Lucas breaks 200-yard IM school record
By Joe Naiman
Based on times throughout the season, 10 Ramona High School girls swim entries qualified for the CIF meet.
All three relay teams qualified for the CIF Division II preliminaries, which were held yesterday at Del Norte High School after this issue of the Sentinel went to press and which determined the swimmers who will advance to Saturday’s CIF finals at Del Norte.
Gina Lucas received entry into the 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard breaststroke (Lucas also qualified in other events, but a swimmer is limited to two individual events at the CIF meet), Madi Lanz was designated to compete in the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly races, Ellie Carrano earned lanes in the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle races, and freshman Ashlee Holabird qualified in the 100-yard butterfly.
Holabird qualified during the Palomar League meet at Rancho Bernardo High School, which started with the May 12 preliminary heats and concluded with the May 14 finals. She swam her preliminary race in 1:06.23, which was a consideration time for the CIF meet, and after the Division II coaches decided which events their qualifying swimmers would enter Holabird had the 24th-place time in the butterfly to give her the final CIF qualifying position.
“That’s a tremendous opportunity for a freshman,” said Coach Jolyn Yanez.
Holabird’s previous best time in that event was 1:06.89.
“I’m happy because when she swam that race in prelims she dropped half a second,” Yanez said.
Holabird’s time in the preliminaries qualified her for the consolation finals, where she posted a time of 1:06.99 to finish 15th.
Two of the six Palomar League schools are in Division I for CIF meet purposes while Ramona and Mount Carmel are in Division II. Ramona also does not have a diver, so the Bulldogs’ sixth-place finish at the league meet was not discouraging to Yanez, whose goal was to work on best times. Approximately 65 percent of Ramona’s swims at the league meet produced best times compared to approximately 30 percent on the average.
“I really felt like they came ready to race,” Yanez said.
The best finishing position of any Ramona swimmer was Lucas’ second-place showing in the 200-yard individual medley, but Lucas set the school record for that event in both the preliminaries and the finals. Prior to the league meet Katherine Abbott’s 2008 time of 2:11.05 constituted the best time a Ramona swimmer had attained. Lucas took 2:10.87 in the preliminaries and 2:10.60 in the finals.
Kelsey Kafka of Torrey Pines won the league championship with a time of 2:08.52. Prior to the race Yanez reminded Lucas that Kafka is a Division I swimmer and the position result was irrelevant to the CIF meet.
“She took it out hard,” Yanez said of Lucas’ start. “She was really gutsy in the first half of the race, and it was really exciting to watch.”
Lucas tied for third in the 100-yard breaststroke. Kafka won that race in 1:03.94, Rancho Bernardo’s Mackenzie Logan completed her four laps in 1:08.60, and Lucas and Alyssa Cable of Rancho Bernardo had identical times of 1:08.77.
“Incredibly competitive breaststroke this year,” Yanez said.
The swimmers with the top eight times during the preliminary heats advance to the championship race while the next eight swimmers compete in the consolation finals. Lanz qualified for the championship race in the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard butterfly and finished seventh in both events. In the butterfly she took 1:02.12 in the preliminaries before posting a time of 1:03.18 in the finals, and she posted a time of 25.53 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle.
Carrano was 10th in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 57.27 seconds and placed 11th in the 50-yard freestyle after a swim of 26.37 seconds.
The four swimmers who post a qualifying time in a relay race do not need to be the four swimmers who compete at the CIF meet. During the league meet Yanez used Jocelyn Schwegler, Sydney Davison, Holabird, and Shelby Sloan as the Bulldogs’ primary 200-yard medley team. That quartet placed sixth with a time of 2:07.49.
“That was a good finish for them,” Yanez said.
Ramona’s top 200-yard freestyle relay team of Carrano, Paulina Bernd, Lanz, and Lucas was disqualified in the finals for a false start but had a time of 1:47.09 in the preliminary race. The “B” relay team of Cassie Bernas, Taylor Ford, Briana Campbell, and Meredith O’Gwynn took 2:01.45 in the “B” finals. The “A” relay teams competed against each other in the league meet while the “B” teams competed against other “B” teams.
A false start also disqualified Ramona’s “A” 400-yard freestyle relay team during the league preliminaries.
“We’re going to hone in and fine-tune that,” Yanez said of the two false starts.
The “B” team of Schwegler, Ford, Sloan, and Davison had a time of 4:26.68, a 2 1/2-second drop from that 400-yard relay team’s preliminary time.
Lanz and Ford are Ramona’s captains this year.
“They’ve really pulled together as a team,” Yanez said of the Bulldogs. “It’s been a tremendous atmosphere this year.”