, Hickman and Dickens on a 400 free relay squad that touched in second place and Zach Dahlseng joined the trio to take third in the 200 free relay.
DHS track and field
Fiona O’Keeffe finished third in the mile (4:49.04), then helped the Blue Devil girls distance medley squad take second place by just 0.32 seconds as DHS’ boys and girls had a successful weekend at the Stanford Invitational.
Competing against some of the best teams in California on Friday and Saturday, the Devils showed they belong in that category.
O’Keeffe ran a 4:49.04 in the individual mile, then ran that same distance in the medley, joining Sophie Meads (1,200 meters), Claire Wiebe (400) and Jeanne-Marie McPherson (800) to finish in 11:56.90. First-place Gunn crossed in 11:56.68.
Later, Meads and McPherson teamed with Sophia Catiglioni and Elisa McIsaac to takes seventh in the girls 4×800 relay (9:38.06).
That capped a busy meet for Castiglioni, who also finished fifth in her section of the girls 3,000 (10:14.23) and was 26th in the mile.
In the other section of the 3,000, Davis’ Maggie McManis crossed 12th (10:36.41), one spot ahead of teammate Giulia McIsaac (10:37.04).
Caitlin Mazzoleni was 19th in the high jump, clearing 1.53 meters.
Like the Blue Devil girls, DHS’ boys were at their best in the relay events, taking third in both the 4×800 (8:04.52) and the 4×400 (3:23.77) and eighth in the distance medley (10:42.79).
That medley race featured Jaspar Laca running the mile, Brian Song the 1,200, Ani Ramakrishnan the 800 and Blake Croft the 400.
Croft was part of both relay squads as well, teaming with Ben Roberts, Ramakrishnan and Kellen Browning in the 4×800 and joining Ben Salcedo, Joe Rainer and Alex McIntyre in the 4×100.
Song (16th in 4:26.15), Roberts (21st) and Laca (28) also ran well in the mile, while Nate Harper posted the Devil boys’ top finish when he took sixth in the pole vault (4.12 meters).
Kyle Clancy sped to seventh (15:51) in the boys 110 hurdles and finished 19th in the long jump.