Record-setting Johnson Ranch Barracudas dominate Meet of Champions

Richard wins six individual events, sets two marks; quadruple-winner Myers also breaks two records
By: Amanda Calzada/Roseville Press Tribune Correspondent
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WOODLAND — Slamming into the wall with spinning arms, Spencer Richard of the Johnson Ranch Barracudas broke two records at the 12th annual Sacramento Valley Meet of Champions last weekend at the Woodland Community Swim Center.

Richard broke the boys 11-12 50-yard backstroke record by clocking 29.23 seconds in the preliminaries, and he broke another record with a 24.74 time in the 50 freestyle final. Richard also won the 100 freestyle in 54.23, a victory margin of more than three seconds, the 50 breaststroke in 32.48 and the 50 butterfly in 26.74.

His performance helped the Barracudas secure first place in the large-team division with a decisive 2,458 points in the Northern California Swim League meet that gathered 928 swimmers from 45 teams.

Richard also inspired other record-breaking performances.

“I dove off the block thinking of breaking the record,” giggled 10-year-old Taylor Hartmann, who joined Barracudas teammates Camryn Bussey, Angeline Calzada and Emily St. Dennis in breaking the meet record in the girls 9-10 100 medley relay at 1:02.12 in the preliminary. They won the final in 1:02.45.

Bussey won the 100 individual medley in 1:12.26.

Johnson Ranch dominated the younger age divisions, led by Amber Myers’ meet-record swims in the girls 7-8 25 freestyle (14.29) and 50 freestyle (31.46). Myers also won the 25 breaststroke in 19.7, the 25 butterfly in 16.37, and she combined with Tiffany Nguyen, Natalie Quilala and Rosie Murphy to win the 100 medley relay in 1:12.41.

Aidan Reddy and Bryce Hubbard were powers in the boys 7-8 division for Johnson Ranch. Reddy broke the boys 7-8 50 freestyle meet record by clocking 30.43 in the final, and Hubbard won the 25 breaststroke in 19.13.

In girls 11-12, Chloe Clark, Maddie Mercer, Jordyn Sloan and Isabella Matthews won the 200 medley relay with a time of 2:03.09. Mercer also took the 50 breaststroke in 33.02.

Also winning for Johnson Ranch were its boys 7-8 100 medley relay team of Reddy, Hubbard, Hayden Ghufran and Nathan Venneri in 1:09.55; the boys 9-10 100 medley relay team of Wyatt Sherrets, Anthony Gross, John Marks and Luke Marks in 1:02.49; and the boys 11-12 200 medley relay quartet of Brett Harriman, Christopher Boliard, Richard and John Murphy in 2:01.8.
Ghufran also won the boys 7-8 25 butterfly in 15.74.

The Barracudas held 11 meet records heading into the event, while the Woodcreek Seawolves held four. Woodcreek ranked fifth in the large-team division with 882 points.

“I don’t do anything strategically; it’s just conditioning,” said Woodcreek’s Madeline Leber, who took third in the girls 13-14 individual medley (1:06.44), fifth in the 100 freestyle (59.52) and seventh in the 50 breaststroke (34.92).

Lauren Ostrander (girls 13-14, third, 28.72), Makenna Vulgas (girls 13-14, seventh, 29.6), Samantha Shelton (girls 11-12, sixth, 30.4) and Alexander Almaraz (boys 11-12, seventh, 30.31) gave the Seawolves strong swims in the 50 butterfly.

Noah Carver of the Granite Bay Gators ranked fourth in the boys 6-and-under 25 freestyle (18.93) and eighth in the 25 backstroke (25.8) while Michael Hansen placed sixth in the boys 9-10 25 backstroke (18.09). The Gators’ Micayla Thomas placed eighth in the girls 13-14 50 freestyle at 27.57.

Representing the small-team division, Granite Bay took 17 athletes to the meet. Johnson Ranch and Woodcreek had the second- and fourth-highest number of athletes in the large-team division with 71 and 48.