The Napa High girls and Vintage boys swim teams each came away with narrow victories in Thursday’s Monticello Empire League Big Game meet at Napa High.
Napa’s girls (4-1 MEL) won 100-92 behind individual victories from Elise Roberts in the 200 individual medley (2:22.15) and 100 breaststroke (1:08.46), where she tied Vintage’s Alex Swanson for first place; Megan Minor in the 500 free (5:42.40) and 100 backstroke (1:04.87); and Mia Facey in the 100 butterfly (1:00.07). The Indians also won the diving event.
The Indians also won the 200 medley relay, where Minor (back), Roberts (breaststroke), Facey (fly) and Rose Ballantine (free) clocked 1:54.62); and the 400 free relay, which saw Annika Erickson, Roberts, Minor and Facey finish in 3:55.83).
For the Vintage girls (3-2 MEL), Swanson won the 200 free (2:01.79) in addition to the tie in the 100 breaststroke; Haley Murphy won the 50 free (24.80) and 100 free (54.97); and the 200 free relay, where Murphy, Sophia DelBondio, Alyssa Lindsey and Alex Swanson won in 1:45.06.
Vintage’s boys (3-2 MEL) won 91-84 behind individual wins from Nick Meyer in the 200 free (1:57.7) and 100 breaststroke (1:03.13), David Wiley in the 50 free (24.12) and 100 free (53.16), and Desmond Woodward in diving. The Crushers also won the 200 medley relay in 1:47.31 with legs from Rio Barnes (back), Meyer (breaststroke), Omar Saldivar (fly) and Wiley (free), and the 200 free relay, where Meyer, Richardson, Wiley and Saldivar clocked a 1:38.50.
For the Napa boys (2-3 MEL), individual wins came from freshman Louis Ayers in the 100 fly (57.91) and 500 free (5:21.68), Bradley Erickson in the 200 IM (2:08.84), and Michael Deus in the 100 back (1:03.16). The Indians also won the 400 free relay, where Matt Reiser, Jeff Hanton, Cody Dusky and Erickson teamed on a time of 3:38.25.
Both schools had MEL dual meets on Tuesday, and will now will get ready for next week’s MEL Championships at Vintage.
“They had to cram two meets into one week and they’re also tapering for MELs. We rested yesterday because we knew this would not only be Big Meet but a really big meet, so I was really proud of them,” said Napa High’s first-year head coach, Joe Madigan. “Both of our teams stepped up, especially the boys. We knew going into it we would be outnumbered by Vintage, so to just lose by seven points was fantastic. We had several events where we were both first and second, which is huge.
“We’re not too worried about sections because we’ve had a bunch of kids qualify already. We’ll need the girls 200 free relay to qualify at MELs. Other than that, 16 are going to sections already.”
Madigan said Roberts, a senior, had a big meet for the girls, while his boys swimmer of the day was Ayers.
“He not only swam in four events, but four of the toughest events,” he said of the freshman, who along with his two wins was second in the 200 IM and also swam the fly leg in helping the 200 medley relay team take second.
Vintage head coach Liza Saunders was also pleased with her teams’ Big Game meets.
“We knew that the girls meet was going to be really close,” she said. “I knew I had a lot of boys and they did very well. I was missing Josh Semple, who was sick, and that threw some things for a loop. But otherwise, they all did very well. We had excellent times from everybody. All my kids dropped their times, so I’m really thrilled with that. They’re doing a great job.
“I think it was a very spirited and well-run meet. It will be interesting at the MEL Championships. It will be different meet with all the other teams there.”