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Fallbrook girls 13th at CIF swim meet

Fallbrook High School’s girls placed 13th among Division I teams at the CIF swim meet May 1-4 at Granite Hills High School.

“I was very pleased with it,” Fallbrook coach Sean Redmond said.

The Division I swim preliminaries were held May 1; the Division II preliminaries took place May 2. The diving championship was May 3, and the swim finals were May 4. Those with the eight fastest preliminaries times in each swimming event qualified for the championship final and the next eight fastest times earned lanes in the consolation final. Team position points were given for finishes in the swim finals and for the top 16 divers.

Last year the Warriors were 21st among the 24 Division I girls teams and had only three individual swimmers along with three relay teams and one diver. Only two of those relay teams reached the finals and only one individual swimmer qualified for the finals.

This year Fallbrook had three divers with all garnering team position points. Seven judges gave scores for each dive at the CIF meet. The two highest scores and the two lowest scores were discarded, and the three middle scores were added together and multiplied by the dive’s degree of difficulty to determine the score for each dive.

Each of the divers performed six dives during the meet. Less than six points separated sixth and 10th place with Fallbrook sophomore Emylee Turner having the 10th-place score of 168.70 points. Fallbrook’s only diver with previous CIF meet experience, current junior Maile McMahon, placed 13th with 155.75 points. Despite not diving until this season sophomore Dalanie Stroney was 14th at the CIF meet with 155 points.

McMahon had the ninth-place score of 176.90 points as a freshman and placed 10th at last year’s meet with 169.40 points. Knee problems plagued McMahon during this year’s CIF meet.

“Everything had been fine and on that day it flared up,” Redmond said. “She just wasn’t able to get the push off.”

This year all three of Fallbrook’s girls relay teams reached the consolation final at the CIF meet.

“It was nice we got our relays all coming back for a second swim,” Redmond said.

Fallbrook’s 200-yard medley relay team of junior Liesel Young, senior Ava Dowden, senior Kela Kendall and senior Ava Papoulias had the ninth-place time of 1 minute, 48 seconds and 39 tenths in the preliminaries and swam the consolation final in 1:59.09 to place 11th. The 200-yard freestyle relay quartet of freshman Ava Bird, Kendall, sophomore Claire Lucia and freshman Ella Martinez placed 12th both days with times of 1:47.43 in the preliminaries and 1:47.47 in the consolation final. Bird, Martinez, Papoulias and Dowden were 11th in both 400-yard freestyle relay races; their preliminary heat took 3:50.03 and they completed the final in 3:47.79.

Other than McMahon in 2022, Bird and Martinez are the first Fallbrook freshman to compete at a CIF swim meet since Dowden swam all three relay events for Fallbrook in 2021. The Warriors made the consolation final in all three relay races that year. Redmond said the impact of two freshman participating in this year’s CIF meet.

“That bodes well for the future,” he said.

Martinez was eliminated in the preliminaries of the 200-yard freestyle and 500-yard freestyle events but became the first Fallbrook freshman to qualify for a swim event at the CIF meet since Jocelyn Jones in 2019.

“She’s already planning on making goals for next year,” Redmond said.

Papoulias was in the 200-yard freestyle consolation final. Her preliminaries time of 2:01.61 placed 10th and a 2:03.79 performance in the final was worth 12th place. Martinez swam her preliminary race in 2:07.44 for 25th place.

The 100-yard freestyle consolation final included both Papoulias and Dowden. In the preliminaries, Dowden was 11th at 55.52 seconds and Papoulias had the 14th-place time of 56.31 seconds. Papoulias swam the consolation final in 56.77 seconds for 13th place and Dowden was 16th with a time of 57.76 seconds.

Dowden swam her 100-yard breaststroke preliminary race in 1:10.75 for 11th place while Kendall had a breaststroke preliminaries time of 1:12.42 which placed 14th. In the consolation final Dowden’s time of 1:10.76 also gave her 11th place and Kendall once again took 14th with a 1:12.26 performance.

In 2022, Dowden was 12th in the 100-yard breaststroke and 13th in the 50-yard freestyle. Last year she was Fallbrook’s only individual girl in a swim final and was 16th in the breaststroke; she also swam the 200-yard individual medley at the CIF meet although her preliminaries time placed 23rd and did not advance her to the finals.

“She wanted to get a little bit higher, into the top eight, but it was a fast event this year,” Redmond said.

Papoulias was 28th in the 50-yard freestyle preliminaries in 2022 and placed 24th last year in both the 200-yard freestyle and the 100-yard freestyle, so this year was her first in an individual final. Kendall also qualified for an individual final for the first time; last year she placed 31st in the 100-yard butterfly. This year Kendall was the first alternate in the 100-yard butterfly with a 17th-place preliminary time of 1:03.25.

Lucia was not part of any Fallbrook relay team at the CIF meet last year, so this year’s CIF meet was her first. In addition to being on the 200-yard freestyle relay team she also competed in the 500-yard freestyle and placed 22nd with a time of 5:39.64.

“That was exciting,” Redmond said.

Martinez tied for 19th in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:38.25. Young also made her CIF meet debut with both a relay race and an individual event, placing 28th in the 100-yard backstroke after completing that race in 1:10.82.

“Overall for the team I thought they did extremely well,” Redmond said. “I’m looking forward to next year.”

Joe Naiman can be reached by email at [email protected].

Author Bio

Joe Naiman, Writer

Joe Naiman has been writing for the Village News since 2001


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