OAKDALE A 1-2 finish in the final event, the 400-meter freestyle relay, gave Sonora High School an intense 91-79 boys' swimming victory over Oakdale yesterday in an early duel between perhaps the top two teams in the Valley Oak League.
In the other half of the meet, Sonora's defending-champion girls (2-0) won all 11 events while routing Oakdale 123-47.
Josh Land, James Pedro, Robert Dickerson, and Riley Marmesh won the relay in 4:06.86 to clinch the meet for Sonora (2-0), which went into the event with a slim 79-77 lead. The second Wildcat quartet of Curtis Rappe, Aaron Barnett, Jay Repetto, and Matt Yacovetti added an exclamation point by finishing second in 4:18.70 11 seconds ahead of Oakdale's No. 1 team.
Relay points are distributed on an 8-4-2 basis, meaning Sonora dusted the Mustangs 12-2 at crunch time. Oakdale could have won the meet with a victory and a third-place finish, or a 1-2, or could have tied with a first while Sonora took second and third.
However, the Mustangs had used up their best swimmers
each is allowed four events just to stay in contention through the first 10 events. Oakdale actually won seven races, but Sonora prevailed with superior depth a scenario not uncommon in swimming, which has lots of points available in individual events (6-4-3-2-1).
Through the first five events, Marmesh was Sonora's only win (2:13.00 in the 200 free). Still, Sonora trailed only 41-37. The Wildcats took the lead for good, 48-46, when Marmesh won the 100 free (58.72), while Dickerson took third (1:00.73) and Land came in fourth (1:01.74).
Pedro followed with a victory in the 500 free (6:12.54), and Barnett (6:31.27) and Zach Lemas (7:22.74, a personal best by 32 seconds) picked up valuable third- and fourth-place points to make the score 59-51 the biggest margin before the final relay.
Lemas was named boys' swimmer of the meet by Sonora coach LaDeane Hansten for his big 500, and also for taking fourth with a best in the 200 individual medley (3:10.90).