Vance league champion in 500 free
Village News Reporter
Half of the formula for the Valley League boys swim championship is based on standings for dual meets and the other half utilizes positions at the league championship meet. During the dual meet season, Fallbrook High School had a 5-2 record for third place with San Pasqual and Ramona being responsible for the Warriors’ losses.
Ramona won the league meet, but Fallbrook placed second and San Pasqual was fourth, so the Warriors were second in the final league standings. “I thought the boys swam very well,” Fallbrook coach Bill Richardson said.
Individual league championships are based solely on the results at the league finals. Fallbrook junior Carson Vance won the 500-yard freestyle final to obtain the 2023 league championship in that event.
The league meet was held at Fallbrook High School. The swim preliminaries which determined who advanced to the A, B and C finals took place Wednesday, April 26. The diving was contested April 28 and the swim finals were held Saturday, April 29. Fallbrook outscored San Pasqual to secure second place overall.
“I had no idea how it was going to go, but the boys swam really well and we were able to beat them by quite a bit,” Richardson said.
Ramona’s boys accumulated 538 points while Fallbrook’s second-place total was 490 points. The Bulldogs won all seven league dual meets and thus won the league championship outright.
“We were just short a little bit catching up to Ramona,” said Richardson.
Mission Hills was third in the league meet with 390 points. San Pasqual accumulated 335 points for fourth. The 2023 Valley League also included Pacific Ridge, Escondido, Valley Center and Escondido Charter.
In the 2022 league meet, Fallbrook won six of the nine individual events, including Vance taking first in the 500-yard freestyle and both freestyle relay races. Last year’s seniors accounted for Fallbrook’s other five individual event wins and three of the four Warriors in the two relay races were seniors. Fallbrook had eight seniors on the 2022 squad.
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 obtain the score for each dive.
Fallbrook’s only diver, sophomore Felix Alcorn, placed third with 182.05 points on six dives. Last year, Alcorn was fourth at the league meet and had a score of 166.90 points. “Felix stepped up,” said Richardson.
A swimmer is allowed to compete in up to four events at a meet and may compete in up to two individual events. A diver may also swim as long as he is not in more than two individual events or four total events. Alcorn also made the A final in the 100-yard butterfly.
“A great athlete,” Richardson said.
The first swim event in a high school meet is the 200-yard medley relay. In the preliminaries, senior Ian Ritchie swam the backstroke; sophomore Alex Gabos contested in the breaststroke; Vance had the butterfly leg, and junior Sam Goode anchored with the freestyle. Their time of 1 minute 51 seconds 28 hundredths placed third. They also had the third-place time in the finals, completing the race in 1:46.61.
“We did stack that relay with putting our best four swimmers in,” Richardson said. “We went for it this year. We spread the fast swimmers around a little bit in the three relays with six different guys rather than concentrating four in two relays,” Richardson said.
Mission Hills senior Quinton Gutierrez won the individual 200-yard freestyle race in 1:48.97 and also had the fastest preliminaries time at 1:51.33. Vance was second both days, swimming his preliminaries heat in 1:53.99 and the A final in 1:50.20.
“Just a little bit off in the 200,” Richardson said of Vance.
Goode had the sixth-fastest preliminaries time of 1:58.08 and was also sixth in the finals with a 1:58.86 performance. Each school was allowed four swimmers or divers for each individual event at the league meet, and Fallbrook’s other two 200-yard freestyle swimmers both qualified for the B final.
The two eighth-place times of sophomore Milo Pollard were 2:02.68 in the preliminaries and 2:03.11 in the final. A time of 2:11.81 gave senior Logan Enns 10th in the preliminaries, and although he reduced his time to 2:11.20 in the final that was only worth 11th place.
“It was one of our better events,” Richardson said. “All the boys who swam in that event did really well and scored high points for us.”
In the 200-yard individual medley preliminaries, senior Francisco Paredes placed fourth at 2:13.35, but a disqualification cost him a position in the A final. Fallbrook’s other three 200-yard individual medley swimmers are freshmen. Chase Bender was 11th both days and had times of 2:50.17 in the preliminaries and 2:51.79 in the B final. Samuel Stokes swam the preliminaries in 2:52.75 for 13th place, but when Mission Hills sophomore Braden Carlson scratched out of the B final Stokes moved up to that race and took 12th place with a time of 2:55.45. Cristian Santana had the 14th-place preliminaries time of 3:01.69, and his C final time of 2:57.75 won that race and gave him 13th overall.
“We had an unfortunate DQ,” Richardson said. “Francisco did a good job in the IM this year.”
Seniors took the top four positions in the 50-yard freestyle in both the preliminaries and the finals. Ritchie gave Fallbrook third-place points for his time of 22.79 seconds. “Ian had a great swim,” Richardson said.
“It’s always kind of a spontaneous event,” Richardson said of the 50-yard race. “If one little thing goes wrong there’s not that much time to make up for a bad start or a bad turn.”
Fallbrook seniors Brayden Bender and Jonathan Nelson were seventh and eighth both in the preliminaries and in the finals. After swimming the preliminaries in 24.11 seconds, Bender won the B final in 23.94 seconds. The A final competitors automatically have the top six positions regardless of whether a consolation time was faster, and the B final race positions automatically determine seventh through 12th place even if a swimmer in the C final race has a faster time.
Bender actually had the sixth-fastest time in the finals. Nelson had the seventh-fastest finals time of 24.03 seconds.
Paredes had a time of 59.90 seconds in the 100-yard butterfly preliminaries to place fourth, and Alcorn had the sixth-place preliminaries time of 1:02.67. Paredes finished fifth in the A final with a time of 59.36 seconds, and Alcorn had the true sixth-place time of 1:02.45.
“The boys did well,” Richardson said.
The preliminary time for freshman James Stine was 1:11.14 which placed ninth. Stine completed the B final in 1:13.89 to give the Warriors 11th-place points. A preliminary time of 1:29.19 gave freshman Jake O’Callaghan 13th place, and he finished the C final in 1:31.10 to place 14th.
Five of the six swimmers in the 100-yard freestyle A final represented Fallbrook or Ramona. In the championship race, Ritchie was second at 50.09 seconds, Bender was fifth at 52.51 seconds, and Gabos had a swim of 53.01 seconds to give Fallbrook sixth-place points. Fallbrook also took eighth place; Nelson’s preliminaries time of 54.09 seconds was the ninth-fastest but Nelson swam the B final in 54.22 seconds to gain a position.
“We typically do well in the sprint freestyle events,” Richardson said.
Vance had the fastest 500-yard freestyle preliminaries time at 5:07.03. Enns placed seventh with a time of 5:51.15; sophomore Augustine Paredes had a time of 6:11.74 which placed ninth, and sophomore Ethan Baur had the 14th-place preliminary time of 7:04.06.
One swimmer scratched out of the final, which gave Enns a lane in the A final. Vance won that race in 4:57.27. “Carson had a great swim,” Richardson said.
Enns placed sixth and had a time of 5:45.95. Paredes completed the B final in 5:59.78 for eighth place. Baur’s swim of 6:45.95 was faster than one B final time although as the C final winner he was given 13th place.
In the 200-yard freestyle relay preliminary race, Gabos, Ritchie, Nelson, and Bender obtained the third-place time of 1:35.85. In the finals, Fallbrook’s time of 1:36.12 was worth fourth place.
In both the preliminaries and the finals for the 100-yard backstroke Goode was sixth, Pollard placed 10th, and freshman Matthew Williams had the 18th-place time. Goode swam the preliminaries in 1:06.42 and the A final in 1:04.11. Pollard had times of 1:11.93 in the preliminaries and 1:10.73 in the B final. Williams completed his preliminaries laps in 1:26.53 and swam the C final in 1:28.59.
In the 100-yard breaststroke preliminaries, Gabos had the third-place time of 1:10.29. Fallbrook also took eighth through 10th in the preliminaries with junior Damien Votaw posting a time of 1:13.95, junior Kameron Lypps finishing in 1:18.16, and freshman Aiden Lucia touching the final wall 1:18.60 after the starter’s gun was fired.
In the A final, Gabos lowered his time to 1:08.23 for second place. “Alex Gabos dropped a bunch of time,” Richardson said. “He had an outstanding year.”
Votaw finished the B final in 1:14.57 for eighth, Lucia had the ninth-place time of 1:15.33, and Lypps was 10th at 1:15.99.
Richardson utilized Enns, Alcorn, Pollard, and Paredes in the 400-yard freestyle relay preliminary race. Their time of 3:48.63 placed fourth. Fallbrook’s lineup in the final consisted of Goode, Bender, Nelson, and Vance. Ramona had clinched first in the league meet prior to the 400-yard freestyle relay, in which a false start turned a 3:35.00 time into a disqualification. That time would have placed Ramona third. Mission Hills won the event in 3:25.26. Fallbrook was second with a time of 3:28.53. San Pasqual had the third-place time of 3:36.42.