St. Francis High made the biggest splash among the local schools competing in the Central Coast Section swimming and diving championships, but Los Altos and Mountain View made more than a ripple Saturday at the Santa Clara International Swim Center.
St. Francis qualified 17 competitors for this weekend’s state meet – the most in school history – while Los Altos will send seven to Fresno and Mountain View four.
The St. Francis boys and girls teams finished second to Bellarmine and Palo Alto, respectively, at CCS.
“It’s been an unbelievable season,” Lancers coach Terry O’Donnell said. “These kids are so talented.”
Nicole Oliva won the girls 500-yard freestyle, breaking her own school record with a time of 4 minutes, 48.33 seconds. The freshman placed second in the 100 backstroke (53.81).
Sophomore Brooke Schaffer followed a second-place finish in the 50 free (23.28) by taking fourth in the 100 butterfly with a time (53.98) that broke her own school record.
“Those were back-to-back outstanding swims,” the coach said.
Schaffer and Oliva joined forces on the 400 free relay, teaming with Kate Kennedy and Sydney Harris to finish second (3:25.45).
Clare Greenlow placed second in diving with 508.35 points.
On the boys’ side, St. Francis’ 200 medley relay team of Andy Huang, Edward Tay, Andreas Nybo and Nathan Puentes took top honors with a 1:33.11. The 200 free relay team of Justin Culetu, Alan Viollier, Nybo and Puentes didn’t do well enough in Friday’s trials to make the A finals, but it made up for it Saturday; the foursome swam a 1:25.84 to break the school record by more than 1 1/2 seconds and qualify for state.
Nybo added a third-place finish in the 100 breaststroke (56.47).
Twin brothers Evan and Trevor Labuda led Los Altos, finishing 1-2 in boys diving.
Gabrielle Anderson finished second in the girls 100 fly (53.88).
“I did better than last year, and that was cool,” the junior said.
Anderson also advanced to state in the 100 backstroke (sixth place, 56.48) and as part of the 200 medley relay team with Danielle Carter, Anne Piercy and Hana Brett (fifth, 1:47.57).
“That went very well,” Anderson said. “We were really prepared and worked well as a team.”
Mountain View senior Vicky Wong made it to state in four events. Individually, she placed fourth in the 100 back (56.08) and fifth in the 200 free (1:50.59). She also swam on the Spartans’ 200 medley (second, 1:44.93) and 400 free (fifth, 3:29.95) relays with Paige Gambetta, Lexi Rudolph and Alex Hartman.