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Sonora boys, girls sweep Manteca

Sonora Wildcat senior Bennett Personius powers past the competiton on his way to a first place finish in the 200 IM on Wednesday against the Manteca Buffaloes at the Sonora pool. Personius also helped the 200 medley and 400 free relay team earn wins. Amy Alonzo Rozak / Union Democrat
The Sonora boys’ 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay team came into the Wildcats’ swimming home opener with a goal.

That goal, other than leaving Valley Oak League foe Manteca in its wake, was to record times that would qualify it for a pair of events in the section trials, the prestigious end of season event which is held in May.

The relay team of seniors Bennett Personius and Cody Hansten along with junior Matt Scanlin and freshman Seth Farwell achieved its goal and reserved its spot.

“It was really exciting that we set a goal before the meet and those guys went out and did it,” said Wildcat head coach John-Jay Verhuel. “I’m real proud of those guys.”

Those four relay swimmers also combined to win seven individual races to help lead the Wildcats to a 112-49 victory over the Buffaloes.

Hansten earned first place in both the 50 and 100 free, both with season-best times, 24.14 and 55.78, respectively; Scanlin claimed first in the 100 back (1:05.74) and 200 free (2:13.35); Farwell won the 100 fly (1:04.01) and 100 free and Personius dominated the 200 IM by 8 seconds over the second-place finisher, teammate Spencer Lyons.

“Cody, Matt, Bennett and Seth had really good meets,” said Verhuel. “Especially Farwell, pretty good for a frosh.

“But we also had Evan Rusch drop six seconds from last week to win the 100 breast, Ian Burkhard had the best time in the 50 free, Kyle Proctor set a personal best by two seconds in the 200 free and Jessey Ahrenholtz had a real good swim in the 100 fly.”

The Wildcat girls also enjoyed burying the Buffaloes in their wake, winning 114-62.

Senior Wildcat Katharine Hohne helped lead Sonora over Manteca by earning two individual victories and swimming a leg on the winning 200 medley relay team. 

Hohne won the 100 fly (1:06.93) and 200 free (2:13.97).

“She’s great in relays,” said Verhuel. “Actually, whatever race we put her into, she wins. She’s so solid.”

Hohne’s relay team members, Kiana Arnold, Siena Hapig-Ward and Shelby Chung each contributed heavily to the Cats’ point total.

Arnold won a fast-paced  50 free race (29.02), ahead of teammates Kennedy Cooper and Shelby Chung and Hapig-Ward came in second in both the 200 IM and 100 free.

Wildcat sophomore Katie Ferris claimed two victories, the 200 IM and 100 free (1:05.81) and junior Makena Forster won the 500 free (6:42.61) for the second time this season in three meets.

“Overall, we did really well,” said Verhuel. “We’ve got a great group of seniors that kind of lead the way, but all the girls did great and are working hard. Their hard work is beginning to show. It’s a great group of girls with positive attitudes.”

The Wildcats next meet will be at Kimball on Friday, Mar. 22.

“It’s nice that we’ve got a full week of practice ahead of us,” said Verhuel. “We’re gonna keep working hard and have a good week.”

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