In between the deluge of downpours on Wednesday, Saugus swim hosted Valencia in a Foothill League dual meet at the Santa Clarita Aquatics Center.
Valencia set the tone early in the 200-yard medley relay, having both boys and girls’ A and B varsity teams finish ahead of any Saugus team. Losing just six varsity races on the day, Valencia swept the dual meet as the girls team won 145-76 and the boys 150-84.
Vikings girls swimmers: Izabella Adame, Julia Unas, Emma Hirt and Allison Cho clocked in a time of 1-minutes and 52.64 seconds while boys swimmers Woo Young Yi, Joshua Lee, Jacob Aina and Dylan Parente finished in 1:41.01 seconds in the 200-yard medley relay.
“As bad as the weather was today our kids did well, we did over 85 percent of our best times,” said Valencia head coach Kathy Rosenast. “Kids did new events that they have never done before and I think they did a really great job. I’m really proud of them.”
Saugus answered by winning the next varsity girls race, as Viviana Raker set a blistering pace in the 200-yard freestyle race winning by almost nine seconds with a time of 1:58.79.
Later on in the meet Raker picked up where she left off, taking home top honors in the 500-yard freestyle recording a time of 5:30.58.
Riley Botton completed the Saugus girls winners, coming away victorious in the 50-yard freestyle (2:11.11) and the 100-yard freestyle (53.67).
“It’s those two girls’ key events, so swimming them against Valencia we were hoping to pull some best times for CIF,” said Saugus co-head coach Krista Botton. “They both looked great, we’ll just have to continue to build on where they are at.”
Valencia sophomores Adame and Unas also took home two individual first-place finishes each. The former won the 100-yard butterfly (57.02) and the 100-yard backstroke (59.56) and the latter, the 200-yard individual medley (2:11.11) and the 100-yard breaststroke (1:08.22).
On top of winning the 200-yard medley relay, Unas and Adame were part of another first-place relay team. Unas along with Cameron Snowden, Sabrina Parents and Emma Hiett clocked a time off 1:45.06 while Adame, Allison Cho, Jin Young Yi and Snowden finished in 3:46.74 seconds.
The Vikings boys team also swept their relays with Jacob Gibbs, Michael Soares, Joshua Lee and Dylan Parente finishing in 1:32.06 seconds to win the 200-yard freestyle relay and the 400-yard freestyle relay team consisting of Jacob Aina, Soares, Ayden Reading and Gibbs out-touching Saugus’ A team by .03 seconds in 3:26.95.
“The best thing about teams like Valencia, I mean their cup runneth over,” said Saugus co-head coach Jim Klipfel. “They are stacked, packed and we warned our kids. What you saw in the last relay was the best part of the meet that kids stepped it up when they have a good race. A lot of our best times were attributed to chasing some of the Vikings.”
Justin Morsch anchored the second-place Saugus 400-yard freestyle relay team, almost capturing his third first-place finish after winning both the 100-yard butterfly (53.25) and 100-yard backstroke by .20 seconds, coming back to beat Valencia’s Joshua Lee in the final 50-yards with a time of 55.18.
“I’ve known Josh for a long time so we have that fun rivalry that a lot of the schools have here,” Morsch said. “A lot of high school swimmers know each other really well and so just the fact that he’s one of my best friends, I just went for it.”
But Lee didn’t walk away empty handed. On top of being a part the first-place boys 200-yard medley relay team and 200-yard freestyle relay team, he placed first in the 200-yard individual medley in 2:00.63.
Valencia’s Yi won the first varsity boys individual event the 200-yard individual medley (1:47.61) and later followed it up with a first-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle (4:53.99).
Dylan Parente was the big Valencia boys winner, capturing four events on the day, two relays and two individuals.
Parente was part of the first-place 200-yard medley relay team and the 200-yard freestyle relay team and won both the 50 and 100-yard freestyle races with times of 21.94 and 48.15.
Winning the final individual race of the day, Valencia’s Joseph Park shared a 1-2 finish with brother Andy finishing three seconds sooner in 1:01.13 seconds.
“Andy Park is a freshman that ended up coming in because someone got sick today and he did a great job, which really helped is own our depth,” Rosenast said. “I think that’s what our big deal is, we have a couple of big guns across the way, but it’s those 2-3-4 or 3-4-5 kids that are just coming up dynamite.”
Valencia takes its first Foothill League meet of the year and improves to 3-0 overall and 1-0 in Foothill League.
Saugus has another meet on the slate on Friday, hosting Ventura at the SCAC.
“This Friday we have Ventura and ultimately we are training to get the most kids to hit their best times by the end of their season,” Klipfel said. “Get the four fastest kids to qualify to league finals and get as many kids to CIF. We are in Division 1 CIF and it has some of the fastest swimmers in the state and in the country. I’m proud of Valencia and I’m proud of what we did today, but I know we can do better.”