Usinger, Rooney Set Records in Prelims of California’s North Coast Section Championship

by Dean Ottati 5

May 15th, 2015 High School, News

  • Swimming: Prelims – Friday, May 15, 2015; Finals – Saturday, May 16, 2015
  • Location: Concord Community Pool
  • Live Results: Available
  • Championship Central

The California High School North Coast Section preliminaries are in the record books, but with the exception of a few events, very little appears to be settled.  With State Championship qualifying swims on the line tomorrow, exciting tight races looks like it will be the theme for tomorrow’s finals.

The Records

In the women’s 100 butterfly, Brittany Usinger (Sr., Accalanes, Harvard)  pulled away from the field, where she posted not only the fastest first 50 (24.35), but she also came back with the fastest last 50 too (28.23), finishing in a very quick 52.58.  The legendary list of names in this century that have held the NCS 100 butterfly now reads like this: Natalie Coughlin (2000), Amanda Sims (2005), Celina Li (2012), and now Brittany Usinger atop them all.  Harvard looks pretty smart with this recruit.

Maxime Rooney (Jr., Granada, Verbal to Florida) wasted very little time going about his 2015 assault on the NCS record book.  In the very first men’s individual event, Rooney posted a 1:34.58, breaking his old NCS record of 1:35.69.  Rooney was out in a very quick 44.92, finishing nearly four seconds ahead of the next qualifier Eric Vanbrocklin (Sr. Norhgate, UCSB).

Leading off the 400 Free Relay, Rooney split a 44.10, breaking the old NCS record of 44.22 which was held by both Sven Cambell and Jackson Miller.

The Races

200 Medley Relay

On both the women’s and men’s side of this race, the defending team champions San Ramon Valley and Northgate quickly went about the business of defending their team titles.  The women of San Ramon Valley posted a top qualifying time of 1:44.07, well ahead of 2nd place qualifier Las Lomas (1:45.86).  Meanwhile the men of Northgate swam a very quick 1:30.70, only .18 off of the current NCS record.  De La Salle, finished second with Dom Dalpiaz in an early indication of more great swims to come, anchored in a really nice 20.09.

200 Free

Tomorrow’s final in the women’s 200 free is a must see.  Today, six women all broke 1:50.  Defending champion Cali Rauker (Jr. Marin Catholic) was first in the clubhouse in 1:48.14.  She is less than a tenth ahead of last year’s runner up Brittany Usinger (1:48.22).  Last year’s third place finisher, Moriah Simonds (Jr. Granada), in the first of two really nice prelim swims qualified third in 1:49.10.  This one could be a photo finish tomorrow.

200 IM

Riley Scott (Sr., Petaluma, USC) wasted no time posting a lifetime best 1:59.78.  She is followed by a pair of San Ramon Valley Juniors Christina Chong (2:02.44) and Abigail Miller (2:02.84).

On the men’s side, it took a 1:53 to qualify for tomorrow’s championship final.  Jake Rollo (Jr., SRV) goes in as top seed tomorrow with a 1:51.01, but he is just the first of five guys who posted 1:51’s.  Daniel Comforti (Sr. Heritage, ASU) and Emillio DeSoma (Jr. Redwood) are the second and 3rd qualifiers.   This is another must watch race.  Literally any of 8 guys could win this one.  Four guys, including Rollo, have faster lifetime bests, the ever dangerous Carson Sand (Sr. Castro Valley, Cal) is lurking in 5th, and the word in the stands was that 8th qualifier Cole Stevens suffered an allergic reaction to a bee sting last night, so look for him to be in the hunt tomorrow too.

50 Free

There were only two people who qualified first in two events today.  Mary Ashby (Sr., Campolindo, Columbia) is one of them (some guy named Rooney is the other), qualifying first in the 50 with a really nice 23.13, that was a great swim all the way around, strong in all phases.  Not far behind, Athenian sophomore Emma Cottrill qualified second with a 23.24.  Iris Brand still has a chance to become a four time NCS repeat champion in this race, but she will have her work cut out for her.  She qualified 8th with a 23.85.

On the men’s side, Mason Tittle (Sr. Northgate, UCSB) takes the top seed with a lifetime best of 20.46, followed by  De La Salle’s Dom Dalpiaz in 20.66.  This one could be a wall of water tomorrow as five guys were all 21.00 or better.

100 Fly

As listed above, Brittany Usinger broke the NCS record.  San Ramon Valley’s Gianna Garcia qualified second in 53.86, and freshman Makenna Turner of Monte Vista was third (54.51).

On the men’s side, defending champion Grant Watson (Jr. College Prep) has thrown down with a 48.03, separating himself from the field a bit.  Watson’s teammate, Arjun Sharma (Sr., College Prep, Northwestern), and Mason Tittle (Sr., Northgate, UCSB) swam side by side and stroke for stroke in their prelim heat, swimming 48.67 and 48.75 respectively.  The NCS record in this 47.88.  Watson is a veteran  who almost always swims faster in the finals.  Sharma and Tittle are competitors that don’t like to lose.  The NCS record could be under duress tomorrow.

100 Free

Only two tenths of a second separate the top 3 in the women’s 100 free.  In what could be a preview of more to come in te Ivy League for the next four years.  Columbia bound Mary Ashby (Sr., Campolindo)  qualified first, Cali Raukar (Jr., Marin Catholic) qualifies second, but finds herself sandwiched by another future Ivy Leaguer, Brown bound Maddie Salesky (Sr., Marin Academy).

Dom Dalpiaz (Sr., De La Salle, Cal Poly SLO) and Max Bottene (Jr. Northgate) are nearly deadlocked posting a 44.76 and a 44.79 respectively.  A little further back, Matt Horner (Sr., Las Lomas, UCLA) and Grant Watson (Jr., College Prep) find themselves locked in a tie for third in 46.17.

500 Free

Moriah Simonds (Jr. Granada) is the top qualifier in the 500 with a 4:48.65.  Sophomore Samantha Howell (Amador Valley) dropped 10 seconds off her seed time to qualify second in 4:51.59.

On the men’s side, Maxime Rooney took control of his heat right away with a 4:24.76, but one gets the feeling he has more in the tank.  Eric Vanbrocklin also ran away from his heat, posting a 4:28.02.  Amador Valley freshman Chris Jhong was a nice surprise third place qualifier dropping 12 seconds off his seed time (3:35.28).  Look for some more racing in this one tomorrow.

200 Free Relay

.13 of a second is all that separates the women of Carondelet (1:35.55) from the women of Mission San Jose (1:35.68).  1.1 seconds is all that separates the top 5 teams.

.01 of a second is all that separates the men of San Ramon Valley (1:25.41) from the men of  Las Lomas (1:25.42).  .6 of second is all that separates the top 5 teams.

All  200 Free Relays will be the Wild West tomorrow.

100 Back

Samantha Coloma (Jr. Carondelet) and Gianna Garcia (Jr., SRV) will once again battle it out in the 100 back, qualifying first and second, 54.7 and 55.03, respectively.

On the men’s side, Cole Stevens (Jr., Campolindo), Forrest White (Jr., De La Salle), and Calvin Kirkpatrick (Sr., Northgate, UCSB) all broke 50 for the first time, and only .08 separates them (49.75, 49.80, and 49.83).  Max Bottene (Jr. Northgate) wasn’t far behind.  In their preliminary heat Kirkpatrick and White went stroke for stroke.   Look for more of the same tomorrow, but this time with at least 4 guys.  It’s anybody’s race.

100 Breast

In the prelims Marie-Claire (MC) Schillinger (Sr., Miramonte, Rice) and Riley Scott (Sr. Petaluma, USC) also swam stroke for stroke, will Schillinger winning the heat in 1:01.75 to Scott’s 1:01.86.  These two lead the deepest field of the meet.  Everybody in this championship final is an Automatic All American.  Look for another battle tomorrow.

On the men’s side, Carson Sand is the top seed (54.74) followed by Daniel Comforti, Hank Poppe and Stanley Wu who all posted 55’s.

400 Free Relay

As they opened the meet, the women of San Ramon Valley and the men of Northgate, closed the prelims with the top seeds in the 400 Free relays.  The women of SRV have a date with the women of Carondelet as only .27 separates them (3:27.93 to 3:28.20).

As for the men of Northgate, perhaps they still have a date with destiny.  They posted a 3:01.4 today, nearly 5 seconds ahead of the next best team.  The question for them is still, can they break 3:00?  It should be an exciting finish to the meet.

Unsolicited Advice to All of Tomorrow’s Finalists.

After each championship final, it’s an NCS tradition to hand each finalist a flower along with their medal.  To all of you receiving flowers, know this: You earn big points with your parents when you come into the stands and give your flower to them.  Your parents will be proud, and you’ll hear several ooh’s and aah’s from the other parents nearby.   Enjoy the moment.  There are so precious few of these high school championship meets.

The Details

This year’s championship finals will be held at the Concord Community Pool in Concord, California.  Racing begins tomorrow at 10:30 AM.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
bobo gigi
6 years ago

Unlike CIF-SS, I remark that these North Coast kids don’t have the same luxury of one full day of rest between prelims and finals. On the other hand they can’t complain too much either because in Florida for example, kids have prelims and finals on the same day. 🙂

Reply to  bobo gigi
6 years ago

Only the Division I swimmers in CIF-SS have a full days rest….the other divisions do not.

bobo gigi
Reply to  emoryswimmom2018
6 years ago


bobo gigi
6 years ago

Maxime Rooney=next 200 free American superstar

bobo gigi
6 years ago

You can watch the finals here if you pay.

About Dean Ottati

At various time in his life, Dean has been a summer rec swimmer, an AAU swimmer (yes, he is that old), a swim coach, a swim team director (social suicide through volunteerism), a meet director, a starter, an official, and just about everything else a swimmer/parent can be.  He currently …

Read More »