For the first time since 2005, Ramona High School’s girls swim team was defeated in a league dual meet.
Mt. Carmel took an 86-84 victory over the Bulldogs March 20 in what was both the Valley League opener for both teams and Ramona’s home opener.
“It was close,” said Coach Stacey Dusseault. “It was a very exciting meet. We would have liked to have won, but we’re real happy with the performance everybody did.”
Ramona’s last Valley League loss was to Valley Center in 2005.
“It’s been a long time,” Dusseault said.
That year the Jaguars finished second at the CIF meet.
“At least when we lose, we lose to the really good guys,” Dusseault said.
Mt. Carmel finished third, behind Cathedral Catholic and Ramona, among Division II teams at last year’s CIF meet. The Sundevils moved from the Palomar League to the Valley League when the North County Conference was realigned for the 2008-09 seasons.
“The problem is just that they had more depth in the middle than we did,” Dusseault said.
In a dual meet each team fields up to three swimmers in individual events. The winner earns five points for the team, four points are awarded for second place, third place is worth three points, fourth place gives the team two points, and the team with the first-place swimmer receives one point. Each school can enter two relay teams with the first-place finisher receiving eight points, the second-place relay team earning four points, and the third-place quartet adding two points.
Ramona won eight of the 11 events.
“We also had a lot of sixth places,” Dusseault said. “It makes it hard to win when you don’t have some of that extra depth in there against a powerhouse.”
Ramona still managed to take both second and third in the 200-yard freestyle race won by Mt. Carmel’s Danielle Spence.
Spence beat Ramona’s Breann Stevens by approximately 1-1/2 seconds with both swimmers completing the race in under two minutes. Ramona’s Taylor Shinnick was third.
Stevens beat Spence in the 100-yard freestyle event.
“It was kind of a split,” Dusseault said. “They were really closes races.”
Stevens had a time of 54.55 seconds in the 100-yard freestyle, beating Spence by approximately one second.
The 400-yard freestyle relay is the final race of a high school meet. Ramona needed to finish first and third to win the meet while Mt. Carmel was able to clinch the meet with second-place and third-place results. Mt. Carmel split its fastest swimmers, ceding first place to the Ramona team of Ellie Carrano, Lauren Gantzer, Stevens, and Abbott while taking second and third to win the meet. The Bulldog winners finished the race with a time of 3:44.08.
The Sundevils won the 200-yard medley relay race, but Madi Lanz, Gantzer, Stevens, and Abbott won the 200-yard freestyle relay race in 1:42.67. Abbott ended the day with four victories altogether, also winning the 200-yard individual medley in 2:15.93 and the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:12.73.
Lanz won the 100-yard butterfly, taking 1:01.34. Although Lanz finished behind Abbot in the 200-yard individual medley, she posted an automatic qualifying time for the CIF meet. Abbott had previously earned an automatic CIF berth in that event.
Gantzer won the 50-yard freestyle 25.69 seconds after the starting gun while Shinnick’s time of 5:34.64 won the 500-yard freestyle race. Shinnick was named Ramona’s Swimmer of the Meet for her win in the 500-yard freestyle, for dropping three seconds off her 200-yard freestyle time, and for dropping four seconds of her leg of the 400-yard freestyle relay for which she anchored Ramona’s “B” team.