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Mustang Boys, Girls Grab Swimming Championship
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A combined 17-1 meet record from Oakdale High varsity boys and girls swimmers proved to be no fluke at the Valley Oak League championships on Saturday at Sierra High.With 10 Valley Oak League schools in attendance, Oakdale girls dominated for top honors at 132 points while the Mustang boys edged Sonora by three points at 136 notches on the team score.The dual dominance capped a thrilling VOL season that saw school records and VOL firsts from a deep and talented Mustang unit.“It was like a 15-round boxing match all day,” Oakdale coach Russ Van Cleave said. “The kids swam very well and a lot of them turned in their best times of the season.”Oakdale girls were paced by a pair of relay victories. Ali Poff, Katie Vanderburg, Kelsey Knollmueller and Savannah Stender took the 200 free relay while Stender, Knollmueller, Stevie Cordoza and Shelby Panter won the 400 free relay.Stender also won the 100 free while Cordoza was second in the 100 breast. Knollmueller was runner-up in both the 200 and 500 free while Panter ended second in the 200 I.M. Vanderburg was third in the 50 free and second in the 100 fly as well.Oakdale’s boys 200 medley relay team of Hank Walters, Neal Cadra, Ronnie Thompson and Tyler Lee finished first. Walters, Lee, Robert Winders and Brandon Terwilliger also won the 400 free relay.Thompson was first in the 500 free and second in the 100 fly while Walters ended tops in the 100 back. Lee won the 200 free while Ryan Jones (200 I.M.), Cadra (100 breast), and Terwilliger (100 free) managed third place honors.“We only had 10 boys, so I was really pleased that they were able to step it up and do well,” Van Cleave said. “Everybody had a job to do and they all came through.”The program is thick into heavy training for the Sac-Joaquin Section Trials at Tokay High in Lodi on May 13 and 14.Knollmueller, a junior, will represent the lone varsity girls participant after qualifying in the 100 and 500 free. Stender qualified for both the 100 and 200 free for the highly competitive frosh-soph postseason. She will also join Poff, Vanderburg and Panter on the 200 free relay, and Poff, Cordoza and Cassie Lee on the 400 free relay.Poff, Cordoza, Vanderburg and Panter will compete in the 200 medley relay while Poff battles contenders in the 50 free and Cordoza takes on the 100 breast. Panter will compete in the both the 100 I.M. and 500 free while Vanderburg sees competition in the 50 free and 100 fly.Tyler Lee (500 free) is the only Oakdale varsity competitor at the trials. Neal Cadra will swim the 100 frosh-soph breast, and join Walters, Jones and Winders on the 200 medley relay. Winders, Jones, Terwilliger and Adam Lahey will swim the 200 free relay while Walters, Jones, Terwilliger and Winders compete in the 400 free relay.Jones (200 I.M.), Walters (100 free, 100 back) and Terwilliger (100 free, 100 back) are slated to compete in individual events as well.“We are going to work on our starts, turns and finishes before a three days rest before the trials,” Van Cleave said. “It should be a fun next two weeks.”