Swimmers receive awards at post-season banquet

   Ramona High School’s girls swim team held its post-season banquet recently in the Lucas house.

   “It went really great,” said Ramona varsity coach Jolyn Yanez. “It was a great wrap-up to the season.”

   The awards presented at the banquet included the varsity Most Valuable Player Award, which went to senior Breann Stevens. 

   “Her contributions over the last four years earned her the award,” Yanez said.

Stevens joined Ramona’s varsity as a freshman in 2007 and earned all-league honors. The experience of Ramona’s veterans helped Yanez, who had been Ramona’s junior varsity coach prior to replacing Stacey Dusseault as the Bulldogs’ varsity coach, during her first year coaching Ramona’s varsity. 

   “Breann really had a lot of insight as far as looking into the statistics and who’s going to race in what race,” Yanez said.

   Stevens, Brice Maruna, and Taylor Shinnick were Ramona’s three seniors. All four spent four years on Ramona’s varsity.

   “At every step of the way I really appreciated all the seniors this year,” Yanez said. “They really helped me to run the team like it’s been run in the past.”

    The awards also included varsity high point awards for each grade level, and Stevens was the senior who earned the high point award. Stevens, who will be swimming at Fresno Pacific University, was also nominated for Ramona High School’s athlete of the year award.

   Freshman Jessi Gilbert received the junior varsity Most Valuable Player Award.

Maruna, who plans to swim at Palomar College, was selected for the varsity Coaches’ Award. 

   “She worked every day of practice the last five weeks of the season and did what I asked her to do,” Yanez said.

   Sophomore Raeanne Van Tol took home the junior varsity Coaches’ Award.

Freshman Lisse Litka-Baughman was presented with the varsity’s Most Improved Award. Not only did her times show an average improvement of 4.2 percent per swim, but she made the transition from individually oriented club swimming to the more team-oriented high school competition. 

   “I was pretty excited to see that shift in attitude,” Yanez said.

   Junior Haley Hunt was the Most Improved recipient for the junior varsity.

   Freshman Gina Lucas was given the varsity’s Most Committed Award.

   “I had a really great time coaching her this year,” Yanez said.

   Yanez, who will continue to be at the pool from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. on weekdays during the summer to instruct girls interested in being on Ramona’s 2011 swim team, had an optional morning practice as well as a mandatory afternoon practice.

   Lucas had perfect attendance both at the mandatory practices and at the morning sessions. 

   “It just is really great when you have somebody who is so highly dedicated,” Yanez said.

   Lucas also received the varsity’s Freshman High Point Award.

   The junior varsity’s Most Committed recognition went to freshman Hannah Myers.

Madi Lanz was the varsity junior who received the High Point Award while Emily Rajcic earned that honor for varsity sophomores.

   Eight members of the team met one of the three criteria to receive a varsity letter. The banquet also saw the presentation of all-academic team certificates, which are only offered to juniors and seniors. All eight of Ramona’s varsity juniors and seniors earned the award, as did two juniors on the junior varsity.

   
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