Clovis News: Sports

Clovis West boys, girls win section swim titles

Clovis West High's girls were as good as ever, its boys the best ever and Clovis East's Loreen Whitfield finished a prep career among the most successful ever at Saturday's Central Section Division I Swimming and Diving Championships.

The Golden Eagles girls marched to a 15th straight title with 452 points and the boys set a meet record with 534 en route to their 13th consecutive crown in the send-off for coach Steve Baxter at the Clovis West Aquatics Complex.

"It couldn't have been scripted any better," said Baxter, stepping down after 15 seasons as the Golden Eagles coach. "From the very first relay, we've never been on a roll like that before. Every kid stepped up."

Whitfield, meanwhile, won her eighth individual gold.

Clovis West's MacKenzie Schuler and Cary Wright were among the other stars of the 22-school, 413-competitor meet that produced four section records, nine All-America times and 13 All-America consideration times.

Schuler, a senior headed to Texas Christian on a swimming scholarship, won the 100 and 200 free and anchored winning 200 medley and 200 free relays. Her time of 1:49.79 in the 200 free met All-America standards and her 51.39 in the 100 is a consideration time.

The 200 medley relay -- also featuring McKenna Fife, Alex Magdaleno and Raquel Talbot -- clocked a consideration 1:48.95. The 200 free relay -- with Lauren Martin, Mary Brooks and Jessica Norgaard -- finished in 1:39.15.

"I'm really happy with my times," Schuler said. "I was definitely ready for today. I trained hard and my taper was good. I put in the work."

Wright pushed his career gold-medal collection to nine, winning two events in All-America times (the 500 free in 4:31.20 and the 100 back in 50.60) and swimming the leadoff leg for section record-setting relay teams -- the 200 medley with Jared Osborn, Justin Wright and Matt Bilello in 1:33.70, and the 400 free with Brock Ivancovich, Tommy Allen and Bilello in 3:06.15.

"It's great to go out with four Valley championships and two meet records," said Cary Wright, who will swim for USC next season. "I didn't do as well in the 500 as I wanted to, but I improved in everything so it was a good day."

Whitfield lowered her section record in the 100 fly during Friday's prelims with a 55.02, topping her 2010 mark of 55.84. In the finals, she won the event for the fourth straight year, this time in a consideration time of 55.88. Whitfield, who's headed to San Diego State, won the 200 IM in 2:06.21, narrowly missing the consideration time.

"The goal was to go after [the fly record] yesterday and I'm glad I was able to accomplish that," Whitfield said. "I'm really glad I was able to set myself up to be an eight-time champion and leave here defending my titles."

Among the other highlights:

  • Clovis' Chase Lemley swam an All-America time while placing second in the 200 free (1:39.83) and a consideration time in winning the 100 free (45.81). He also led off for the winning 200 free relay (1:26.12) with Dean Nobile, Ryan Perry and Matt Borchardt. The Cougars boys were second overall with 272 points. The girls were second with 263.

"I tribute everything to my coach," the UC Santa Barbara-bound Lemley said of Cougars coach Peter Tragitt. "He made everything possible and my teammates pushed me in practice. That helped, too."

  • Bullard's Hanaya Brasali won the 200 IM in a consideration 1:54.0 and was second in the 100 back (53.70).

"It was a really tough field," Brasali said of the 200 IM. "All those guys are good. It was a fast heat. I'm happy I got it."

  • Bilello posted an All-America 1:39.27 in winning the 200 free and a consideration 46.30 for second in the 100 free. Bilello had two of the nine automatic or consideration All-America times for Clovis West's boys. The others were by Justin Wright (100 fly), Allen (500 free) and Osborn (100 breaststroke).
  • Brooks, a freshman, won the 50 free in 24.41, one of eight wins for the Golden Eagles girls. The others were by Norgaard (500 free in 5:03.57), Fife (100 back in 58.57) and the 400 free relay team of Martin, Norgaard, Fife and Brooks in 3:35.16.
  • Frontier freshman Jorie Caneta set the other section record, besting the time shared by Whitfield and Golden West's Amy Simpson in the 100 breaststroke with a 1:04.94.
  • Division II

    Clovis North swept the team titles at Cal State Bakersfield, with the girls scoring 355 points behind individual champions Katelyn Rhodes (100 fly, 1:02.03; 200 free, 2:00.47) and Chay Coffman (100 free, 56.45) and the boys finishing with 271 points and no individual winners.

    The girls scored relay wins in the 200 medley (1:58.43 with Sarah Barton. Christine Miller, Rhodes and Coffman) and the 400 free (3:48.52 with Rhodes, Ashley Wilcox, Ashley Sagouspe and Coffman). The boys had relay wins in the 200 free (1:29.68 with Connor Kennedy, Cody Cartozian, Keone Carrigan and Colton Coffman) and 400 free (3:20.07 with Kennedy, Shae Russell, Carrigan and Coffman).

    Corcoran's Chris Nolan (100 fly, 54.02; 500 free, 4:54.12) and Tulare Western's Nathan Rhea (100 breast, 1:00.03; 200 IM, 1:57.61) were double winners on the boys side.

    Immanuel's girls were second with 211 points, including a 200 free relay win (1:44.73 with Alexis March, Hannah Warkentin, Emily Lehrman and Stephanie Nash) in the final meet for retiring 25-year coach Gary Ota.