A cheery busload of Oakdale High students will arrive at Tokay High in Lodi on Thursday, May 9, for the first day of what has become the pinnacle moment of prep swimming — the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Championships.
The participation of Oakdale’s talented boys medley relay team is still an unknown factor (conflicts with the senior trip to Disneyland), but 11 OHS students made the cut for entries in a host of individual events in both the varsity and ultra-competitive frosh-divisions of action.
“You never really know how they will swim until they get there,” Oakdale coach Russ Van Cleave said. “Some get nervous while others like the pressure.
“The hope is that they will swim well and are ready for this bigger stage.”
The Oakdale boys team that cruised to an undefeated Valley Oak League championship will be well represented at sections by the likes of Rhett Harrison (200 free, 500 free), Joe Guerrero (100 breast), Spencer Lee (100 breast), Michael Winders (100 breast), Will Cavanaugh (100 breast, 100 free), Soren Dickens (100 free, 100 breast) and Jared Kahler (100 back, 200 free) and Ryan Jones.
Summer Thompson (200 I.M., 100 breast), Shelby Stender (100 free, 50 free) and Caitlin Golding (100 back, 50 free) of the co-conference champion girls team will also make the trek.
The OHS boys will participate in the SJS Trials on May 9 while the girls see the same action a day later. The top-16 in each event qualify for championship and consolation heats of eight for the exciting SJS Finals on Saturday, May 11.