The water runs deep for San Marcos High School, even in the pool of a cross-town rival.
Meet host Dos Pueblos High won 13 of 22 races during Thursday’s Channel League Swimming Championships but the Royals still reigned supreme in the team standings for both the boys and girls competitions.
“We got a lot of seconds, thirds and fourths,” San Marcos girls coach Chuckie Roth said. “It pays off in a team event.
“We do have a lot of numbers, that’s for sure. It’s fun to have such a big group that’s really into it.”
The Royals, led by two-event winner Holly Woodhouse, outscored the Chargers 599-454 in the girls meet at the Elings Aquatics Center. Santa Barbara finished third with 348, followed by Santa Ynez (163), Cabrillo (157.5) and Lompoc (131.5).
Jaran Depew was San Marcos’ lone individual winner in the boys meet, capturing the 500-yard freestyle in a time of 4:57.29. But the Royals beat DP for the team title by an even larger margin, 647-380.
“We don’t make any cuts,” Roth pointed out. “We take kids. And if you want to do the work, you’re going to be there.
“We have a huge team because of that and kids want to be part of it. They want to challenge themselves.”
Woodhouse won both the 200 individual medley (2:09.82) and 100 backstroke (58:52). She was also part of the winning 200 free relay team. DP denied her a fourth win in the 400 free relay.
“Holly was big today,” Roth said. “She was in the last relay we lost — hats off to DP, they swam a great race.”
San Marcos also got plenty of points in the diving competition which Malia Yim won earlier in the week. She also competed on Thursday, taking 17th at the CIF Finals.
“That’s a first-year diver going to the Division 1 finals,” Roth said. “That’s amazing. It’s just a great team effort today, really.”
Senior Zosia Amberger was the only other individual winner for the Royal girls, capturing the 100 breast (1:08.37). She also swam on the winning 200 free relay team.
The Charger girls had a two-time individual winner in senior Caitlyn Robinson. She captured both the 50 freestyle (25.23) and the 100 butterfly (1:00.33). She also led DP to relay wins in both the 200 medley and 400 free.
DP’s other individual winners were sophomore Brynn Graham in the 100 free (54:05), senior Andrea Bish in the 200 free (1:57.36), and freshman Natalie Murray in the 500 free (5:12.21). Graham was also part of the winning 200 medley and 400 free relay teams, while Bish helped the Chargers win the 400 free relay.
DP’s boys were led by sophomore Nikkolai Carrillo’s wins in both the 200 IM (1:58.05) and the 100 back (51.93). He also swam on the winning 200 free and 400 free relay teams.
The Chargers also got wins from sophomore Cooper Costello in the 100 fly (50.99) and senior Alexander Kanard in the 100 free (48:69). Costello and Kanard were part of DP’s two winning relays.
The Santa Ynez boys made waves behind junior Addison Hawkins. He won both the 50 free (22.78) and 100 breast (1:01.81) while also leading the Pirates to victory in the 200 medley relay. Senior Maximillian Pecile, winner of the 200 free (1:44.6), joined Hawkins in their medley relay victory.
But by day’s end, the Royals were in cruise control.
“Our depth helps,” Roth said as he watched one of his girls swim laps well after the last race, “but here I’ve got a water polo kid in the water … She’s the last kid in the water, warming down and doing everything right.
“I can’t say enough times that my kids really invest in the process and invest in the team culture, and it motivates other kids to be better. Whether we win or not, that’s not really it. It’s about becoming better people and doing things the right way. So I think we did good on that today, and during the season.”