San Ramon Valley Edges Out Oak Ridge for CIF Boys State Championship Crown; Ethan Hu Misses Schooling National High School Record

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Photo Courtesy: Twitter, @CIFState

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The 2019 California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Swimming and Diving Championships took place on Saturday, May 11 at the Clovis Olympic Swim Complex in Fresno, Calif.

The boys of San Ramon Valley took home the state title with a total of 177 points, edging out runners-up Oak Ridge (174) by only three points. Loyola was third with a final score of 147.

Click HERE for full results.

Top 5 Team Scores:

1. San Ramon Valley – 177
2. Oak Ridge – 174
3. Loyola – 147
4. The Harker School – 139
5. Bellarmine College Prep – 134

Loyola’s Mark McCrary (22.48), James Lee (25.64), Connor Lee (21.05) and Emmett Pernecky (20.61) got the meet off to a hot start after combining in a final time of 1:29.78 to take down their own state record they set yesterday during prelims. Oak Ridge was just a fingertip behind them in 1:29.80 for second while The Harker School wound up third in 1:30.40.

Bellarmine’s Max Saunders, who is headed to USC this fall, dropped nearly two seconds from his prelims swim to earn the state title in the 200 free with a final time of 1:35.08. He held off a charging Colby Mefford of Oak Ridge who took second in 1:35.57 while Clovis North’s Ben Forbes finished third in 1:36.19.

The Harker School’s Ethan Hu was the only swimmer in the field to crack the 1:46 mark in the 200 IM, doing so in 1:45.44. His time broke Saratoga’s Xiangfei Xie’s state meet record of 1:45.81 set in 2015. Oak Ridge’s Ben Dillard (1:46.14) and Granada’s Paige daCosta (1:47.57) finished second and third, respectively.

Not too long after helping his medley relay team win gold, Lee was back in the water to win an individual state title in the 50 free. The soon-to-be Yale Bulldog splashed-and-dashed his way to the wall in 20.11 ahead of Torrey Pines’ Stephan Lukashev (20.29) and La Canada’s Danny Syrkin (20.32).

Liberty’s David Dove won the Paralympic 50 free, sprinting to the wall in 24.61 to crush his own state meet record of 25.10 set at last season. Also under the old mark was Heritage’s Jaloni Lefort who finished second in 24.76 while San Dieguito’s Noah Jaffe took third in 25.02.

Villa Park’s Andrew Harness dominated the 1-meter diving board, finishing with a final score of 640.85. After his final dive earned all perfect 10s, his points total broke the CIF state meet record. Alhambra’s Joshua Thai dove to second with 543.55 points and Cupertino’s Raphael Tourette took third with a total score of 519.95.

Hu flew to the top of the podium in the 100 fly to claim his second individual win of the night, getting his hands to the wall in 45.72. His prelims time of 46.74 broke the state meet record, and his time during finals lowered it yet again. Silver went to Syrkin in 46.63 and Lee grabbed bronze in 47.07.

Bella Vista’s Finn O’Haimhirgin, who is committed to Utah, dropped nearly a second from his prelims swim to race to first in the 100 free with a time of 43.71. He out-touched 200 free champion Saunders by only three-hundredths; Saunders secured the runner-up position in 43.74 while Crespi’s Zac Van Zandt sprinted to third in 44.45.

After taking third in the 50 free, Jaffe was back in the water to win the Paralympic 100 free title with a final time of 54.00 to crush Dove’s CIF state mark of 56.64 set last year. Dove was also under his old record in 54.32 for second place while his teammate, Ethan Coats, finished third in 57.10.

Not too long after finishing second in the 200 free, Mefford found himself in the top spot with the 500 free title after winning by three seconds. Mefford, who has verbally committed to Cal, stopped the clock in 4:21.56. Christopher Mykkanen of Foothill raced to second in 4:24.46 and Dominic Margarino Notre Dame finished third in 4:24.82.

San Ramon Valley’s Matthew Muaddi (20.62), Jack Wilkerson (20.46), Gavin Wight (20.43) and Harry Flanders (20.62) combined to win the 4×50 free relay in state-record setting fashion, taking down Bellarmine’s 2018 state mark of 1:22.34 with a 1:22.13. Also under the old record was Clovis North, who wound up second in 1:22.31 while Bellarmine finished third in 1:22.51.

Outside smoke: San Ramon Valley’s Allen Dempster, who was seeded eighth in finals, took the top spot in a very close 100 back race. He powered home to a win in the 100 back with a final time of 48.44, edging out runner-up Kevin Childs of Canyon (48.61) and third-place finisher Andy Huang of Saint Francis (48.71).

Dillard, who will suit up for the Trojans at the start of the 2020-21 season, successfully defended his 100 breast state title. After breaking the meet record during prelims with a time of 53.16, he lowered that mark even more during finals with a speedy 52.74. Monte Vista’s Jacob Soderlund (54.24) was second and The Harker School’s Jason Kwok (54.31) was third.

The meet concluded with a bang as Oak Ridge’s Mefford (44.61), Evan McCormick (45.06), Kyle Garcia (46.30) and Dillard (43.80) won the 4×100 free relay in 2:59.77, breaking Northgate’s 2015 state record of 3:00.58. Second went to Loyola in 3:00.34 while Bellarmine took third in 3:01.81.

9 comments

  1. avatar
    HarkerSwimMom

    The Harker School came 4th overall with just 4 swimmers! Awesome!

  2. Nancy Rose

    Way to go wolves! From an alum!

  3. Keren Edwards

    Ethan will get the record next year for sure! Go Harker Eagles!

  4. Keren Edwards

    Ethan will get the record next year for sure! Go Harker Eagles 🦅!

  5. Tracy G Lu

    Congratulations San Ramon…especially Jack Wilkerson..we are so proud of you!