Ramona High School freshman Josh Sammons is the 2009 CIF Division II boys diving champion.
Sammons scored 206 points on six dives at the California Interscholastic Federation diving meet May 22 at Helix Charter School. The second-place Division II diver scored 188 points.
“You could tell that he was standing out above everyone else,” said Coach Frank Yturralde. “It was just amazing. I’ve been watching this kid all year and every time he dives, it astounds me what he can do.”
Nervousness of his first CIF meet was evident when Sammons forgot his swimsuit and had to warm up in board shorts. Sammons’ parents made the trip from La Mesa to Ramona and back to retrieve his swimsuit in time for the competition.
There were no signs of nervousness once Sammons was actually competing.
“He was very solid,” Yturralde said. “He handled the pressure very well.”
In addition to the diving meet, the CIF meet included the swimming preliminary heats May 20 at Rancho Bernardo High School and the swimming finals May 23 at Rancho Bernardo. Ramona’s boys finished 10th among Division II schools based on the points for the swimming and diving events.
“Overall I’m very happy with how we placed,” Yturralde said.
Only two of Ramona’s swimmers had previously competed at a CIF meet.
“Some of the boys, I think they were a little nervous about the first time being in CIF,” Yturralde said of the preliminaries.
The swimmers and relay teams with the top six times in each event at the preliminaries advanced to the championship race at the finals while the next six times qualified for the consolation finals. Points were given for positions in the finals and the consolation finals.
While Ramona had entries in 10 of the 11 swimming events at the CIF preliminaries, only one swimmer qualified for the championship finals. Albert Valentin’s time of 53.73 seconds in the 100-yard butterfly preliminaries earned him a trip to the championship race, where he finished fourth with a time of 53.69 seconds.
Alan Williams reached the consolation finals in the 100-yard backstroke after swimming the preliminaries in 57.56 seconds.
His time of 57.04 seconds in the consolation race placed him ninth overall.
Two other Bulldogs competed in the 100-yard backstroke but did not advance beyond the preliminaries. Daniel Thorngren had a time of 1:00.64 to place 20th and Mike Bernas was 24th at 1:04.34.
Two of Ramona’s relay teams reached the consolation finals. The 200-yard medley relay team of Williams, Valentin, James Oneto, and Collin Torsak had a season-best time of 1:43.88 in the preliminaries, missing the championship race by 7/10 of a second.
Their time of 1:46.78 in the finals placed them ninth.
The 200-yard freestyle relay team of Valentine, Kari Gonter, Todd Cope and Torsak had a time of 1:35.28 in the preliminaries to qualify for the consolation race. Their time of 1:35.22 in the consolation finals gave them tenth place.
Ramona’s other relay team was the 400-yard freestyle quartet of Dominick Scottolini, Thorngren, Oneto, and Williams. Their time of 3:39.50 placed them 15th in the preliminaries.
Two Bulldogs raced in the 500-yard freestyle event but neither reached the finals. Gonter’s time of 5:21.57 placed 20th while Stephen Donellan was 21st at 5:24.93.
Torsak was 14th in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 22.97 seconds. Oneto’s time of 1:05.46 in the 100-yard breaststroke placed 17th while his time of 2:11.64 in the 200-yard individual medley earned 20th place. Williams placed 19th in the 200-yard freestyle at 1:53.59.
Thorngren is a senior. Bernas, Cope, and Valentin are juniors.
Donellan, Gonter, Oneto, Scottolini, and Torsak are sophomores.
“This is a very young group,” Yturralde said. “It’s a learning experience for them.”
The season was also the first for Yturralde as Ramona’s swim coach.
“It was a good season. Went by really fast,” he said.