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Warrior mermen 13th at CIF swim meet

Vance, 200-yard freestyle relay team both seventh

Fallbrook High School’s boys swim team took 13th place among Division I schools at the CIF meet, May 1-4, at Granite Hills High School, while Fallbrook senior Carson Vance was seventh in the 500-yard freestyle race and Fallbrook’s 200-yard freestyle relay team also took seventh place.

“The boys did very, very well,” Fallbrook coach Bill Richardson said.

The team position was an improvement from the 14th-place result last year.

“It was kind of a surprise. We graduated quite a few kids last year,” Richardson said.

The 2023 Fallbrook team had five seniors including Ian Ritchie, who reached the championship final in the 100-yard freestyle. This year Vance, Sam Goode and Jamison Ewig were Fallbrook’s only senior boys. Ewig was a diver and did not qualify for the CIF meet.

The Division I swim preliminaries took place May 1; the Division II preliminaries occurred May 2. The diving championship was May 3, where Fallbrook had girls competing but no boys, and the swim finals were May 4. 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. Team position points were given for finishes in the swim finals and for the top 16 divers.

Last year Vance placed 11th in the 500-yard freestyle preliminaries before winning the consolation final to earn ninth place. This year he was seventh in both the preliminaries and the finals. His preliminaries time was 4 minutes, 51 seconds and 13 tenths, and he swam the championship final in 4:53.88.

“Carson had a great season,” Richardson said. “For him to move up and make the top eight was a good way for him to finish his career at Fallbrook High School.”

Vance, who will be on a mission with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Brazil after his Fallbrook High School graduation, didn’t finish his high school swim career with the 500-yard freestyle but rather with the 200-yard freestyle relay. In the preliminaries, junior Alex Reichart, Goode, junior Milo Pollard and Vance had the sixth-place time of 1:32.61. Their finals time of 1:32.51 was an improvement over their preliminaries swim but 0.18 seconds slower than the sixth-place time for Eastlake High School.

“We had a missed turn. We probably would have been a few places higher than that,” Richardson said.

Fallbrook’s 200-yard freestyle relay team placed eighth in the 2023 CIF meet. The Warriors have been in the championship final for that event every year since 1999 – not counting 2020, when the coronavirus outbreak canceled the rest of the season.

“I was pleased with the boys making the finals for the 24th year in a row,” Richardson said. “It puts a lot of pressure on them to make it next year.”

A swimmer is limited to two individual events and four total events at a meet. Vance also swam the 200-yard freestyle individual race at the CIF meet, posting the 11th-place preliminaries time of 1:48.08 and then placing 11th with a consolation finals time of 1:47.62.

“He had a great season, a great career, so it was nice for him to make finals in two events,” Richardson said.

Including relay races, Vance made the championship or consolation final in all four of his events this year. Vance, Reichart, junior Felix Alcorn and Goode comprised Fallbrook’s 200-yard medley relay team. Their preliminary time of 1:44.56 placed 11th, and their consolation final time of 1:45.51 was worth 12th place.

A school is not required to use the same four relay event swimmers in the preliminaries and the final. Alcorn, sophomore Samuel Stokes, sophomore James Stine and junior Milo Pollard swam their 400-yard freestyle relay preliminary race in 3:43.19, which was the 16th-best time. Stine was unavailable May 4 when Alcorn, Stokes, sophomore Aiden Lucia and Pollard were 16th in the finals with a time of 3:41.92.

“We’ve got a lot of younger swimmers,” Richardson said.

The 2024 CIF meet was the first for Stokes, Stine, Pollard and Lucia. It was also the first CIF meet for Reichart, who qualified for the 100-yard freestyle consolation final with a 12th-place preliminaries time of 49.65 seconds. Reichart swam the consolation final in 49.63 seconds for 11th place.

“He really puts in the work with the club team,” Richardson said. “He had a great season, and we look forward to how well he does next year.”

Reichart also swam the 100-yard breaststroke at the CIF preliminaries, but his time of 1:03.10 placed 18th and made him the second alternate for the consolation final. Pollard was in the 100-yard freestyle preliminaries and had the 31st-place time of 54.20 seconds.

Goode swam in the 50-yard freestyle consolation final. His preliminary time of 22.51 seconds was the 12th-fastest performance, and his consolation final time of 22.72 seconds gave him 15th place.

Last year Goode’s only individual event at the CIF meet was the 200-yard freestyle, and his preliminaries time placed 32nd. The 2023 graduation of Ritchie created the need for a sprinter, and Richardson tapped Goode for that transition.

“He just had a great year,” Richardson said.

Pollard swam the 50-yard freestyle preliminaries in 24.22 seconds for 29th place.

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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