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Warriors win girls swim league title

McMahon, Dowden win individual championships

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

Fallbrook High School’s girls swim team won the Valley League championship with freshman Maile McMahon and sophomore Ava Dowden capturing individual league championships.

Regular-season standings comprised half of the league championship formula with the league championship meet results April 27-29 at the Fallbrook High School pool accounting for the other half. Fallbrook had a 5-0 record in Valley League dual meets and also had the top score at the league meet. Individual league championships are based solely on performances at the league meet.

“It was exciting,” said Fallbrook coach Sean Redmond.

“We just throughout the season had the girls get up and race,” Redmond said. “It was a total team effort throughout the whole season.”

During dual meets, each school in allowed to enter up to three swimmers or divers in each individual event, and position points are given for the top five times or diving scores. For the league meet, each school was allowed four swimmers or divers for each individual event.

The swim preliminaries were held April 27. The swimmers with the top six times in each individual race advanced to the April 29 championship finals while those with the six next fastest times competed in the April 29 consolation finals (there were no preliminaries for the relay races). The diving took place April 28. Points were given for 12 positions in each individual event including the diving.

“Everybody who swam in the meet scored, so that was exciting,” Redmond said.

Fallbrook scored 348 points during the league meet. Mission Hills and Ramona each had 236 points; Mission Hills had a better league dual meet record than Ramona due to the Grizzlies’ March 22 victory over the Bulldogs so Mission Hills was second in the final standings. Escondido accumulated 151 points for fourth place; Valley Center had the fifth-place score of 134 points, and Escondido Charter obtained 93 points.

Five judges scored each dive. The highest score and the lowest score were discarded, and the three middle scores were added together and then multiplied by the dive's degree of difficulty to determine the score for each dive. Fallbrook took both first-place and second-place points in that event; McMahon totaled 211.25 points and junior Payton Wilson scored 191.55 points.

“They were just consistent all the way through for the day and did some really nice stuff,” Redmond said.

Ramona junior Devyn Fulghum had the third-place score of 151.40 points. Fallbrook sophomore Ava Papoulias obtained 150.05 points for fourth place. Fallbrook’s other diver, freshman Olivia Searle, scored 140.30 points and took seventh.

Dowden won the 100-yard breaststroke; her time was 1:10.03. Escondido junior Riley Baldwin had the second-place time of 1:10.26. “A very exciting race,” Redmond said.

Kela Kendall gave the Warriors fourth-place points when the sophomore finished the championship final in 1:17.18. Olivia Schiller swam in the consolation final, and the freshman had a 1:25.77 performance for ninth place.

After 150 yards of the 200-yard freestyle relay race, Fallbrook held the lead and Ramona was in second, but Ramona freshman Katie Dusseault overtook Fallbrook sophomore Marissa Pearce to give the Bulldogs the win in that event. Ramona’s time was 1:48.85 while Papoulias, Kendall, senior Grace Goode, and Pearce finished in 1:49.38.

Mission Hills won the 400-yard freestyle relay in 3:52.06. The Fallbrook team of Goode, junior Stephanie Hanlon, Papoulias, and Dowden earned second place with a time of 3:59.50. Ramona’s time of 3:59.52 placed the Bulldogs third. “Ava was able to hold off Katie Dusseault,” Redmond said.

Dusseault broke a 14-year-old school record in winning the 50-yard freestyle at the league meet, but Dowden was third at 25.40 seconds; Goode had the fourth-place time of 27.37 seconds; Pearce finished in 27.43 seconds for fifth, and junior Elle Connelly took 11th place at 30.63 seconds.

The Papoulias sisters made the 100-yard freestyle, that Dusseault also won, a Fallbrook family activity. Ava Papoulias was fourth with a time of 58.77 seconds; Goode finished in 1:00.89 for fifth place, and junior Maya Papoulias took sixth place by finishing in 1:01.30.

Fallbrook took third through sixth in the 100-yard backstroke. The time for junior Alexis Fieri was 1:13.85; junior Samantha Hanlon took 1:16.59; Maya Papoulias had a 1:17.63 performance, and sophomore Tatum Brown touched the final wall 1:18.57 after the start of the race.

“That was exciting,” Redmond said of having four swimmers in the championship race. “It was a pleasant surprise to see that we had all four in the top six.”

Their performance in the championship race was also pleasant for Redmond. “They all went faster in finals (than in the preliminaries), so that was fun to watch and see how they raced that,” he said.

Kendall was third in the 200-yard individual medley at 2:31.77. Samantha Hanlon finished that race in 2:52.96 for fifth place. Searle won the consolation final in 3.01.68 to provide seventh-place points for the Warriors.

Pearce had the third-place 100-yard butterfly time of 1:13.57. The sixth-place finisher, junior Fiona Wells, completed the event in 1:34.05.

Fallbrook also took third in the 200-yard medley relay. Samantha Hanlon, Dowden, Stephanie Hanlon, and Pearce swam that race in 2:07.35.

Stephanie Hanlon finished fifth in the 500-yard freestyle and had a 6:05.84 performance. Schiller was ninth at 6:59.69; junior Katja Young had the 10th-place time of 7:11.40, and freshman Liesel Young became the 11th-place finisher 7:11.44 after the race began.

Stephanie Hanlon had the sixth-place time of 2:16.03 in the 200-yard freestyle. Brown was eighth at 2:20.06 and junior Arden Baur had a time of 2:20.23 for ninth place.

“It was exciting. It was fun,” Redmond said of the league meet. “I had a great time.”


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