Clovis West High’s domination of Central Section swimming and diving came halfway unhinged here Saturday.
The Clovis High boys unlocked the Golden Eagles’ 16-year hold on the championship, leading a 1-2-3-4 Clovis Unified sweep at Bakersfield College.
The Clovis West girls extended their streak to 19 straight championships, leading another 1-2-3-4 Clovis Unified sweep.
It was also another big day for Porterville senior Kyle Grissom, a USC recruit who repeated his double-gold performance of 2014 in the 50-yard freestyle and 100 butterfly.
The Clovis boys’ title was sweet for Cougars coach Peter Tragitt.
“If I was my athletic director after 22 years of not winning, I might have fired myself,” Tragitt said. “I’ve experienced winning before, but nothing like this. This is awesome.”
Clovis has been runner-up six of the last seven years, Tragitt said, but “it was never really close.”
This year, Tragitt said, felt different from the start. “We thought we had a great chance to win. They kind of just stayed with it, came out and I just couldn’t be happier. It was not unexpected, but I didn’t expect it.”
The Cougars swimmers felt relief to finally give Tragitt a championship, said sophomore Graham Hauss. He was a big reason for it, winning the 500 freestyle and joining the winning 200- and 400-freestyle relay teams.
A year after losing by 162 points, Clovis beat Clovis West by 63, 429-366. Buchanan finished in third with 380, Clovis North fourth with 261 and Frontier fifth with 151.
The Clovis West girls totaled 431 points to beat Buchanan (365), Clovis (344.5), Clovis North (226) and Sanger (133).
“I’m really proud of our girls,” Clovis West coach Adam Reid said. “We have a tremendous group of girls that really worked together day in and day out. They came to the meet today really prepared and they really gave everything they got.”
Clovis West broke three meet records. Freshman Caitlyn Snyder had one, swimming the 200 individual medley in 2 minutes 11.83 seconds to smash the old mark of 2:05.01. She also won the 100 breaststroke.
The Golden Eagles’ freestyle relay team of Snyder, her junior sister Sarah Snyder, senior Samantha Giannetta and sophomore Skylar Elkington scored the other records, lowering marks held by the Clovis West program: 1:36.12 in the 200 (just under the old mark of 1:36.89) and 3:30.12 in the 400 (shaving a tenth of a second off the record).
“We planned on coming here and breaking these records this year,” Giannetta said.
Caitlyn Snyder said she couldn’t believe her day: “You can’t get it through your head when you are only a freshman and you are getting All-American consideration times. It’s crazy, but it’s like a great feeling.”
Elkington enjoyed a four-gold day, also winning the 50 freestyle and 100 breaststroke. Another Golden Eagle, junior Matt Elkington, won the boys 100 backstroke with an All-America time of 51.06.
▪ Porterville’s Grissom swam the 50 free in an All-America consideration 20.45 (more than a half-second faster than his winning 20.97 in 2014) and a meet-record 48.35 in the 100 fly, breaking his mark of 48.80.
“Honestly, I was a little disappointed because I wanted a 47, and I saw 48.35 but that was my best time in a year so I’ll take it,” Grissom said.
▪ Buchanan sophomore Stephanie Bartel had a banner day, winning the 200 free and 100 backstroke and contributing a leg to the winning 200 medley team that edged Clovis North by less than two-tenths of a second.
“Coming off the relay, our team did so amazing and then having that adrenaline helped me to go faster than I could have ever imagined,” Bartel said.
▪ Bullard got one first-place finish, senior Erik Overstreet winning the 200 free in an All-America consideration time of 1:38.59.
▪ Clovis North seniors Hunter Winslow and Carson Ivancovich swept the 100 free races. Ivancovich, with an All-America consideration time of 45.88, had extra motivation to repeat as champion: “People said I was lucky, and I wanted to make sure people knew that it was all the hard work I put in.”