Junior Ben Dillard Delivers 52.7 100 Breast at CIF Boys State Finals



  1. San Ramon Valley – 177
  2. Oak Ridge – 174
  3. Loyola – 147
  4. The Harker School – 139
  5. Bellarmine College Prep – 134

The CIF state meet was held this past weekend with San Ramon Valley taking the boys team title. Unlike the girls meet, there was a tight battle for the boys title between SRV and Oak Ridge. Oak Ridge won the final event (400 free relay) in meet record fashion, closing the gap between themselves and SRV by 12 points, but ultimately falling short in the team race by 3 points.

Ethan Hu was one of the headliners of the meet, winning the boys 200 IM and 100 fly, as well as breaking the fly meet record and posting the 2nd fastest high school 100 fly time in history. Hu posted a 1:45.44 to win the 200 IM, setting a new personal best. He then swam a meet record and nearly national HS record 45.72 100 fly, again a personal best. Hu also provided a very quick 20.91 fly split on the 200 medley relay.

All 3 relay events saw their meet records broken, each by a different school. Loyola started things out with a win in the 200 medley relay after a very tight race with Oak Ridge. Mark McCrary led things off for Loyola in 22.48, followed by James Lee (25.64), Connor Lee (21.05), and Emmett Pernecky (20.61) for a final time of 1:29.78, touching just .02 seconds ahead of Oak Ridge. Colby Mefford led of for Oak Ridge (22.52), followed by Ben Dillard (24.04), Jonathan Chu (23.10), and Evan McCormick (20.14). Connor Lee was key in giving Loyola the lead with his 21.05 fly split, while Ben Dillard and Evan McCormick were pivotal in keeping Oak Ridge in the race.

Oak Ridge then went on to win the 400 free relay with 3 of the same swimmers, breaking the meet record. Mefford again led off in 44.61, and was followed by McCormick (45.06), Kyle Garcia (46.30), and a speedy 43.80 from Dillard, finishing in 2:59.77. San Ramon Valley took the 200 free relay in meet record fashion, posting a 1:22.13. Matthew Muaddi led off in a speedy 20.61, and was followed by Jack Wilkerson (20.45), Gavin Wight (20.43), and Harry Flanders (20.62). Clovis North wasn’t far behind, touching in 1:22.31 thanks to a blistering 19.93 anchor split from Ben Forbes.

In addition to the very quick 24.04 breast and 43.80 free relay splits, Ben Dillard also won the 100 breast in record fashion. Dillard dipped under the 53 second mark for the first time in his career, roaring to a 52.74 to win the event by 1.5 seconds. Connor Lee went on to win the 50 free, clocking a personal best 20.11. Colby Mefford also won the 500 free, tearing to a 4:21.56 for a new personal best. Mefford had dropped 4 seconds in prelims, posting a 4:22.30, and took nearly another second off in finals.

Max Saunders of Bellarmine beat out Mefford in the 200 free. Saunders held the lead from the 2nd 50 to the end, touching in 1:35.08, with Mefford coming in at 1:35.57. Saunders then went on to come in a very close 2nd in the 100 free. Finn O’Haimhirgin (Bella Vista) got his hand on the wall first, touching in 43.71 to Saunders’ 43.74. Saunders was out faster, flipping in 20.99 at the 50 mark to O’Haimhirgin’s 21.11. O’Haimhirgin then split a 22.60 coming home, compared to 20.75 from Saunders.

David Dove of Liberty won the paralympic 50 free, breaking the meet record. Dove finished in 24.61 in the paralympic 50 free, narrowly beating out Heritage’s Jaloni Lefort (24.76). Noah Jaffe (San Dieguito) then beat out Dove in the para 100 free, touching in 54.00 for a new meet record.

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3 years ago

Dillard is a junior