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Sonora swimmers first, second

Sonora High School swam to a 1-2 finish — first in the girls' meet and second in the boys' meet — in the Valley Oak League Championships on Saturday at Sonora Pool.

Swimming in the rain most of the day, the girls added their second straight league-meet title to their two straight dual-meet championships, while the boys finished second in the VOL meet for the third straight year after winning the dual title.

The school that wins the dual-meet title is recognized as the official VOL champion for that season, so the league meet represents either icing on the cake or a chance for another team to feel like a champion for a day. That team in the boys' meet was Oakdale, which was second to Sonora in duals.

Junior Katie Baier starred for the Sonora girls, setting league-meet records in the 50- and 100-yard freestyles, swimming the first leg on the winning 200 freestyle relay team and anchoring the winning 400 free relay team.

She swam the 50 in 25.19 seconds and the 100 in a personal-best 55.19; combined with junior Melisa Hough, senior Alison Gourley and freshman Patty Allen to take the 200 relay in 1:48.03; and teamed with Hough, Gourley, and sophomore Lisa Watts to dominate the 400 relay in 3:55.88 — nearly 30 seconds faster than second-place Manteca.

Hough also won two individual events, taking the 200 free by more than 16 seconds in 2:03.23 and nipping Gourley by 76-hundreths of a second in the 500 free in 5:30.03. Hough reversed the order of finish from last year's VOL 500, in which she was nipped by Gourley.

Sonora also got a victory from Watts, who took the 100 backstroke in 1:07.57.

The Wildcats rolled up 115 team points, putting them a whopping 44 clear of second-place Sierra of Manteca, which had 71.

The Sonora boys had 61 points to 95 for Oakdale. The Wildcats won the day's final event, the 400 free relay, with junior Curtis Rappe and seniors Robert Dickerson, Josh Land and Riley Marmesh (3:39.95). The four beat Oakdale by nearly 23 seconds and made the all-league team.

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