In her first official Ramona High School swim meet involving individual races, Ramona freshman Gina Lucas set a school record in the 100-yard backstroke.
Lucas completed her four laps in 1:02.90 during Ramona’s March 16 dual meet at Mount Carmel. The previous record of 1:06.33 had been set by Caitie Benson on May 2, 2008, during a dual meet against Cathedral Catholic.
Ironically, Lucas didn’t win that race, although Ramona’s girls won six of the 11 events in the dual meet. Ramona’s 86-84 loss to Mount Carmel, which finished second among Division II teams in last year’s CIF meet, included a win in the 200-yard freestyle relay which for Division II was won at the CIF meet by Ramona in 2008 and Mount Carmel in 2009.
“It really couldn’t have gotten any better — unless we would have won,” said Ramona coach Jolyn Yanez.
The 200-yard freestyle team of Madi Lanz, Ellie Carrano, Lisse Litka-Baughman and Breann Stevens took 1:42.62 to complete the race. Ramona’s 400-yard freestyle relay team of Lucas, Carrano, Litka-Baughman and Stevens won the final race of the meet to limit the Sundevils’ winning margin to two points. Although Mount Carmel’s 200-yard medley relay team prevailed in that race, Ramona’s time of 1:56.50 was two-tenths of a second away from a team record.
Litka-Baughman, another freshman in her first official individual races, won the 200-yard freestyle race in 1:59.03. Ramona junior Katherine Abbott won two races, taking the 200-yard individual medley in 2:11.91 and the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:12.28.
Stevens, a senior, had a time of 54.19 seconds to win the 100-yard freestyle race.
All four individual winners attained automatic qualifying times for the CIF meet, as did Lucas. Automatic qualifying times were also achieved by Lanz in the 200-yard individual medley, Stevens in the 50-yard freestyle, and Lanz and Lucas in the 100-yard butterfly. Consideration times were attained by Taylor Shinnick and Brice Maruna in the 200-yard freestyle, Shinnick and Maruna in the 500-yard freestyle, Carrano in the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard freestyle, and Litka-Baughman in the 100-yard backstroke.
“It was just a really tremendously exciting meet for both the swimmers and the coaches,” Yanez said.
On March 19, the Bulldogs traveled to Grossmont High School for a three-way meet involving Grossmont and El Camino. The Bulldogs accumulated the high score of 187 points while winning eight of the 11 events and finishing second in the other three races.
“They had a great meet,” Yanez said.
The 200-yard medley relay team of Lucas, Abbott, Litka-Baughman, and Stevens won their race in 1:59.57 while the 200-yard freestyle relay quartet of Lanz, Maruna, Carrano, and Shinnick won their event with a time of 1:49.20.
Although a swimmer is limited to two individual events at the CIF meet, three Ramona swimmers posted automatic qualifying times in an additional event. Stevens won the 200-yard freestyle with an automatic time of 2:02.53 and also won the 100-yard freestyle in 56.61 seconds.
Lucas won the 200-yard individual medley in 2:17.12 while Abbott also attained an automatic qualifying time in that race, and Lucas added a second win with a time of 1:03.40 in the 100-yard backstroke.
Carrano took 26.55 seconds in winning the 50-yard freestyle while also posting a consideration time in the 200-yard freestyle. Lanz won the 100-yard butterfly in 1:02.34 and Litka-Baughman attained a consideration time in that race.
The Bulldogs will spend Saturday at the Mission Viejo invitational meet.