The Sonora High School boys and girls swimming teams continued their streaks as champions of the Mother Lode League and beat a handful of school records in the process.
The boys have won the league four years in a row and the girls, three years in a row, said coach Josh Martin.
“Everyone that qualified for sections trained for the section meet and went on, and for everyone else, their seasons ended as champions,” Martin said.
Following the league meet championships (which Sonor also won), a total of 18 students participated at the section meet at Tokay High School in Lodi on May 2 through May 4.
Sonora sent the most students — 11 boys and seven girls — to the sections out of any other team in their league, Martin said.
“Bringing 18 different kids to sections is always fun,” Martin said. “We had an interesting season due to weather and lots of mixed practices, but the kids never wavered, they persevered through everything.”
Sophomore Megan Slater took fourth place in the 100 meter butterfly stroke with a time of 59.87 seconds and fourth place in the backstroke with a time of 100.45 seconds. Slater participated at the freshman and sophomore level, but both her scores were new school records, Martin said.
Brielle Estwin, a junior, participated in the varsity 100 meter breaststroke and placed 20th overall on the trials of the section meet. Her time, 109.28 seconds, also broke a school record.
“In swimming everything is by time. At the end of the day, you are always really reaching yourself, but to put your times against the greatest swimmers that have come through our program, it's a testament to how hard these ladies work at their craft,” Martin said.
No Sonora swimmer moved onto the next round with a first place overall in a varsity event.
Martin also noted senior Alan Wells, swam in the 500 meter free stroke with a time of 5:05.39 minutes, third place all time in Sonora High history.
In the next year, Martin said the team will have a strong number of seniors with great potential to take the title again.
“We’re just really looking forward to sending them off the right way,” he said.
Sonora High School won their third Mother Lode League tennis title in the last five years after finishing undefeated — 10-0 — in league.
It was the first time out of all their previous three championships that they did not share the title with another school, Coach Sam Segerstrom said.
“Hopefully it’s a changing of the guard. We have a young team so we will have high expectations going into the next year,” Segerstrom.
Sonora was the second seed going into the section tournament and earned a bye in the first round. They defeated El Dorado High School, tenth seed, on May 1 at Columbia College with a score of 7-2 matches. They lost Monday to Riverbank High School, the third seed, 4-5.
At the section individuals tournament at Oak PArk in Stockton on May 2 and 3, Sonora was represented by the boys and girls league MVPs Brian McGee, a junior and Kate Hovatter, a senior.
Both took second place. Segerstrom it was likely the first time in decades, if ever, two Sonora players were finalists at the section championship.
“For individuals I couldn't be more proud of those two. They get a lot of attention when they go to these tournaments just because of their fierce competitive nature, they fight for every single point and they never go down easy,” Segerstrom said.
Hovatter undefeated in team matches for the past two years, 29-0, and was MLL champion for two years in a row.
“I just think that is remarkable,” Segerstrom said. “She just has what I call an iron will and a great competitive spirit. She comes to battle every single match and represents our team very well.”
McGee went undefeated in team match play and came in second place in the MLL tournament, but went farther in the section championship than the player who beat him, Segerstrom said.
“Brian is a grinder. He's scrappy, gets every ball back and just is relentless. He comes at you he comes at you he comes at you,” Segerstrom said.
Segerstrom said another Sonora player to be selected for all-league was junior Sydney Fiedler.
Summerville High School coach Leonard Mauro said his team earned a 3-7 record this year, but he was hopeful the team would improve with experience in the coming years.
“We do have some young players so it's going to help for next year,” Mauro said.
Mauro said freshman James Richardson only lost three matches this year and was a good prospect. Other potentially impactful players next year included juniors Megan Bressel and
Katie Keenom, he said.
“They keep fighting back,” he said.