Modesto boys, girls rule pool at MMC Swimming Championships

jcortez@modbee.comMay 3, 2014 

Modesto High’s boys and girls swim teams each won titles on Saturday at the Modesto Metro Conference Swimming Championships at Downey High School.

But, then, what else is new?

The girls, who haven’t lost an MMC dual meet in seven years, won their seventh consecutive MMC meet. The boys, meanwhile, won their 11th MMC meet in the past 12 years, reclaiming the title after failing to win last season for the first time in a decade.

“It’s been a great run,” said Panthers coach Mike Chiavetta. “We have a strong team with a lot of good swimmers, and they all push each other.”

In the boys meet, Modesto totaled 393 points, just ahead of Downey (369) and Enochs (315).

“We don’t have super strong sprinters and we gave a few points away in the 100 and 50 free,” said Chiavetta

Downey’s Severin Elste came through with victories for the Knights in both those events. In the 50-yard freestyle, Elste finished in 22.47 seconds, while clocking in at 49.37 in the 100 free.

The Panthers made up for the slow start with a strong finish, taking firsts in the final three events of the day – the 100 backstroke, the 100 breaststroke and 400 freestyle relay.

Jacob Alvarez (56.70) won the 100 back, Chad Nunes took the 100 breast (1:04.19) and the quartet of Alvarez, Nunes, Sam Lee and Trevor Wong combined to finish in 3:29.23 in the relay.

Nunes, also was first in the 200 individual medley (2:06.23). He and Elste were the lone double winners on the boys side.

There were just two double winners in the girls meet, as well. Gregori’s Katelin Britton, who has signed to attend Fresno State in the fall, was victorious in the 200 (1:58.87) and 100 (54.84) freestyle events. Wickman won the 50 free (25.81) and 100 butterfly (1:01.74), in addition to swimming on the winning 200 medley relay (2:07.06) with Allie Shank, Samantha Rojas, Janette Sanchez.

Modesto High’s girls ran away with the team competition with 483 points. Enochs was second (378) and Beyer third (307).

The Panthers dominated thanks largely to their superior depth. In five of the eight individual events, MHS had four girls competing in the finals, meaning that four of the top eight swimmers in the conference in each event were from Modesto High.

Yunah Kim won the 200 IM (2:28.82) for the Panthers, while Emma Austin posted a 1:16.69 in winning the 100 breaststroke.

“It was a good day, really fun,” said Chiavetta. “I told the kids, ‘Yeah, we’ve had some success as a program but this team today has never won a championship. Let’s win a championship for this year’s team.’ ”

The Sac-Joaquin Section South Trials will begin Thursday at 1 p.m. at Johansen High School. The finals will be Friday at 1.”

Bee staff writer Joe Cortez can be reached at jcortez@modbee.com or (209) 578-2380. Follow him on Twitter @ModBeePreps.

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