The next wave of standout Central Section girls’ swimmers took center stage on a sunny Saturday afternoon at the Clovis Olympic Swim Complex.
Led by the dual title performances of sophomores Abby Samansky from Clovis West and Redwood’s Megan Ridenour, underclassmen captured seven of the eight individual events during the girls portion of the 31st annual Clovis West Invitational swimming and diving meet.
Samansky provided the event’s biggest highlight by breaking former Clovis West standout Mariah Tharp’s seven-year-old meet record in the 50 free (23.84) with an All-American consideration 23.69 seconds. Golden Eagles’ teammate Caitlyn Snyder also came in under the previous record in 23.83 while placing second.
“It feels awesome. I’m super stoked,” said Samansky, who broke onto the scene last season as a freshman by placing second in the 50 free and 100 back at the Central Section Division I championships. “If you would have told me last year that I would be setting a record this year, I probably wouldn’t have believed you.
Never miss a local story.
“The support from my coaches and teammates and everything is amazing. I don’t think I could ask for a better swim. I was so excited. I woke up this morning and I was ready to go. My start felt really nice and just everything else fell together perfectly.”
Samansky followed that with another All-American consideration time of 50.70 while winning the 100 free, and then she went on to lead-off winning 200 free (1:37.75) and 400 free (3:38.83) relay teams for the girls team champion Golden Eagles.
If you would have told me last year that I would be setting a record this year, I probably wouldn’t have believed you.
Clovis West sophomore Abby Samansky, who broke the Clovis West Invitational record in the girls 50-yard freestyle race.
Samansky produced 44 points individually and helped secure another 88 points on relays as Clovis West finished with 642 points. Clovis North was second with 355.
Ridenour won the 200 individual medley (2:12.56) and 100 breast (1:05.73) individually, and helped Redwood place third in the 400 free relay (3:45.71) and fourth in the 200 medley relay (1:53.97). Ridenour, who was second in the 100 breast and eighth in the 200 IM at the section D-I finals last season, also produced 44 points individually to lead the Ranger girls to a fifth place finish with 211 points.
“I did really well,” Ridenour said. “I dropped a lot of time in the IM. I kind of think I found my own pattern in a way. For the past few weeks, I found my own kinda strategy to do. I, like, tried it out at this meet and it worked, so I think I’m going to stick with that strategy from now on.”
Other underclassman winners included Clovis sophomore Averee Preble in the 200 free (1:52.30), Clovis West sophomore Hannah Lambert in the 100 butterfly (1:00.99) and Redwood freshman Alex Roberts in the 100 back (1:00.08). Buchanan’s Stephanie Bartel, The Bee’s reigning Girls Swimmer of the Year who was a double medalist at last year’s state meet, won the other individual event, clocking a 5:07.63 in the 500 free.
For the boys, Clovis’ Graham Hauss, Clovis West’s Hunter Lane and Bellarmine Prep-San Jose’s Nathan Yates were all double winners individually.
Hauss won the 200 free in 1:41.79 and the 100 free in a consideration All-American 46.32, while also leading the Cougars’ 200 free (1:29.81) and 400 free (3:15.93) relays to third-place finishes.
“There was some really good races today” said Hauss, who was fifth in the 500 free, sixth in the 200 free and helped winning 200 free and 400 free relays at the state meet last year. “I’m really happy with where I’m at right now. I’m ready for Valley and ready to swim fast and break some records hopefully.”
I’m really happy with where I’m at right now. I’m ready for Valley and ready to swim fast and break some records hopefully.
Clovis’ Graham Hauss, who won the boys 200 free and 100 free at the Clovis West Invitational
Lane’s wins came in the 200 IM (1:56.84) and the 100 breast (1:00.11), and he was a member of the Golden Eagles’ third-place 200 medley relay team (1:42.87) and fourth place 400 free relay team (3:18.03).
“It was a great meet,” Lane said. “There was a lot of competition. It’s nice to see where we’re all at.”
Yates, a returning state qualifier, won the 100 fly (51.54) and the 100 back (53.09) to lead Bellarmine to the boys team title with 656 points.
Clovis North finished second with 471 points behind Michael Jia, who won the 50 free in 21.22 and powered two winning relays, swimming lead-off in the 200 free (127.78) and anchoring the 400 free (3:13.20).
Clovis West’s Tom Schab also won individually, capturing the 500 free in 4:38.93.
CLOVIS WEST INVITATIONAL
200 medley relay: Clovis (Abby Mammen, Shelby Vidmar, Averee Preble, Jessica Burson) 1:51.94; Clovis North 1:53.78; Buchanan 1:53.95
200 free: Averee Preble, Clovis, 1:52.30; Kassidy Lemminn, Frontier, 1:52.98; Ariana Skeggs, Frontier, 1:53.81
200 IM: Megan Ridenour, Redwood, 2:12.56; Morgan Coddington, Kingsburg, 2:14.00; Myra Starkweather, Clovis west, 2:15.40
50 free: Abby Samansky, Clovis West, 23.69; Caitlyn Snyder, Clovis West, 23.83; Abigail Abshire, Wasco, 24.57
100 fly: Hannah Lambert, Clovis West, 1:00.99; Ariane Skeggs, Frontier, 1:01.42; Emily Mayer, Clovis West, 1:02.18
100 free: Abby Samansky, Clovis West, 50.70; Averee Preble, Clovis, 52.05; Kassidy Lemminn, Frontier, 52.80
500 free: Stephanie Bartel, Buchanan, 5:07.63; Jordan Gruce, Clovis West, 5:12.06; Hannah Lambert, Clovis West, 5:15.33
200 free relay: Clovis West (Abby Samansky, Jordan Gruce, Allyson Clague, Caitlyn Snyder) 1:37.75; Arroyo Grande 1:43.04; Sanger 1:43.69
100 back: Alex Roberts, Redwood, 1:00.08; Samantha Hazel, Arroyo Grande, 1:01.66; Ellie Schmidtke, Clovis East, 1:03.69
100 breast: Megan Ridenour, Redwood, 1:05.73; Caitlyn Snyder, Clovis West, 1:06.83; Shelby Vidmar, Clovis, 1:07.00
400 free relay: Clovis West (Abby Samansky, Jordan Gruce, Allyson Clague, Caitlyn Snyder) 3:38.83; Buchanan 3:42.70; Redwood 3:45.71
Team: Clovis West 642, Clovis North 355, Buchanan 248, Clovis 213, Redwood 211, Arroyo Grande 205, Paso Robles 149, Frontier 140, Sanger 127.5, Wasco 125
200 medley relay: Bellarmine (Gavin McGee, Jack McNamara, Christopher Roling, Max Saunders) 1:42.06; Buchanan 1:42.35; Clovis West 1:42.87
200 free: Graham Hauss, Clovis, 1:41.79; Ben Forbes, Clovis North, 1:42.93; Sean Mylan, Atascadero, 1:44.80
200 IM: Hunter Lane, Clovis West, 1:56.84; Alonso Escobedo, Hanford West, 1:57.47; Cole Fleming, Clovis North, 2:00.85
50 free: Michael Jia, Clovis North, 21.22; Tyler Cotton, Clovis West, 22.42; Emmanuel Ngbemeneh, Bellarmine, 22.37
100 fly: Nathan Yates, Bellarmine, 51.54; Theo Tuggle, Clovis North, 52.50; Ben Forbes, Clovis North, 53.72
100 free: Graham Hauss, Clovis, 46.32; Colin Rananal, Frontier, 47.66; Sean Mylan, Atascadero, 47.70
500 free: Tom Schab, Clovis West, 4:38.93; Thoe Tuggle, Clovis North, 4:40.19; Ryan Lewis, Bellarmine, 4:46.23
200 free relay: Clovis North (Michael Jia, Cole Fleming, Ethan DePry, Ben Forbes) 1:27.78; Bellarmine 1:28.92; Clovis 1:29.81
100 back: Nathan Yates, Bellarmine, 53.09; Tyler Cotton, Clovis West, 54.47; Timothy Chou, Bellarmine, 56.94
100 breast: Hunter Lane, Clovis West, 1:00.11; Ethan Depry, Clovis North, 1:01.17; Jack McNamara, Bellarmine, 1:01.50.
400 free relay: Clovis North (Thoe Tuggle, Cole Fleming, Ben Forbes, Michael Jia) 3:13.20; Bellarmine 3:13.79; Clovis 3:15.93
Team: Bellarmine 656, Clovis North 471, Clovis West 358, Buchanan 268, Clovis 206.5, Centennial 130.5, Hilmar 94, Paso Robles 75, Edison 74, Frontier 70