Against the best competition in the Bay Area, the boys team finished ninth and the girls team seventh Saturday at Concord Community Pool. “We’re excited,” said Heritage head coach Craig Carson. “We reached our goals. Both teams worked really hard.”
A week after the boys team won its fourth consecutive Bay Valley Athletic League championship, and the girls its third, the Patriots stood out again among BVAL teams.
Out of 15 individual BVAL competitors to make the finals, eight came from Heritage. The Patriots also sent four relay teams to the finals.
Haley Rose Love led the Patriots, contributing the school’s two best finishes of the day: second in the 50 freestyle and third in the 100 freestyle.
Madison Applegate, considered one of the best swimmers in the area, finished fifth in the 100 butterfly but struggled to a 13th-place finish in the 100 freestyle. The events were scheduled back to back. “That was really tough for her,” Carson said. “I think she had that on her mind when she swam the 100 butterfly.”
The duo of Love and Applegate also set the tone for the 200-yard medley relay, pooling their resources with teammates Rachel Allison and Erica Knudsen to finish seventh.
The Patriots 200-yard freestyle relay team of Love, Applegate, Knudsen and Emilee Troy finished ninth.
Heritage’s Ryan Barsanti carried the boys team much like Love and Applegate did the girls. He finished fifth in the 200 freestyle and followed it up by setting a school record of 4:38.82 to take sixth in the 500 freestyle.
Walker Thaning, the only other boy from Heritage to make it to the finals in an individual swimming event, finished 14th in the 100 backstroke.
Heritage’s 200-yard freestyle team of Barsanti, Benjamin Mock, Zayd Othman and Thaning, finished seventh. Later, Barsanti, Mock, Othman and Carter Haines closed out the event with a seventh-place finish in the boys 400-yard freestyle relay.
Barsanti (1.40.10 in the 200 freestyle), Love (23.63 in the 50 freestyle and 51.35 in the 100 freestyle), Applegate (55.85 in the 100 butterfly) and the girls 200-yard medley relay team (1:48.35) all qualified for All-American consideration.
“What stood out was all the work we put in this year,” Othman said. “A lot of people had good times. It all clicked together.”
Allison Strauss finished last in the girls one-meter diving final as the only girl from Heritage to reach that event. Travis Cook and Colin Wirth finished eighth and 15th, respectively, for the Heritage boys diving team. Deer Valley’s Brandon Nunley finished 25th out of 26 competitors in the 1-meter diving final as the only other boy from a BVAL team other than Heritage to reach the diving finals.
Deer Valley’s Stanley Wu (100 breaststroke) and Liberty’s JT Sarmento (200 freestyle) were the only other BVAL boys not from Heritage to reach the swimming finals. Both finished last in their events.
The Freedom girls’ four points earned them the 35th spot out of 37 teams. The Falcons Genevieve Paschale finished 13th and Sabrina Castor finished 17th out of 32 competitors in the 1-meter diving final. “The team grew by leaps and bounds this season,” said Freedom head coach John Edwards. “I’m very excited for the future of this program.”
Deer Valley’s Arianna Esquivel finished 18th and Isabella Navarro 25th in the girls 1-meter diving final.