Warriors eighth in 200-yard freestyle relay, Vance ninth in 500
Village News Reporter
Ian Ritchie closed out his Fallbrook High School swimming career May 6 at the CIF meet and placed eighth among Division I boys in the 100-yard freestyle race and tenth in the 50-yard freestyle.
The senior was also part of Fallbrook’s 200-yard freestyle relay team, which placed eighth. That quartet also included junior Carson Vance, who placed ninth in the 500-yard freestyle.
The CIF meet was held at Granite Hills High School. The Division I swim preliminaries took place May 4 (the Division II preliminaries occurred May 3), the diving championship May 5, and the swim finals May 6. The swimmers, including relay teams with the eight fastest preliminaries times in each event, qualified for the championship final and times placing ninth through 16th qualified for the consolation final. Position points were given for finishes in the swim finals and for the top 16 divers.
Fallbrook as a team placed 14th among the 24 Division I schools. “We had a number of boys qualify,” said Fallbrook coach Bill Richardson.
Qualifying times or diving scores during the season allow for competition at the CIF meet, although an individual can compete in no more than two individual events and no more than four total events. Two Fallbrook boys swam the 100-yard freestyle at the CIF meet, although senior Brayden Bender did not advance to the finals. Bender’s preliminaries time of 51.78 seconds placed 27th.
Ritchie swam his preliminaries heat in 49.04 seconds to place eighth. His championship final time of 49.14 seconds gave Fallbrook eighth-place points.
“Ian going top eight in the 100 free was a great accomplishment,” Richardson said.
In the preliminaries, Ritchie completed his 50-yard freestyle race in 22.34 seconds, which ranked 13th. The 10th place through 12th place times were 22.29 seconds, 22.30 seconds, and 22.33 seconds.
Ritchie lowered his time to 22.24 seconds for the final race to place second. The championship final swimmers automatically placed first through eighth regardless of whether a consolation time was faster. Ritchie’s time was the ninth-fastest overall, but he was given 10th place.
A school is not required to use the same four relay event swimmers in the preliminaries and the finals. When Fallbrook contested the 200-yard freestyle relay in the preliminaries, Richardson used Ritchie, junior Sam Goode, Bender, and Vance. They completed their laps in 1:31.41 for the seventh-fastest time. The preliminaries position extended Fallbrook’s presence in the 200-yard freestyle relay in the CIF championship final to 23 years in a row (not counting 2020, when the coronavirus outbreak canceled the rest of the season). Ritchie, sophomore Alex Gabos, Bender, and Vance placed eighth in the championship final and had a time of 1:33.23.
Vance completed his 500-yard freestyle preliminaries race in 4:54.08, which gave him 11th place and a lane in the consolation final. His final 50 yards took 27.53 seconds, and only top preliminaries finisher Kale Lozano had a faster time for the final two laps (Lozano, who was a Torrey Pines sophomore, needed 27.14 seconds for those 50 yards). Vance won the consolation final with a time of 4:49.63, which was worth ninth place and was the eighth-fastest time in the finals. The second-place swimmer in the consolation final, Eastlake freshman Eduardo Flores Hildago, had a time of 4:51.30.
“He had a huge time drop,” Richardson said of Vance.
A time of 1:49.27 gave Vance 12th place in the 200-yard freestyle preliminaries. He completed the consolation final in 1:47.48 to place 11th. Goode also swam the 200-yard freestyle preliminaries, but his time of 2:02.16 placed 32nd to give him experience in a CIF meet individual event rather than a lane in the finals.
Fallbrook’s 400-yard freestyle relay team was placed 14th, both in the preliminaries and in the finals. Vance, Gabos, Bender, and Ritchie had a preliminaries time of 3:26.74. Bender, Gabos, Goode, and senior Jonathan Nelson completed the consolation final in 3:26.14.
Seven judges scored each dive at the CIF meet. The two highest scores and two lowest scores were discarded, and the three middle scores were added together and then multiplied by the dive's degree of difficulty to provide the score for each dive. Each diver performed six dives during the meet. Fallbrook’s only diver, sophomore Felix Alcorn, had a score of 144.30 points to place 15th.
A diver may also swim if he does not exceed two individual or four total events. Alcorn, Bender, Gabos, and Goode comprised Fallbrook’s 200-yard medley relay team whose time of 1:53.05 placed 23rd in the preliminaries.
“There are some really good teams out there right now,” Richardson said. “I feel like overall we exceeded my expectations.”