Tyler Takeda/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Tara Goertzen leads the field to win the 100 breaststroke at the County/Metro Athletic Conference championships at McAlister Pool on Saturday.
The Madera Coyotes girls swimming team took the next step in defending its Div. II Valley Championship with an impressive showing at the County/Metro Athletic Conference championships at the McAlister Aquatics Complex.
Tara Goertzen (200 freestyle), Emily Ibarra-Lopez (100 breaststroke) and Lola Gill (100 backstroke) won individual events to lead the Coyotes girls team to a second place finish in the CMAC behind Sanger.
“Points wise, it’s really good,” girls head coach Erik Baymiller said. “Sanger is always going to beat us because they have a third and fourth swimmer. That’s a really good sign for valley. The fact that we’re putting up valley times now and we’re not tapered or have our good suits on is a good sign we’ll do well, hopefully, at valleys.”
Meanwhile, the Coyotes boys team had two individual winners — Garrin Hatfield in the 200 freestyle and freshman Enrique Solis in the 100 breaststroke — to place third in the CMAC.
“My freshman Enrique Solis was a totally unexpected,” boys head coach Rick Martines said. “He’s been working good all season. He had a good taper (reducing exercise in the days just before an important competition), put on a speed suit and did work. He was a Cinderella story. I was glad he got into the top eight, which is good for a freshman. For him to go all the way up and taking first place, it’s amazing. Garrin knocked the doors off. He’s amazing. I’m expecting another couple of seconds off of his valley time.”
Madera South is still an up-and-coming school. They placed fifth in girls, ahead of San Joaquin Memorial-Fresno. The Stallions’ boys team was sixth in the CMAC.
Lesly Madriz led the Madera South girls team with a fifth place finish in the 100 breaststroke. Manuel Mora led the boys team with an eighth place finish in the 100 butterfly and a ninth place finish in the 500 freestyle.
Mora also swam automatic Valley Championship qualifying times in the 100 butterfly and the 500 freestyle. Madriz also qualified in the 100 freestyle.
The Coyotes’ swim teams swept the 200 freestyle and the 100 breaststroke events.
“I’m always really nervous when I’m doing home meets because I’m not able to coach them or mentally prep them,” Baymiller said. “They just showed up today, took care of their warm ups and almost every single one of them did better. They dropped times from last year’s valleys.
“I always get nervous when we swim well at league because we want our good swims at Valleys. But, the past two years we had good swims at CMAC and swam even better at Valleys. This has a good trend to it.”
Goertzen won the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:57.32 and teammate Ibarra-Lopez was second, six seconds back.
Hatfield finished with a time of 1:49.91 in the 200 freestyle, more than a second ahead of second place.
The Coyote girls had three place in the top seven in the 50 freestyle, led by Nicole Gibbs in fourth. Emily Goertzen was sixth and Lesley Garnica was seventh. Marc Martinez was second in the boys 50 freestyle, just .21 seconds out of the lead.
Top seeded Lopez-Ibarra had an easy time in the 100 butterfly. She finished more than four seconds ahead of second place.
Hatfield was third for the Coyote boys in the 100 butterfly while Martinez was third in the 100 freestyle.
The Coyotes girls 200 freestyle relay team of Emily Lopez-Ibarra, Nicole Gibbs, Lola Gibbs and Tara Goertzen placed second by three seconds to Sanger.
Gill came back to win the 100 backstroke by more than two seconds.
“She’s kind of been off a little bit,” Baymiller said. “Me and (assistant coach) Hannah Taylor spent 10 minutes in the backstroke the other day, just by herself. We got her a new stroke and she got a new personal record. That’s better than what she swam at valleys last year.”
The highlight of the day for both of Madera’s teams was the 100 breastroke.
Goertzen led all swimmers to win the event by almost eight seconds with a school-record time of 1:07.29.
“She swam her personal record by almost a half second,” Baymiller said. “She’s swimming really, really well.”
Ceiara Chavira was second with a time of 1:15.20.
Madera’s freshman Enrique Solis got the biggest cheers from the pro-Madera crowd. He trailed by a touch after the first 50 meters. He came back in the final 50 with a time of 1:08.22 to win the event and also qualify for the Div. II championships.
“I’m taking 10 guys to Valleys,” Martines said. “Enrique hadn’t qualified, yet and he ends up qualifying and winning the event. Our medley relay team also qualified. Blake Favors also qualified swimming leadoff in the 200 relay. We put a lot of work in and hold onto third place in the CMAC.”
The Coyote girls also received 67 points from its diving team. Baylie Toney won the CMAC title ahead of teammates Jocelyn Jones in second and Ally Barriga in third. Brianna Luna placed fifth for the Coyotes.
In the boys competition, David Solis placed fourth.