Girls Swimming Wins League Title

Casey Miller, Editor in Chief

In Saturday’s DFAL [Diablo Foothill Athletic League] swimming championships, the girls’ team finished 1st while the boys’ squad landed 2nd place, 3.5 points behind Las Lomas. The meet was held at the Soda Aquatic Center.

Cougar highlights included the girls’ 200 yard medley relay, in which seniors Mary Ashby, Brooke Presten, Katie Ericksen, and junior Emily Ward held off Las Lomas by .24 seconds. Ashby said, “We were really excited about that because Miramonte and Las Lomas are our biggest competitors for the medley relay, and they have really good breaststrokers. They have a phenomenal medley set up, with really fast swimmers. For us, I went off backstroke, Katie dove in for breaststroke, Emily Ward for butterfly, and then Brooke Presten for free[style]. It was really close.”

Ashby added, “I haven’t swam the medley relay [in a meet] since sophomore year. I’m usually in the free relays, but they wanted me for backstroke because we lost two of our backstrokers last year; Alison Stevens and Hannah Grubbs, who graduated.”

With the win, the 200 medley squad earned a second seed for Saturday’s North Coast Section [NCS] championships.

While the boys came up short of a league title, they also advanced several swimmers to NCS.

Junior Cole Stevens earned a 1st place 1:42.24 finish in the men’s 200 yard freestyle, a whole second ahead of 2nd place Matthew Horner of Las Lomas.

According to Ashby, other standouts included Emily Ward in the 100 freestyle and Rachel Hendricks in the 200 IM, and double winner Leah Campbell. “Leah Campbell won both her 100 free and 200 free, she did a great job,” said Ashby.

Ashby gave special praise for freshman Emily Rasmussen. “She’s going so well right now, getting great times,” Ashby said.

Columbia University bound Ashby is now seeded in 1st place for the NCS meet for the 50 freestyle, and 9th  for the 100 free. In the DFAL meet, she fell just a tenth of a second behind Acalanes swimmer Brittany Usinger, but still broke the school by .59 seconds with a 54.82.

“[Brittany Usinger and I] usually don’t swim the same events. She’s usually a butterflier and IM’er, and she swam 200 IM and backstroke, which wasn’t expected. Going into it, I was kind of nervous,” Ashby said. “She ended up beating me, which was okay, because we’re really good friends. She beat my DFAL record that I set Friday. But I still beat the school record [on Saturday]. I was kind of sad about it at first, but I dropped half a second off my time.”

Usinger will be attending Harvard University next year, so the two swimmers will be Ivy League rivals as well.

To be seeded into the NCS meet, a swimmer must have top 40 time in NCS. For the complete list of swimmers seeded for the NCS championships, see the list.