REDDING, California, October 31. THE majority of California schools hold their swimming championship meets in April and May. The Northern section, which is based in the Redding/Chico area, is unique. The CIF Northern Section Masters meet–the best swimmers from the Division 1 and Division 2 meets which were held earlier in the week–came together Oct. 27 at Sierra College in Redding.
Gracie Hernandez finished out her high school career with two individual wins and aided her Paradise Valley Vikings teammates to two relay victories. Hernandez took charge of both the 200 yard (1:53.69) and 500 free (5:02.68). She also anchored Pleasant Valley's victorious free relay teams, along with freshman Kimberly Harbert, junior McKena Barker and sophomore Keely Johnson (200 free, 1:40.11; 400 free, 3:39.04). Johnson was also a double-event champion, posting times of 59.90 in the 100 back and 2:13.32 in the 200 IM.
Chico High School topped the field in the 200 medley relay (1:54.41) with the quartet of seniors Kassie Graham and Maddi Johnson, plus juniors Cydni Aird and Paige Treff. Johnson's 59.29 gave her an individual title in the 100 fly.
On the other end of the spectrum from Hernandez, Foothill freshman Jamie Pincin swept the sprint freestyle events with her 24.14 in the 50 free and 52.18 in the 100 free. University Prep's Areilla Aung claimed first in the 100 breast (1:08.05).
Winters senior Holden Philbrook and Paradise junior Andrew Hasek were double individual event winners. Philbrook's 22.40 in the 50 free and 49.08 in the 100 free earned him first place in both events; Hasek easily took care of the 100 breast (1:01.60) and the 200 I M (2:01.40).
Philbrook's teammate, junior Colten Montgomery, put together a 52.41 for his 100 fly victory. He came within 4-hundredths of a second victory in the 100 back, falling just short to Pleasant Valley junior Ben Sanders (55.99 to 56.03). Other individual winners included Joseph Hicks, a sophomore at American Christian Academy (200 free, 1:49.20); and Noah Burrell, a junior at Foothill (500 free, 4:59.43).
In relay competition, Pleasant Valley's team of Sanders, junior Jonny Borg, sophomore Noah Gosselin and senior Ryan McGuire combined for a 1:45.77 victory in the 200 medley relay. Winters' Philbrook and Montgomery were joined by senior Justin Nitzkowski and junior Matt Wallace for the 400 free relay win (3:25.17).
American Christian Academy put together a squad of junior Austin Avery plus sophomores Hicks, Benjamin Rasmussen and Daniel Roberts to out-touch Pleasant Valley's team of junior Trevor Fischer, McGuire, junior Sean Thomas and Borg for the 200 free relay victory (1:33.97-1:34.03).