Clovis News: Sports

Wright, Baxter help Golden Eagles set marks at swim meet

Clovis West High's Cary Wright was excited about the records he broke or helped break during the 23rd annual Clovis West Invitational swimming and diving meet, as much for what Saturday's marks could lead to down the road as for what they meant to him in the moment.

"It feels really good when you know you are going that fast," said Wright, whose records came in the 200-yard medley relay and 500 free. "It's incredible at this point in the season because you know you'll get even faster."

In all, seven meet records fell -- six by Golden Eagles individuals or relay teams -- as Clovis West tuned up for next month's Central Section championships by winning the combined boys and girls team title at its own event 992.5-758.5 over Archbishop Mitty-San Jose.

Wright helped get the Golden Eagles off to a quick start when he swam the backstroke leg of the 200 medley relay -- which also featured Jacob McGough, Jared Osborn and Taylor Fife -- Clovis West won in 1 minute, 37.06 seconds, breaking a 14-year-old record in an All-American consideration time. He swam an automatic All-American 4:34.52 in the 500 free and also won in the 100 back (52.72) and was part of the winning 400 free relay (with McGough, Fife and Matt Bilello in 3:14.64).

Clovis West rolled up 522 points -- including two wins from McGough -- to capture the boys title.

McGough swam season bests in winning the 200 individual medley (1:56.39) and the 100 fly (51.92).

"It's good to see I'm getting faster," McGough said.

Tristin Baxter and Mariah Tharp were each part of three meet records and four victories for the Golden Eagles, who were topped by Archbishop Mitty 485.5-400.5 for the girls team title.

Baxter broke her own meet record in the 500 free with a 4:46.02 and won the 200 IM in 2:04.92, both automatic All-American times.

Tharp lowered her meet standard in the 50 free with a consolation All-American 23.84 and followed that with a 52.49 in the 100 free.

"I'm really excited for Valley because I feel like I'm swimming well," Tharp said. "I'm hoping for some big drops and good times."

Baxter and Tharp were joined by MacKenzie Schuler and Lauren Martin to break meet records in the 200 free (1:37.63) and 400 free (3:31.19) relays set by Clovis West last season. Both were automatic All-American times.

"We get really pumped up," Baxter said. "We know what we've done and we always feel like we can go faster."

Clovis West also got two consideration All-American marks from Schuler in winning the 200 free (1:51.88) and placing second in the 500 free (4:57.64).

The day's other meet record was set by Clovis East's Loreen Whitfield, who topped her time from last season while winning the 100 fly in an automatic All-American 55.37.