By Justin Whitaker
CLAYTON — With sectionals just around the corner, the Cascade and Tri-West boys’ and girls’ swimming and diving teams spilt the dual meet Thursday night.
The Tri-West boys won 93-71 and the Cascade girls won 117-63.
These teams will compete against each other again at sectionals.
“It was a nice little sectional preview and that’s a tough sectional to begin with,” Tri-West coach Jeff Sankey said. “When you look ahead to that sectional meet at what schools are comparable to us in size, certainly Cascade fits into that category. To come in here and for the boys to beat them, it gives you a good feeling about their reasonable prospects at sectionals.”
Cascade coach Paul Williams said he was pleased with his nine boys’ times.
“They just battle every day,” Williams said. “I’m tickled to pieces the way they approach a swim meet. We dropped the meet but their times were good and we’re going to be good at sectionals when we get into the individual and relay events.”
It was the final meet for the girls before sectionals begin and the Cadets put on a solid performance.
“Really proud of the girls,” Williams said. “They’re gearing down for the sectionals but I was pretty pleased with the way they swam. It was senior night, so everyone was pretty pumped up and emotional. Overall, we had some great swims and some great times.”
Illness and injury continue to pile up for the Bruin girls, but Sankey said he was happy with their effort.
“It’s a point here, it’s a point there, where if you pick them up the meet swings a different way,” he said. “We’ve got a week now to sort of lick our wounds and hopefully have everybody going for next Thursday.”
There were several winners of two individual events on the evening. For the Cascade girls, Regina Solik won the 50 free and 100 breaststroke and for the boys, Jesse Gilmore won the 500 free and 100 backstroke.
For the Tri-West girls, Madison Jones took first in the 200 free and 100 butterfly, and for the boys, Robert Brandkamp won the 100 butterfly and 100 breaststroke and Garhett Cook took the 50 and 100 free.
Other individual winners for the Cadet girls include Hayley Rosales in the 200 IM, Anna Arthur in diving, Kristi DeWeese in the 100 free, Tori Breeding in the 500 free, and Lexi Brown in the 100 backstroke.
In boys’ action, Griffin Crum won the 200 free for Cascade and Jacob Corbett won the 200 IM for Tri-West.
The Bruins’ Evan Cooper continued his superb freshman diving season by winning with a score of 252.
Sankey said he believes it’s been five or six years since he’s seen someone with the diving talent Cooper possesses.
“Evan is great every night,” he said. “I would certainly expect to see him at the state meet this year.”
The Cascade girls and the Tri-West boys swept their respective relays.
For the Cadets, winning the 200 medley relay was Brown, Gabriela Balzano, Chasity Keegan, and Carly Neuhausel. Taking first in the 200 and 400 free relay was the team of Solik, Rosales, DeWeese, and Breeding.
For the Bruins, Braden Jones, Corbett, Brandkamp, and Cook won the 200 medley relay. The team of Thomas Tintera, Conner Sheets, Ryan Richard, and Brandkamp took first in the 200 free relay. Completing the boys’ sweep in the relays was Richard, Tintera, Corbett, and Cook in the 400 free relay.
It was senior night at Cascade and the Cadets had some important swimmers to the program honored.
Gilmore owns the 200 free school record and diver Kyle Trent owns both Cascade diving records.
“They have been the cornerstone of this team for the last four years,” Williams said.
Solik owns school records in the 100 free, 100 breaststroke, tied for 50 free, and she’s part of the 200 medley, 200 and 400 relay squads. She’s also tied for the 50 free record.
“I think Regina holds about every record that is up on the board or is a part of every record,” Williams said. “She truly is the heart and soul of how this team performs.”
Williams said this senior class was a special one to coach.
“I think I’m a better person because I know them and I’ve had the privilege of coaching them,” he said. “It’s not so much about swimming. These kids are the best of the best and I’m just proud to be associated with them.”