By Joe Naiman
It could be said that the girls aquatics program at Ramona High School now has a seven-competition winning streak.
The Bulldogs’ water polo team won its final three games of the regular season before three playoff victories gave Ramona the CIF Division II championship. The water polo playoffs caused 11 Ramona girls to miss the first week of swim practice, although coach Jolyn Yanez felt that the attitude from a winning program was more important than the extra week of lane preparation.
Yanez was vindicated March 7 when the Bulldogs traveled to Santana for Ramona’s first swim meet of the 2013 season and took a 96-73 victory over the Sultans.
“I’m just really thrilled that the girls came out with a win,” Yanez said. “I plan on making it a habit this year.”
The Bulldogs won eight of the 11 swim events, including all three relay races.
“They really came out with a lot of enthusiasm,” Yanez said.
The first race of a high school swim meet is the 200-yard medley relay. The Bulldogs’ winning time of 2:08.63 was accomplished by Jocelyn Schwegler opening with the backstroke, Paulina Bernd representing Ramona in the breaststroke, Kaylin Van Tol swimming the butterfly, and Jessie Gilbert handling the freestyle.
Bernd and Danielle LaRosa both had four wins for the day. Bernd won two individual events, taking 27:81 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle and 1:19.99 in the 100-yard breaststroke. In LaRosa’s individual event wins she had times of 1:06:38 in the 100-yard butterfly and 5:45.31 in the 500-yard freestyle. The 200-yard freestyle relay team of LaRosa, Van Tol, Brianna Campbell, and Gina Lucas won its race in 1:52.37 while the 400-yard freestyle relay team of LaRosa, Schwegler, Bernd, and Lucas took first place in 4:01.33.
Lucas and Santana’s Sara Lenhoff are both with the Heartland Swim Club when club competition doesn’t take a break for the CIF season, and Yanez is a coach for Heartland. The previous high school meet for both Lucas and Lenhoff was the 2012 CIF finals, when Lucas won the individual medley with Lenhoff finishing second.
“We kind of revisited that race,” Yanez said.
Lucas won the 2013 individual medley in 2:12.35. During the CIF finals, Lenhoff took first in the 100-yard backstroke with Lucas placing third. In the 2013 dual meet, Lenhoff won the backstroke race in 59.55 seconds while Lucas took 59.56 seconds.
“It all came down to the touch,” Yanez said. “It made for a good, exciting race.”
The Bulldogs will travel to Grossmont High School Thursday, March 14, for a tri-meet which also includes Scripps Ranch. Tuesday, March 19, will be Ramona’s home opener; the Bulldogs will host Mission Hills.