SWM: Chargers, Royals take Channel League meet titles


The Dos Pueblos boys and San Marcos girls swim teams took different routes to win Channel League championship meet titles on Thursday at the San Marcos pool.

The Chargers racked up eight event victories, including two each by Alex Valente and Fedrico Sarboraria, and scored 363 points to finish ahead of the pack. They also won the dual meet title.

Ventura finished second at the meet with 309 points followed by Santa Barbara (200), Buena (167) and San Marcos (114).

The San Marcos girls won just two events Thursday but they piled up the points with their depth and held off DP, 347.5 to 308, to add the championship meet title to their dual meet crown. Ventura was third with 236.5 points followed by Santa Barbara (168) and Buena (118).

Olivia Smith was the lone San Marcos individual to win an event. The sophomore captured the 100 butterfly, edging out Ventura freshman Lindsay Clark. Smith was timed in a personal est of 57.28 seconds and Clark touched the wall in 57.69.

The Royals also captured the 200 free relay with the team of Madeleine Kriz, Grace Pizzinat, Dasha Depew and Paige Hauschild. They won in 1:40.44.

San Marcos girls coach Chuckie Roth was proud at how his swimmers bought into the team concept.

“The girls are willing to swim anything I put them in for the betterment of the team,” he said. “We have several girls not swimming their best event but they step up. Last week, we had a talk and identified a lot of areas we needed help in and who would step up. A lot of girls rose to the occasion.”

DP’s Shannon Cleary is making sure she finishes her high school swimming career on a high note. Cleary, who has a water polo scholarship to Stanford, showed impressive sprinter’s speed in winning the 50 and 100 freestyle events and in edging Ventura’s Alicia Harrison on the anchor leg of the 400 free relay. Cleary also nipped Harrison in the 100 free, out-touching her by three one-hundredths of a second (51.90 to 51.93). She clocked 24.24 in the 50.

Alex Valente - USA Swimming

Alex Valente of Dos Pueblos won the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke at the Channel League Championships.

Cleary said the competition brought out the best in her.

“If I didn’t have that Ventura girl to race me, I don’t think I would have gone as fast, for sure,” she said of the 100. “I was definitely racing that whole time. I was happy with it.”

Cleary also swam the anchor leg on the second-place 200 medley relay team, (Courtney Nuttall, Maelyn Adornetto, Nicole Berari) which set a school record with a time of 1:49.00.

DP’s winning time in the 400 free relay was 3:34.98. Berari, Reagan Eickert and Adornetto were the other members of the team.

“We really wanted to do well. Three of us are seniors and it was the last time we’d be doing a Channel League relay together,” Cleary said. “We just wanted to get it done.”

It was tight from the start, but Adornetto was able to give Cleary a slight lead.

“When I was coming off the blocks, I said, ’Yes!, a little teenie bit of a lead.’ It gives you a little bit of encouragement. I said, ‘OK, now I have to at least keep it.’”

“Shannon had a lot of pressure coming into this meet,” DP coach Chris Parrish said. “She’s not a club swimmer, she’s not a season swimmer. She’s just a tall, strong, athletic competitor. She was really worried she wouldn’t be able to perform and she came in her and just crushed it in everything she did.”

Ventura’s Solie Laughlin broke a 19-year-old meet record in winning the girls 100 backstroke. Her CIF automatic time of 56.3 bested the previous mark that belonged to Nicole Beck of Buena. Laughlin also won the 200 IM.

The Charger boys sent a message in the first event that they were going to be tough to beat. Walker Bell got off to a great start in the 200 medley relay and DP pulled away from the field, winning in 1:34.09. Blake Parrish, Valente and Saboraria were the other members of the team.

Valente lowered his own meet records in the 100 butterfly and 100 back. He went 48.34 in blowing away the field in the 100 fly, while his 100 back time was 50.79.

“It was a really great meet, overall,” said Valente. “It was a great way to finish off the Channel League season.”

Parrish said it was nice to see Valente give a good performance in Santa Barbara.

“He likes to show up a little bit in the sense this is his home crowd and he wants to put on a little exhibition,” said the coach. “So, 48-low is really pretty good.”

Valente also turned in a fast anchor leg in the 400 free relay, and he needed it to beat out swim club teammate Austin Takeda of Ventura. The difference was one hundredth of a second.

“We had a little bit of a lead going in, so he had to go a faster time than me at the end,” Valente said. “But, when it comes down to it, I just had a little bit more in the last seven meters to push myself ahead. It was really exciting because it was anybody’s race at that point.”

“Austin is a great swimmer,” Parrish said. “He blew out a great time in the 200. We knew he would be fast … we knew all their guys would be fast. They have a sophomore in David Peterson, who was the second leg in there, and he was the guy that was pushing Fed in the 100. We knew that relay was going to be really tight.”

The Chargers were timed in 3:07.30 and the Cougars in 3:07.31. Santa Barbara was third in 3:20.06.

Sarboraria looked strong in the sprints. He won the 50 in 21.65 and clocked a CIF automatic time of 47.20 in the 100 free.

Sarboraria was glad he finally met the standard.

“I kept missing the CIF cut,” he said. “I’ve been going 47.5 like at least three or four times in the high school season. Now that I got it, I am happy. It’s not my best but I’m working on it and I’m looking forward to CIF.”

Parrish was dominating in the 100 breast (57.30), winning by more than three seconds.

After finishing third in the 200 free behind Ventura’s Takeda and Stewart, Harrison, Bell showed that he’s the class of the league in the 500 free. The sophomore won in 4:38.11. Alex Roderick (4:45.27) and Ben Brewer (4:45.87) of Santa Barbara were second and third.

“Walker played it pretty smart today,” said Parrish. “He went in the 200 and when he it looked like he couldn’t really win it, he kind of shut it down and breezed through the 500. Had he pushed those, I think this last relay would have had a whole different feel to it. His leg would have been slower had he exerted himself a little too much early. Luckily, he saved it — you’re talking one one-hundredth of a second — and it’s a good thing he did.”