Easy win, close call for swimmers

March 25, 2003 11:00 pm

LOS BANOS — Sonora High School's unbeaten swim teams defeated Los Banos yesterday, the girls 109-60 with ease and the boys 92-76 in a rather close call.

Both teams are 5-0 with two meets remaining. If the Wildcats beat Sierra of Manteca on April 8 and Buhach Colony of Atwater on April 11, the girls and boys will win Valley Oak League championships in the same season for the first time.

The girls won last year and the boys in 2000.

Sonora's girls posted five varsity Sac-Joaquin Section qualifying times while winning seven of 11 events on a rather low-key day. The qualifiers:

• Melisa Hough won the 200-yard individual medley in 2:27.96.

• Kristi Calbert took the 500 freestyle in 5:46.53.

• Patty Allen, Calbert, Lisa Watts and Katie Baier won the 200 free relay in 1:50.68.

• Corynne Guthrie captured the 100 backstroke in a personal-best 1:11.20.

• Alison Gourley, Calbert, Hough and Baier dominated the 400 free relay in 4:03.03.

The boys didn't take the lead until Josh Land won the seventh event, the 500 free (personal-best 5:32.15). His victory, in an even he almost never swims, helped the Wildcats move from a 47-47 tie to a 56-54 lead.

Land came right back to anchor a victory in the next event, the 200 free relay, and the Sonora was in control at 68-54. Robert Dickerson, Matt Yacovetti, T.J. Renna and Land — named swimmer of the meet by coach LaDeane Hansten — posted a varsity qualifying time (1:43.31).

The Wildcats were shorthanded with Jay Repetto, Aaron Barnett and Curtis Rappe out because of illness, and Hansten had swimmers in events they don't normally do because the meet was one Sonora figured to win easily.

"It nearly backfired," Hansten said. "They nearly beat us."