Nearly two dozen schools gathered inside the Oakdale High School Aquatics Center on Saturday for the annual Mustang March Madness Invite under sunny skies, competitors performing in a number of events in the pool.
Both the Mustang boy and girl swimmers turned in impressive performances, both as individuals as well as in multiple team relays. Oakdale seniors enjoyed their final performance in the school’s biggest meet of the year. Senior Jackson Metcalfe was a busy Mustang on Saturday. His day was highlighted by a third place finish in the 100 yard freestyle with a time of 50.55 He also placed fourth in the 50 yard freestyle. In a team effort, Metcalfe participated in the 200 yard freestyle relay with teammates Ethan Perry, Stash Perry and Caden Nord to earn first place in the event. The four swimmers also teamed up in the 400 yard freestyle and placed third.
“This is the biggest tournament of the year for us at Oakdale. In years past I used to look up to others for advice and it feels good to be the one that some of the younger guys look up to,” Metcalfe summarized. “We had a lot of people here today that came out and supported our team, that’s great to see and it is greatly appreciated.”
Teammate Caden Nord also had a big afternoon. Nord finished second in the men’s 50 yard freestyle with a time of 22.67, less than three tenths of a second off the leader. Nord also placed fourth in the 100 freestyle, where he was right behind teammate Metcalfe.
“It’s friendly competition, I was trying to beat the guy next me. I had a bad turn but this is a fast paced meet. Honestly I am just trying to have a good time and enjoy the day,” Nord said.
Nord’s big moment came in the 100 yard backstroke where he finished first with a time of 1:05.19.
Oakdale’s ladies were led by senior Emily Bennett. The San Diego State bound swimmer powered the girls 200 yard medley relay team to first place, along with teammates Madi Blank, Kassidy Houck and Daytona McGinnis. Bennett, Houck, Juliette Leibenson and Bethany Metcalfe teamed together for the 400 yard freestyle relay and placed third. In singles competition Bennett placed fourth in the 50 yard freestyle. Other Lady Mustsangs that had big days scoring points for their team included Daytona McGinnis, Kinsey Ollis, Alyssa Castano, Kayla Peterson, Natalie Thompson, Lacey Hardy, Neesa Deleon and Andrea York.
On Tuesday, March 14 the Mustangs hosted their league opener against Manteca and Weston Ranch following The Leader’s press time. Oakdale will be on the road Thursday, March 23 as they take on the Falcons of Atwater in a non-league meet. That road showdown is scheduled for 3 p.m.