Swimmers sweep Oakdale

March 12, 2003 12:00 am

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).