Seven teams hit the pool at Hemet High on Saturday
■ By Corey Evan / Reporter
The winter rains may have made a mess of things around the San Jacinto Valley, but for our local aquatic athletes it’s been a blessing; it’s helped to top off the pools! That’s a good thing because on Saturday, Mar. 23, Hemet High School hosted its third annual Hemet High Swim Invitational.
The pool perimeter was standing-room only as boys and girls teams from around Riverside County prepared to try and top the figures on their respective leaderboards. The home team, especially, were hoping to place on their totally prominent leaderboard on the southwest side of the gym facing the pool.
But regardless of individual ambitions, Hemet High Swim Coach Kevin Bouk says the purpose of the invitational is “to host a meet at Hemet High School that will create a competitive environment to encourage time drops from the swimmers. Swimmers swim their best times at big meets with a lot of teams.”
The draw for this event has fluctuated since its inception in 2017; eight teams hopped in the pool during their first year, five took part last year and seven this year. But Bouk remains hopeful for future growth: “I hope to add more teams next year and make it even better next year.”
But for this year, taking on the Bulldogs were the West Valley Mustangs, the Perris Panthers, the Corona Panthers, the Lakeside Lancers, the Shadow Hills Knights and the Yucaipa Thunderbirds. Here are the swimmers who made the highest waves in the pool this year:
Among the ladies:
• 200 Yard Medley Relay – Hemet: Rosalind Gong, Mya Jackson, Elisha Avila and Peggy Rose, 2:02.16
• 200 Yard Freestyle – Hemet: Peggy Rose, 2:08.49
• 200 Yard IM – Hemet: Rosalind Gong, 2:28.14
• 50 Yard Freestyle – Hemet: Mya Jackson, 24.27
• 100 Yard Butterfly – Hemet: Rosalind Gong, 1:07.13
• 100 Yard Freestyle – Hemet: Mya Jackson, 54.72
• 500 Yard Freestyle – Hemet: Peggy Rose, 5:38.84
• 200 Yard Freestyle Relay – Hemet: Rosalind Gong, Mya Jackson, Elisha Avila and Peggy Rose, 1:47.95
• 100 Yard Backstroke – Corona: Jaeden Johnson, 1:13.06
• 100 Yard Breaststroke – Corona: Cameron Rowan, 1:15.48
• 400 Yard Freestyle Relay – Corona: Cameron Rowan, Jaeden Johnson, Lindsey Habegger, Anahi Zarate, 4:15.70
Now here are the guys’ top performers:
200 Yard Medley Relay – Corona: Manzo Bradley, Elliot Sesma, Andrew D. Heaston, Andrew Burke, 1:50.33
• 200 Yard Freestyle – Corona: Manzo Bradley, 1:55.72
• 200 Yard IM – Corona: Andrew D. Heaston, 2:04.14
• 50 Yard Freestyle – West Valley: Elikai Crompton, 21.11
• 100 Yard Butterfly – Corona: Andrew D. Heaston, 55:01
• 100 Yard Freestyle – West Valley: Elikai Crompton, 48.60
• 500 Yard Freestyle – West Valley: Jonathan Sanchez, 5:42.14
• 200 Yard Freestyle Relay – Corona: Manzo Bradley, Elliot Sesma, Andrew D. Heaston, Andrew Burke, 1:36.07
• 100 Yard Backstroke – Corona: Manzo Bradley, 1:02.58
• 100 Yard Breaststroke – Hemet: Jared Cripe, 1:02.80
• 400 Yard Freestyle Relay – Hemet: Noah Avila, Conner Hickerson, Caleb Reed Brendon Harris, 3:50.22
Along the way, these seven teams collected points to determine overall team champs.
For the boys, home team placed third with Hemet taking in 268 points. West Valley was next with 338. But it would be the Panthers of Corona taking home the boys’ title with 516 points.
For the girls, third place was West Valley having scored 252 points. Corona scooped up second with 365 points. But the home team won this year, Hemet having scored 479 – not too bad!
Bouk says he thanks all the little people without whom this big splash couldn’t happen such as, “the parents, the swimmers, the high school and other high schools make it possible to run invitationals.”