By Justin Vigil-Zuniga
Signal Sports Writer
West Ranch split Wednesday’s varsity meet with the Hart Indians with a ton of underclassmen putting their names on the map.
Hart remains undefeated and dominated on the varsity girls’ side, winning 112-58. The Cats returned the favor with the varsity boys’ team winning 117-53.
Both teams had plenty of seniors and juniors stand out, but the sport’s future continues to brighten with the performances of the underclass.
The meet was a nail biter with Hart finishing first in every girls’ race and West Ranch doing the same in the boys’ races until the final race.
The Indian boys’ team won the 400-yard freestyle relay with swimmers Matthew Chan, John Lecrivain, Daniel Ludlow and Patrick Done. The team finished the day’s final event in 3:30.68.
Hart freshman Cailitin Brown and sophomore Lily Dormans were big stars of the day. Each won a pair of individual events and both helped the Indians win the girls’ 200- and 400-yard freestyle relay.
“The meet went better than planned,” said Hart head coach Chris Stroh. “I had planned for a closer meet but the girls stepped up in certain relays and races to give us the upper hand.”
Senior Colette Masino also helped Hart win both those relays while also winning the 100-yard butterfly in 57.69.
Dormans won the first individual event of the day, finishing the girls’ 200-yard freestyle in 1:53.17, a consideration time for the CIF state meet. She went on to later win the 500-yard freestyle in 5:08.37
Brown would win comfortably in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 24.79 before winning the 100-yard freestyle in 54.23.
Freshman Aly Yokoyama also made some noise, helping win a couple of relays. The freshman’s big day was highlighted after registering another CIF consideration time in her 57.43 finish in the 100-yard backstroke.
“Both Aly Yokoyama and Caitlin Brown have been either right on their best time or bettering it each time out,” said Stroh. “They are primed for some great swims at the league meet.”
On the boys’ side, seniors Jonathan Gim and Jason Hawkins led West Ranch to victory.
Both swimmers also won a pair of races while each added a victory in their respective relays.
“Jonathan Gim is our captain and his consistency in his races have been a key factor in our success,” said West Ranch head coach Kearston Livingstone. “Jason Hawkins is a serious competitor and yesterday he came to win.”
The Wildcats swept the top three spots in the 100-yard backstroke but Gim smoked everyone, finishing in 55.11.
Hart’s Chan had a handful of second-place finishes, including finishing just a hair behind Hawkins in the 100 freestyle. The senior has proven to be a major Swiss army knife, already having CIF times in six events.
West Ranch’s boys are still in contention for a league title but will most likely have to battle it out with Valencia to get to the throne.
“I want us to continue to grow as a team,” said Livingstone. “We have been really working on the team culture as a whole. Figuring out what kind of team we want to be in and out of the pool. I know the kids are going to continue to train hard and put in the work.”
Both teams will be off for spring break before returning to the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center in two weeks. West Ranch is scheduled to face off with Golden Valley Tuesday, April 12, while Hart is scheduled to race against Canyon Wednesday, April 13.