Another year, another Granite Bay league swimming title

Records fall at Aquatic Complex
By: Kurt Johnson, The Press Tribune
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Whenever the swimmers of the Sierra Foothill League gather for a league meet, there seems to be an intense battle…for second place.


No one can remember the last time Granite Bay lost a swim meet, so while the other teams come with their amazing individual performances, and there were many once again, the Grizzlies once again took the team title Saturday at the Roseville Aquatic Complex.


We have won 14 consecutive league championships for both boys and girls swimming,” said Granite Bay coach John Sherman. “Granite Bay High School swimming now has a league winning streak of 97 consecutive swim meets. We are nearing top five all-time in the state for consecutive undefeated league championships in swimming according to ESPN Cal Hi Sports.”


Those are some lofty numbers, and this 14th straight crown was once again impressive. Quincy Christian (500 freestyle and 200 IM), Hannah Calton (200 free, 100 butterfly) and Sophie Weber (50 free and 100 free) led the way for the Granite Bay girls as double winners, while Andrew Murch captured the 100 back on the boys’ side and finished second in the 500 freestyle.


In earlier competition, Elliott Adams also defended his league diving title.


Granite Bay’s overall depth allows it to dominate the relay events, and that puts the Grizzlies in a good position at the league finals. The Grizzlies’ 200-yard medley girls varsity relay team knocked more then two seconds off the old league record. That event was especially memorable as Roseville’s quartet also swam faster than the old league mark.


The Grizzlies also won the boys’ 200 medley relay, by more than two seconds over Del Oro.


Granite Bay was the winner of the girls 200 freestyle relay, but the Granite Bay boys team took second in that event as it fell victim to Del Oro’s league-record unit.


The Lady Grizzlies did not win all of the relays as Roseville was at the head of the class in the girls 400 freestyle relay, with Granite Bay finishing second. Del Oro’s boys quartet set a new league mark in the 400 free relay as well, with the Grizzlies taking second spot.


Woodcreek’s girls team had a very good day, led by the performances of Nicole Schultz and Allyson Fellows. While the Lady Timberwolves did not win events, their swimmers were in the running all day long and captured second place in the team competition.


“A highlight for us is the fact that our varsity girls placed second overall in the SFL,” said Woodcreek coach Grant Guensler. “The SFL is very competitive and to be able pull in a second place behind Granite Bay is outstanding. Woodcreek, Roseville and NU all were tied for second coming into the meet. We showed our depth in being able to place second.”


The Woodcreek boys also delivered some highlights in their home pool.


Jesse McWhirk was the winner of the 100 butterfly, with Oakmont’s Evan Virtue in second place. Virtue was also the runner-up in the 200 freestyle.


“He (McWhirk) has trained hard on this event and was rewarded with an automatic All-American time as well as a SFL victory in this event,” Guensler said.


One of the day’s stars was with the Timberwolves last season, but Brian Westlake is now a sophomore sensation swimming for Del Oro. He smashed the league records in both the 500 freestyle and the 100 breaststroke, and was part of the Eagles’ record-setting 400 free relay team.


Roseville’s swimmers did not disappoint either, with Adam Jorgensen leading the way. He set a new league mark in the 200 freestyle. Grayson Whitney of Roseville took second in the boys 100-yard breaststroke.


Freshman Whitney Jorgensen of Roseville was one of the impressive newcomers, with a win in the girls 100 breaststroke and a second place result in the 500 free.


Brooke Hammond (second in the 200 free and 100 free) and Kayla Nakamoto (second in the 100 butterfly and 200 individual medley) joined 100 backstroke champion Lindsay Ruiz in representing the Tiger girls well.


The top swimmers will move on to represent the SFL at the section finals at Tokay High in Lodi on May 13. 


The biggest thing about the SFL is the strength of the league,” Guensler said. “You look at most of the times in the area from other leagues and the SFL event winners are the fastest. Any of the top four or five teams from the SFL would have a shot at winning most leagues in the area. I expect all SFL teams to place well in the section meet.”


SFL varsity records set Saturday at league swimming finals:

Girls 200-yard medley relay – Granite Bay, 1:49.45 (Erin Fitzgerald, Sophie Weber, Hannah Calton, Quincy Christian)

Boys 200-yard freestyle – Adam Jorgensen, Roseville, 1:39.96

Boys 500-yard freestyle – Brian Westlake, Del Oro, 4:28.48

Boys 200-yard freestyle relay – Del Oro, 1:27.10 (Josh McCormick, Alex Obert, Collin Johnston, Weston Landre)

Boys 100-yard breaststroke – Brian Westlake, Del Oro, 58.78

Boys 400-yard freestyle relay – Del Oro, 3:10.94 (Brian Westlake, Josh McCormick, Alex Obert, Weston Landre)