In typical Plant fashion, the swim teams dominated Saturday’s Western Conference American Division meet.
The boys finished first with 508 points, 74.5 more than second-place Steinbrenner. The Plant girls won their portion with 537 points, while runnerup Steinbrenner scored 350.
Still, coach Gil Gonzalez wasn’t completely satisfied with the results. Because the Panthers did not compete in last week’s FSPA meet as they usually do, the Western Conference meet marked the first time this season Plant swimmers competed on a Saturday morning.
The early start time might have prevented some of his swimmers from rising to the occasion, Gonzalez said.
“It was a little scary to me because the state meet is prelims, final, and we don’t have many of those,” Gonzalez said. “We don’t have another morning meet until states. I’m concerned about them being a little sluggish in the morning.”
Gonzalez said he might consider scheduling a practice morning meet to help quell his concerns. The times Saturday morning might not have been quite what he expected, but the Panthers still got the job done.
The top two finishers in each event Saturday move on to Friday’s county championship meet, which will bring together the top finishers from all three divisions. The Panthers won 17 of 24 events at the Western Conference meet and failed to have someone move on in just three (girls 100d freestyle, girls 200 free and boys 500 free).
Alexandria Donahue, who Gonzalez said is not far from her state-championship times from last season, won the 100 breaststroke and 200 IM on Saturday, and she was a member of the winning 200 medley relay and 200 free relay.
Sierra Terrana (200 medley relay, 100 butterfly, 500 free, 400 free relay) and Kyle Kimura (100 butterfly, 200 free, 200 medley relay and 400 free relay) were also four-event winners for Plant.
With the state meet Nov. 16 less than six weeks away, Gonzalez knows his team has some work to do in order to be ready. Still, he’s pleased to say that many of his swimmers have posted times that show they’re nearing end-of-season form.
“Some are (on track),” Gonzalez said, “and some are well ahead of it.”
Boys: Plant 508, Steinbrenner 433.5, Sickles 248.5, Gaither 234, Robinson 221, Alonso 197, Leto 91, Blake 4
Girls: Plant 537, Steinbrenner 350, Sickles 313, Robinson 299, Gaither 183, Alonso 160, Jefferson 84, Leto 58, Blake 51