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Warrior girls 9th at CIF swim meet, four school records set

Fallbrook High School’s girls swim team placed ninth among Division I schools at the CIF meet May 22 at Coronado High School while setting four school records.

“I’m happy. I thought they did a great job,” said Fallbrook coach Sean Redmond.

The Lady Warriors, who finished 12th at the 2008 CIF meet, placed 11th among Division I schools in 2009.

“One of our goals was to improve over last year and be in the top ten,” Redmond said. “We ended up with a few records being set in the process.”

The CIF meet preliminaries were held May 19 at Coronado High School. The swimmers or relay teams with the six fastest times in each event during the preliminaries advance to the championship race during the CIF finals while those with the seventh through twelfth times return for the consolation finals. Points are given for positions in the championship race and the consolation finals. Points are also given for positions in the diving meet, which this year was held May 21 at Mesa College.

For the second year in a row, a Fallbrook girl placed third in the CIF diving competition. Jamie Lusher ended her junior season with 226.25 points on six dives. Last year Lusher scored 191.95 points to place seventh at the CIF meet, when 2009 senior Nikki Kohls scored 206.15 points to place third.

Three other Warrior girls also dove at the CIF meet. Junior Holly Harris scored 182.35 points to place twelfth, senior Shawna McCollum accumulated 174.15 points for 16th place, and junior Alyssa Heimbigner was 17th after diving six times for 173.15 points.

Last year two of Fallbrook’s three relay teams reached the consolation finals while Sarah Bushnell was the only individual to earn swimming points for the Warrior girls after a time of 54.62 seconds in the consolation finals gave her ninth place. This year Bushnell swam in two championship races and set school records in both, and the sophomore also participated in the two relay races which produced school records.

Bushnell placed third in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 24.57 seconds. That broke the school record of 24.81 seconds which was originally set by Heather Hargis in 2003, matched by Hargis in 2004, and matched by Bushnell in 2009.

The preliminary races for the 50-yard freestyle saw sophomore Erin McCook place 18th with a time of 26.33 seconds and senior Alex Rodriguez post a time of 26.37 seconds to place 20th.

Bushnell finished fifth in the 100-yard freestyle race with a time of 53.15 seconds. Bushnell swam a 2009 race in 53.54 seconds to set a school record which stood until this year’s CIF meet.

McCook swam the 100-yard freestyle in 56.91 seconds during the preliminaries to earn 15th place while Rodriguez’s time of 58.15 seconds in her preliminary heat gave her 22nd place.

Junior Lisa Walker, McCook, Rodriguez, and Bushnell twice set school records during the 200-yard freestyle relay. A 1998 quartet had completed that race in 1:44.56, but in the 2010 CIF preliminaries the Warriors posted a time of 1:44.40 and in the finals Fallbrook’s time of 1:42.79 lowered the record. “These four girls all year were working on trying to break that record,” Redmond said. “From the first meet they realized they had a shot at it.”

The Warriors finished last in the championship race and received sixth place. “It was fast,” Redmond said of the championship race.

The Warriors’ time in the finals would have placed third in the preliminaries. “They were a little disappointed with sixth place, but they were excited with the fact that they blew away the record by almost two seconds,” Redmond said.

Although the record the Warriors broke was 12 years old, the new record might not last as long. “Alex was the only senior on there, so who knows what can happen next year,” Redmond said.

McCook, senior Emma Baldwin, Rodriguez, and Bushnell swam the 400-yard freestyle relay. Their time of 3:46.39 in the preliminaries placed them eighth and relegated them to the consolation race. Their time of 3:42.19 won the consolation race, giving them an official seventh-place finish, and also broke the 1999 school record of 3:43.78.

Fallbrook’s other relay team was the 200-yard medley relay squad of Walker, senior Cassandra Dowden, Baldwin, and junior Jackie Verdon. That quartet finished 13th after a preliminaries time of 2:02.41.

Baldwin swam the 200-yard and 500-yard freestyle races at the CIF preliminaries. She finished 14th in the 500-yard event with a time of 5:24.35 and was 16th in the 200-yard competition with a swim of 2:04.15.

Dowden was 16th in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:13.06 in the preliminaries and 17th in the 200-yard individual medley after swimming her preliminary race in 2:20.80.

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