Ramona High School’s girls swim team won the Two Maiden category at the Ironman Relays for the fourth consecutive year.
Absences at the April 25 meet held at Palomar College forced Ramona Coach Stacey Dusseault to compete with only five swimmers in the Two Maiden events, which usually involve eight swimmers. Lauren Gantzer, Breann Stevens, and Madi Lanz swam back-to-back events.
“Not only did they swim back-to-back races, but they did it great,” Dusseault said.
Gantzer and Stevens won the 100-yard freestyle event, missing the meet record by less than half a second.
Stevens then teamed up with Autie Hillis for a second-place finish in the 100-yard backstroke. Lanz and Sydney Davison then placed third in the 100-yard breaststroke.
The results set up a showdown in the 100-yard butterfly to determine whether Ramona or Rancho Bernardo would win that category.
Lanz and Gantzer teamed for the 100-yard butterfly, which concluded when Lanz overtook her Rancho Bernardo counterpart and touched her out for the win.
Although Ramona was not able to field a 100-yard backstroke team, the Bulldogs still finished fourth in the Iron Maiden category while winning two events. Ellie Carrano and Gantzer won the 200-yard freestyle race while Lanz and Stevens missed the 200-yard butterfly meet record by 3/10 of a second.
Ramona was unable to compete in all of the Four Maiden events but took first place in the 500-yard freestyle race with Hillis, Carrano, Brice Maruna and Taylor Shinnick.
The Ironman Relays include co-ed events, and overall places cover both boys and girls results. Ramona finished fifth overall among the 16 teams.
“We did pretty good overall. I was pretty excited,” Dusseault said.
The Ironman Relays followed the previous day’s trip to Palomar College, a Valley League dual meet in which the Bulldogs defeated San Marcos by a 107-63 margin.
“They did good. It’s really hard when you’re trying to go your fastest and you’re cold,” Dusseault said.
The only Bulldog swimmer who established a personal record was Hillis, who swam the 100-yard backstroke in 1:05.95. Hillis finished second in the race to San Marcos standout Nicole Parmenter, who won the 100-yard backstroke and also the 100-yard butterfly at last year’s CIF championships.
“I think she raced a really good race against Nicole,” Dusseault said of Hillis. “She didn’t back off.”
Parmenter also won the 200-yard individual medley in the dual meet against Ramona. The Knights’ only other victory was in the 200-yard medley relay, as Dusseault wanted to test different lineups for the two freestyle relay races.
“It’s a good chance to kind of play with your lineup,” Dusseault said.
Lanz, Carrano, Gantzer, and Stevens won the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1:47.22 while Lanz, Gantzer, Carrano, and Stevens took 3:57.44 to win the 400-yard freestyle relay.
Ramona had the top three finishers in both the 100-yard freestyle and 200-yard freestyle races. Gantzer’s time of 56.33 seconds placed first in the 100-yard freestyle while Stevens won the 200-yard freestyle in 1:57.9.
Gantzer also won the 100-yard breaststroke, taking 1:17.43. Lanz won the 100-yard butterfly in 1:05.91 and Carrano took first in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 26.25 seconds.
Maruna’s return from shoulder surgery began with swimming shorter events, and her first 500-yard freestyle race of the year produced not only a win but also a CIF meet consideration time of 5:51.69.
Maruna also swam in the 200-yard freestyle race, finishing third behind Stevens and Shinnick, and was named Ramona’s swimmer of the meet.
The Bulldogs host Westview tomorrow and Valley Center on Tuesday.