If this is indeed the last hurrah for the fantastic four, they have already left an indelible mark on Half Moon Bay girls’ swimming history.
The fantastic four juniors — Grace Anderson, Mia Griffiths, Eve Kearns and Riley Rhodes — are in peril of not swimming together next season as seniors, with Anderson considering relocating to Keller, Texas.
Anderson’s parents have already moved to Keller, 30 miles northwest of Dallas. The junior standout is currently living with Rhodes. Anderson said she has yet to decide whether or not to finish her high school career on the Coastside or to relocate to Texas next year.
“I went out there for spring break to get a feel for it but I’m still not sure yet,” Anderson said. “I still want to finish out my current year and then figure it out. It’s super scary.”
Super scary is a feeling anyone who has swam against Anderson is quite familiar with. The junior turned in a stellar performance Saturday at the Peninsula Athletic League Ocean Division swimming championships at Oceana High School, winning three gold medals, and setting new meet records in each of the events.
“We were really excited because it was our last league meet (of the year),” Anderson said. “It was really just easy and we had the flow of it.”
The fantastic four opened the meet by claiming gold in the girls’ 200-yard medley. Their championship time of 1:53.79 was better than 14 seconds faster than Westmoor’s second-place time. Anderson, Griffiths, Kearns and Rhodes set the meet record two days previous at the tournament trials with a time of 1:52.05.
Then in her individual swims, Anderson continued to prove what a versatile force she is.
“She really is (versatile),” Half Moon Bay head coach Lauren Baeder said. “Freestyle, butterfly, breaststroke. … She’s a very well-rounded swimmer.”
Anderson won gold in the 50 free with a time of 24:00. She set a new meet record in the trials at 24.27 — breaking a 12-year-old mark of 24.72 set by South City’s Daphne Young in 2007 — then bettered it Saturday.
The junior closed the day with first-place in the 100 butterfly. In the trials, Anderson became the first person in meet history to swim the event in under one minute — breaking the record set by Sequoia’s Megan Beach of 1:00.52 in 2008 — with a time of 58.21. Saturday, Anderson obliterated her own record with a gold-medal swim of 56.73.
Anderson would have had a chance to go for a fourth gold medal as the fantastic four qualified to swim in the meet finale, the 400 free relay. The defending two-time champs in the event, however, were a scratch because they had to leave the meet early due to a scheduling conflict, as the Half Moon Bay prom was held Saturday night in Santa Cruz.
“It was sad because some of the girls didn’t get to swim their individuals,” Anderson said. “But it was just kind of a must.”
Terra Nova won the team title, utilizing its depth to score 353 points, topping Half Moon Bay’s second-place score of 192. With less than half of HMB’s roster of 38 girls’ swimmers attending the meet, it was unlikely they could have given Terra Nova a run for the team title. Terra Nova won the regular-season dual meet between the two rivals 93-76.
“We ended up taking second which I kind of expected,” Baeder said. “I’m not sure. We’ll never know if those would have made a difference. That’s just something we can’t know.”
Kearns also earned an individual title for Half Moon Bay, taking gold in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:14.21, finishing over 15 seconds better than the second-place time of 2:29.99 recorded by Oceana freshman Kaylee Cheng.
Griffiths also took gold, winning the 200 free in 2:00.83. But Griffiths and Rhodes each walked away from No. 1 seeds to attend prom.
In the 100 back, Rhodes recorded a 1:02.45 in the prelims, nearly four seconds faster than the eventual championship time of Terra Nova junior Remy Dizon, who finished in 1:06.43 to take gold.
In the 500 free, Terra Nova senior Allison Wong took gold with a time of 5:47.79. The No. 1-seed time Griffiths swam in the prelims was 5:23.15.
“The nice thing is they’re all improving and they’re all just getting better,” Baeder said. “You really can’t ask for more than that. I know they’re working hard and it’s paying off.”
The Central Coast Section championship will be held Friday and Saturday in Santa Clara, with all four Half Moon Bay swimmers qualified in each of their events.
EC boys make run at Nova
Terra Nova swept the team varsity championships with the boys scoring 279 points, outlasting second-place El Camino with 253.
El Camino threw down the gauntlet in the first event of the day, the boys’ 200 medley, taking gold with an all non-senior team — freshman Jeremy Tan, sophomore Jon Lam, sophomore Waylon Tang and junior Nathaniel Macapagal — winning a thriller in 1:41.71. Oceana took second in 1:41.84.
Macapagal won four gold medals on the day, and setting three meet records in his last three events.
The junior set the meet record during the prelims of the 50 free, then beat his own record in the finals with a championship time of 21.27. In the 100 free, he set a new meet record in the prelims of 46.98; he went on to win gold in 47.81. El Camino then won the 200 free relay as Macapagal, Tan, Lam and sophomore Tobias Krackow set a new meet record in 1:29.72.
Terra Nova finished strong, though, getting a key second-place finish in the 100 breast from Alex Amundsen. El Camino had no one qualify for the finals in the event. Then Terra Nova closed out the meet with a gold medal in the 400 free relay at juniors Berg Guibadoulline and Zach Zavodnik, and sophomores Patrick Harmon and Luka Goncharov finished in 3:37.24, over eight seconds faster than El Camino’s second-place time.
Other gold medals for Terra Nova: Guibadoulline in the boys’ 200 free in 1:52.41; Goncharov in the 100 fly in 53.05.
Other girls’ events
Terra Nova won the girls’ 200 free relay with Kaycie Lindland, Sara Olsen, Allison Wong and Maya Orsi in 1:48.31. The team also took gold in the 400 free relay in 4:02.88.
Olsen took individual gold in the 100 breast in 1:17.45.
In the 100 free, Westmoor junior Allison Irabon dominated the field to take first place in 54.85 seconds, finishing better than three seconds faster than Lindland’s second-place time of 58.03. The win marks the first PAL Ocean gold of Irabon’s varsity career.
Other boys’ events
Oceana senior Jacob Lumbang was a two-time winner. In the 100 breast, Lumbang set a new PAL Ocean meet record, taking gold with the only sub one-minute time in 59.33 seconds. The previous record of 59.56 was set by San Mateo’s Ronald Chen in 2011. In the 200 IM, he swam the only sub two-minute time to win the title in 1:59.92.
In the 500 free, Hillsdale junior Sean Isomatsu took gold with a time of 5:07.55.
In the 100 back, Tan won gold for El Camino with a time of 53.41.
In the girls’ varsity rankings, Terra Nova took first place with 353 points; followed by HMB with 192; Oceana 167; Westmoor 132; South City 80; Hillsdale 38; Capuchino 33; Jefferson 20; and El Camino 11.
In the boys’ varsity rankings, Terra Nova took first place with 279 points; followed by El Camino with 253; Oceana 228; Hillsdale 145; Westmoor 129; Capuchino 98; Half Moon Bay 24; and South City 10.