CCS: Monta Vista Girls Repeat as Section Champions

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Seven swimmers and a diver. Two hundred twenty-six points. The Monta Vista girls worked together to get the most out of every swim and dive, as individuals and as a team, and came out on top.

Sacred Heart Prep set the tone early, opening the meet with a CCS record in the 200 medley relay. Entered with a 1:47.0 seed time, they went 1:44.10 in prelims to break the CCS record. When they came back in finals they took nearly a whole second off their time and ended up establishing a new mark with 1:43.25: Ally Howe (24.60), Selby Sturzenegger (29.22), Kayla Holman (25.76), and Kathryn Bower (23.67).

Archbishop Mitty, featuring three freshmen (Joyce Lin, Lauren Smith, and Camille Hui) and a sophomore (Morganne McKennan), went 1:44.84 for second. Third place went to Pioneer’s Sandra Soe, Layna Auchard, Lauren Green, and Annalisa Perez.

Top-seeded Jennifer Campbell of Gunn improved on her prelim time and won the 200 free in 1:47.10. Cal commit and Willow Glen senior Catherine Ladd finished second in 1:48.33, her best time in over a year. Sarah Shimomura of Mitty took third with 1:48.76.

In her last high school outing Sacred Heart’s Howe, who will swim at Stanford next year, went after the CCS record in the 200 IM. She had quite a bit of company through the first 100: Burlingame senior (and Duke commit) Leah Goldman led the field with 54.97, Howe turned second at 55.49, and both Sophie Krivokapic-Zhou (Santa Clara) and Chloe Isleta (Presentation) were just .10 back at 55.59. Howe opened it up on the breaststroke leg, splitting a 34.5, then brought it home with a 27.7 free. Her final 1:57.75 was the fastest by two seconds and good enough to break Jasmine Tosky’s CCS record of 1:57.94 from 2009. Goldman was just able to hold off Krivokapic-Zhou for second, out-touching her 1:59.82 to 1:59.85.

In the 50 free freshman Grace Zhao of Palo Alto held onto her top seeding and finished first with 23.26. Monta Vista pulled to within a point of Cupertino and Sacred Heart, who were leading the team race at that point, when seniors (and future UCLA teammates) Sarah Kaunitz (23.35) and Carly Reid (23.39) finished second and third, respectively.

Current CCS record-holder in one-meter diving, USC-commit Alexa Cacao of Milpitas, won the diving with 487.30 points. Sophomore Mimi Lin of Palo Alto and junior Qianyi Pang of Monta Vista finished second and third, separated by .55 points, 459.10 to 458.55. By now Gunn had jumped into the mix, with 79 points to Cupertino’s 81. But Monta Vista had taken over at the top with 86.

The 100 fly was an exciting race in which most of the field was out together at the 50 and the strongest second half would determine the winner. That turned out to be Burlingame’s Goldman who split 25.8-28-low for a final 54.06. Right behind her were juniors Alex Grimes of Los Gatos (54.46) and Heidi Katter of Castilleja (54.48). At this point in the team race Monta Vista held the lead by one point over Menlo-Atherton.

The Monta Vista sprint crew kicked it into gear for the 100 free with a 2-3 finish behind Willow Glen’s Ladd (50.26). This time Reid (50.44) got to the wall before Kaunitz (50.59). Now all of a sudden the Monta Vista girls were up by over 20 points; no one would catch up with them from here on.

Pioneer’s Soe was the winner of the 500 free with 4:47.39. Gunn’s Campbell (4:50.54) took second; Mitty’s Shimomura (4:57.06), third.

It was clear no one would be able to keep up with Monta Vista’s free relays; the only question was whether or not they could clear the CCS records. Sarah Kaunitz (23.79), Christina Cheng (24.38), Lisa Kaunitz (23.59), and Reid (23.17) combined for 1:34.93 in the 200 free relay, missing the CCS mark by .77. Mitty (Joyce Lin, Marie-Pierre Delisle, Julia Read, and Shimomura) clocked in at 1:36.94, .02 ahead of Gunn (Gabrielle Bethke, Fiona Hon, Sam Acker, and Caroline Anderson).

Sacred Heart’s Howe, who had broken the CCS record for the 100 back in prelims, but more importantly, had also broken Missy Franklin’s national independent school record with that same swim, took another .30 off her time in finals. She split 24.79-26.75 for a 51.54. Franklin’s national record had been 52.30. Santa Clara’s Krivokapic-Zhou and Isleta of Presentation finished second and third, respectively, with 54.08 and 55.44.

Paly’s Zhao picked up her second win of the meet with a tremendous back-half in the 100 breast, giving her a .01 edge over Mitty’s Morganne McKennan. Zhao went 29.88-32.70 for a 1:02.58; McKennan split 29.55-33.04. Castilleja’s Katter took third (1:02.91).

With the team race in their pocket all Monta Vista needed to do was swim a legal relay. They did, and finished second to Sacred Heart. Sturzenegger (52.45), Holman (51.92), Bower (52.19), and Howe (48.47) finished the meet with a 3:25.03. Monta Vista’s S Kaunitz (50.94), Sayeh Faridnia (53.15), L Kaunitz (51.31), and Reid (50.08) touched in 3:25.48, while Gunn (Campbell, Bethke, Fiona Hon, and Nia Gardner) went 3:28.17.




vs psych

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About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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