By Joe Naiman
Ramona High School junior Gina Lucas won the 200-yard individual medley at the CIF meet, lowered her own school record multiple times in two different events, and broke a 2010 school record in a third event.
Her final distinction for the 2012 season was her recognition as the team’s most valuable swimmer at the RHS girls swim team’s post-season banquet.
“It was kind of a slam-dunk decision,” Ramona coach Jolyn Yanez said of Lucas’ most valuable award.
Lucas also received the team high point award at the banquet after accumulating 495 points during the season from individual and relay events.
“Just really blew the competition away in a lot of our league meets this year,” Yanez said.
Yanez also cited Lucas’ leadership.
“She’s incredibly modest and just really is a team player,” said the coach.
Yanez has been on Ramona’s coaching staff since 2003, and Lucas was the first junior in that time to be a team captain.
“She did a really good job of planning, keeping everybody up to date,” Yanez said.
In addition to a catered lunch and team awards at the banquet, Yanez also presented varsity letters and junior varsity certificates and spoke briefly about the season which included 10th place among CIF Division II schools.
Lucas earned the overall team high point award as well as the high point award for juniors.
Meredith O’Gwynn was the senior point leader, Paulina Bernd led Ramona’s sophomores in points, and Danielle LaRosa took home the freshman high point award.
Kaylin Van Tol received the junior varsity high point recognition; Van Tol was also the junior varsity’s most valuable swimmer.
The Most Committed award was given to Alicia Podoris on varsity and Josie Ward on junior varsity. Most Improved recognition went to varsity swimmer Rachel Hogervorst and junior varsity competitor Elise Brown.
O’Gwynn received the Coaches Choice award for varsity while Holly Smith was the JV Coaches Choice recipient.
The banquet also included the presentation of CIF patches to the seven Ramona swimmers who competed at the CIF meet.
In addition to O’Gwynn, the Bulldogs will be losing Podoris, who came to Ramona from Michigan when she was in fifth grade and who will be returning to Michigan for next year.
The banquet included a farewell to Podoris and recognized volunteer assistant coach Gene Oxe.
The team captains for the 2013 season were selected after the league meet and announced at the banquet. Lucas will once again be a team captain and will be joined by Hogervorst.