The Murrieta Mesa boys’ and girls’ swimming teams won 14 of the 22 championship races at the Southwestern League championship meet held last week at Temecula Valley High School, with the boys’ and girls’ swimmers and relays teams winning seven races apiece.
Riley Renaud, Emilee Elizondo, and Sonja Aarsvold all won two individual events on the girls’ side and were part of one winning relay team. Renaud swept the distance freestyle events, winning the 200 freestyle (1:59.52) and the 500 freestyle (5:15.95). Aarsvold won the sprint freestyles, winning the 50 freestyle (23.98) and the 100 freestyle (51.70).
Emilee Elizondo also won the 100 butterfly (58.49) and the 100-backstroke (1:00.05). Renaud, Aarsvold and Elizondo also teamed with Ashley Murray to win the 200-freestyle relay (1:41.88). Aarsvold had a final split of 23.67 to help the Rams beat Murrieta Valley at the finish by .02 seconds.
“The girls’ team is a young group, but they showed what the future might be for the program,” Murrieta Mesa coach Jennifer Beech said to the media.
Great Oak edged out Murrieta Valley with a 268-267 victory in the team standings. The Lady Wolfpack swimmers finished second in the medley relay and third in the 400-freestyle relay. Jaclyn Rothlein won the 100-breaststroke title in a time of 1:09.76. Kielle Leggo delivered the team’s other Top 3 finish, as she placed second in the 50 freestyle.
The Murrieta Valley girls’ team was crowned the overall league champion by finishing undefeated in the dual meet and second in the league finals. Great Oak was third in the dual-meet standings. Murrieta Valley’s Sila Fedler, Autumn Day, Lilly Hartwell and Rebecca Hale won the girls 400 freestyle relay in 3:39.77. The Lady Nighthawks also finished second in the 200-freestyle relay and third in the medley relay.
Fedler also took second in the 200 IM and 100-freestyle events and Day took home a second-place finish in the 100-backstroke. Hale placed third in the 50 and 100 freestyles and Hartwell placed third in the 100-butterfly, while Ally Cinnamo finished third in the 200-freestyle. Vista Murrieta’s Leilani Abalos won the girls 200 individual medley championship in a time of 2:07.47. Abalos joined forces with Emma Steffens, Sarah Steffens, and Bridgette Shroll to help Vista Murrieta win the girls’ 200 medley relay in 1:53.20.
Junior Justin Schneider, was a double winner on the boys’ side, and secured a pair of winning relay teams for the Rams as well. Schneider won the 200-yard individual medley (1:53.43), later won the 100 freestyle in 46:07 (beating his own league meet record of 46.23) and he also teamed with brother Ty Schneider, Alexander Yang and Maximus Dillon to win the 200-medley relay in 1:35.65.
Justin Schneider, Dillon, Yang and Eryk Elizondo put the final touch on a successful meet by winning the 400-freestyle relay in 3:16.75. Eryk Elizondo, Alex Pena, Trevor Haskins and Ty Schneider won the 200-freestyle relay in 1:31.75. Elizondo also won the 50 freestyle in a time of 21.64. Dillon was the other boys’ winner, taking the 100-backstroke title in 53.00.
“This is what they wanted, to come out here, battle and be champions,” Beech said. “I couldn’t be prouder of this group.”
The Murrieta Valley boys’ swimming team racked up 333 points and finished atop the standings at Thursday’s league finals, which earned the Nighthawks a share of the Southwestern League’s overall championship. The share of the title was determined by the results from the regular-season dual meets and the team standings at league finals. Murrieta Mesa went 5-0 in the league’s dual meets for the other share of the league title.
Ethan Swenke won the boys’ 100-butterfly in a time of 49.75 and placed second in the 100-breaststroke. The Nighthawks also had several other Top 3 finishes. Diego Henry finished second in the 100-butterfly, Ethan Garcia was second in the 100-freestyle and Gabriel Louviere was second in the 100-backstroke. Kyle Lauritzen had third place finishes in the 50-freestyle and 100-backstroke. Kyle Bautista was third in the 100-freestyle, and Ciaran Delaney was third in the 500-freestyle. Murrieta Valley finished second in the 200-medley relay and the 400-freestyle relay as well.
Vista Murrieta’s Matthew Vinh was the other double-event winner at the league finals. Vinh swept the distance freestyle events capturing the 200-freestyle title (1:41.19) and the 500-freestyle (4:34.74). Vinh also set a meet record in the 500-freestyle in the prelims, posting a time of 4:32.61. Eric Wang gave Great Oak some recognition by sweeping the breaststroke events, winning the boys’ race in 59.11.
JP Raineri can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.