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Swimmers Take Final Laps Of Season
Members of the boys varsity swim team gathered in the practice pool before each competition this season and wrapped up their year with a trip to the Section qualifier. Shown here in earlier season action are swimmers, from left, Nate Van Cleave, Joe Guerrero, Jackson Metcalfe and Caden Nord. DENNIS D. CRUZ/The Leader

Eleven of Oakdale’s finest competed in the 2015 CIF Section qualifier swim meet recently, bringing their season to an end. Swimmers, fans and family gathered at the pool at Tokay High School in Lodi over the two-day meet to cheer on their teams. Four women and seven men represented Oakdale for the right to advance to the State meet. Oakdale turned in great performances but none of the 11 hopefuls punched their ticket to state.

“It’s not like the other sports where they are placed into divisions. Swimming is every person for themselves and (they) take on all comers in the region. So I am very proud of all the athletes who made the trip and swam their best all season long,” head swim coach Russ Van Cleave said.

Kate Alan, Clare McKeon, Shelby Stender and Summer Thompson all made the trip for the girls. Thompson turned in a personal best time 25.63 in the 50 freestyle. Unfortunately, Thompson’s efforts fell short of a state qualifier, but she did etch her name in the OHS record books as the third fastest in school history, less than one second behind the record holder Jen Cadmus, that record set in 2006.

On the boys side, Joe Guerrero swam his way to a personal best in the men’s 100 breaststroke with a time of 58.19. The speedy Guerrero’s time moved him to second all time in school history. He was .06 seconds off from tying the school record set by Soren Dickens in 2013. Caden Nord was busy as he competed in four events. Nord turned in a personal best in both the men’s 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle. It was Nord’s 50.36 in the 100 that earned his name a spot in the record books as seventh all time in school history. Nord finished the day as a member of the men’s 400 freestyle relay team. Nord teamed with Nate Van Cleave, Jared Kahler and Jackson Metcalfe as the boys finished 12th overall in sections with a time of 3:23.46. Their time was good enough to be second all time in school history only behind the record set in 2013. The foursome also competed in the 200 freestyle and earned eighth overall in sections with a time of 1:31.21. Like they did in the 400, the boys placed second all time in school history as well.

In solo action, Metcalfe turned in a personal best in the 100 freestyle with a time of 49.80, third all time in school history. Van Cleave and Dusty Vandenbosch also turned in personal best times in their individual events. Van Cleave finished with a 23.74 in the men’s 50 freestyle and Vandenbosch finished with a 1:01.70 in the men’s 100 butterfly.

“The boys did a great job. Team chemistry started to build and the team confidence was high. As a group everyone stepped up their intensity level in late April and it carried over into May,” said Van Cleave. “Proud of them all, it was a great season.”