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Bulldogs face tough competition in season wrap up at Sac-Joaquin Section Championships
Dylan Hines considered not swimming for Ceres High School this year.

"I was so busy with other things," said Hines, Associated Student Body President, International Club President and Ceres Unified School District Student Board Representative.

On May 11, Hines and Bulldog teammates Joseph Ochoa, Jacob Stone, Manuel Hernandez, Gianni Blandino and Austin Massie competed at the Sac-Joaquin Section Varsity Boys Swim Trials at Tokay High School.

"We were nervous in warmups," Dylan said. "There was a lot of talent there. It was pretty amazing to see how fast everyone was. I had fun. I've never experienced anything like that."

Ceres High's 400 free relay team of Hines, Ochoa, Stone and Hernandez placed 35th with a time of 3:44.15.

Hines posted his fastest 100 split of the season.

"I was so tired, I couldn't get out of the pool after the race," Dylan said.

Ceres High's 200 medley relay team of Blandino (back), Massie (breast), Stone (fly) and Hernandez (free) placed 44th in 1:57.77.

Blandino filled in for Hines, a fellow senior.

"I thought he should have the same chance as I," Dylan said. "He worked just as hard as everybody else."

Massie replaced freshman Zach Jones, who competed in two individual races during the frosh-soph section trials.

Jones placed 18th in the 100 free (52.17) and 22nd in the 50 free (23.80).

Ceres High's boys swim program had no section qualifiers the previous two seasons.

"We had to work for it," said Hines, who will complete his basic training for the Army in Missouri following graduation. "We had lunch practices. They (coaches Rebecca Sanders and Sue Garcia) never pushed us that hard before and it paid off. We did really well. We all improved our times. It was just a good, overall year."

Haley Fisicaro, Maureen Nelson, Megan Braverman and Tori Gunzenhauser represented Ceres High at the Sac-Joaquin Section Girls Swim Meet for the third year in a row.

"They have a lot to be proud of," Sanders said. "They improved their times."

Fisicaro, a junior, took 27th in the 100 fly (1:03.28) and 36th in the 50 free (26.51).

Haley also teamed up with Nelson (Sr.), Braverman (Sr.) and Gunzenhauser (Jr.) in two relay events.

Nelson, Braverman, Gunzenhauser and Fisicaro, Ceres High's 400 free relay team, placed 20th (4:08.69).

The Bulldogs' 200 medley relay team of Fisicaro (back), Gunzenhauser (breast), Nelson (fly) and Braverman (free) placed 33rd (2:06.80).

Fisicaro, Nelson, Braverman, Gunzenhauser, Hines, Ochoa, Stone, Hernandez and Blandino faced stiff competition in Lodi.

"Going to sections is like going to state in other places," Sanders said. "There's a lot of talent."