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Bulldogs lower swimming times
Pata, Sather & Co. compete at section preliminaries
Tristan Freitas-Scott had a productive four-year career with Ceres Highs varsity boys swim program. Freitas-Scott qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section Championships once as an individual and three consecutive seasons as part of relay teams. - photo by Courier file photo

Teammates at Ceres High for the past four years, seniors Julia Pata and Ciana Sather represented the Bulldogs one last time while competing at the Sac-Joaquin Section Varsity Girls Swimming Championships on May 11 at Lodi's Tokay High School.

"I let them know how much I appreciated what they did," head coach Sue Garcia said. "It was a little emotional."

Pata placed 20th in the 100 free (55.09) and 31st in the 50 free (25.62).

"I'm happy," Julia said. "My performance this year was pretty solid."

Julia set personal records in both events at the section meet.

"Having to keep up with the other girls pushed me to better my time," Pata said. "I was relaxed because I knew my coaches and teammates would be proud of me no matter how I did."

Sather set a personal record while taking 39th (1:03.29) in the 100 fly.

Ceres High's 400 free relay team of Pata, Sather, Camryn Silva and Jullissa Arreola posted a season-best time of 4:03.42 en route to a 20th-place finish.

"They cut 11 seconds off," Garcia said.

"I was completely blown away we were able to drop that much time," Pata said. "We should be proud of our performance. It was a fun, happy day for everyone."

Ceres High's 200 free relay team of Pata, Sather, Arreola and Armas placed 24th (1:50.04).

Julia and Ciana both enjoyed memorable swim careers with the Bulldogs.

Pata and Sather qualified for the section competition every season.

Pata will be remembered as Ceres High's all-time greatest swimmer.

"She accomplished that and more," Garcia said. "She changed the direction of our program. There hasn't been anyone else that has been able to complete what she has. It goes beyond what she does in the pool. She leaves behind a great example of how you treat your teammates. She wants the best for others, not just for herself."

Julia won eight individual Western Athletic Conference titles.

She swept the 100 free and 50 free this spring.

She placed first in the 200 free and 100 breast in 2016.

Pata finished first in the 100 free and 50 free her sophomore and freshman years.

"It's very humbling," Pata said while talking about her legacy. "I worked hard all four years. I'm really sad to say it's over. It brings a lot of emotion forward. I wish I had one more chance to swim with my team. Looking back, it's really amazing. My success over the years has gotten greater. All of my hard work paid off. I did not reach all of my goals. I didn't reach the section finals."

Sather successfully defended her 100-fly title and placed first in the 100 back at the 2017 WAC Championships.

"She worked hard," Garcia said. "She stayed focused. She led by example. She, too, was very humble."

Driven to succeed, senior Tristan Freitas-Scott upped his practice yardage and changed his diet during his final season with Ceres High's varsity boys swim program.

Tristan's dedication paid off as he secured his first-ever individual berth to the Sac-Joaquin Section Championships this spring.

Freitas-Scott placed 48th with a time of 2:14.08 in the 200 IM in the trials on May 12 at Lodi's Tokay High School.

Ceres High's 400 free relay team of Freitas-Scott, Logan Kier, Caleb Bishop and Elliott Lewis posted a season-best time of 3:37.79 en route to a 28th-place finish.

Ceres High's 200 medley relay team of Bishop, Lewis, Freitas-Scott and Kier placed 27th (1:52.37).

"Sections is a big deal," Freitas-Scott said. "I recognized some of the swimmers from year-round. There were some fast people there."

"You could tell by the end of the race, he gave everything he had," Bulldogs' head coach Sue Garcia said. "He swam a good race."

Determined to improve his performance, Freitas-Scott joined the Ripon Aquatics swim program last year.

Tristan practiced on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Ripon.

He trained on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at Ceres High.

"He's worked very hard," Garcia said. "He put in twice as many yards as the rest of the team."

"I was the only Ceres kid," Freitas-Scott said. "I practiced every day. It wasn't easy. It was mentally and physically tiring. I trained with people that are really good. It made me realize that there is way better competition out there. There's more than the Western Athletic Conference. If I didn't go to Ripon Aquatics, I probably wouldn't have made it to sections individually."

Tristan's diet consisted of salad, fruit and protein shakes.

"When I first did it, I didn't have enough energy for practice," he said. "After a while, I had more energy, endurance and strength from eating good."

Freitas-Scott finished first in the 100 free and second in the 200 IM at the WAC Championships on April 29 in Los Banos.

The Bulldogs' 400 free relay team of Freitas-Scott, Kier, Bishop and Lewis took first.

The Bulldogs' 200 medley relay team of Bishop, Lewis, Freitas-Scott and Kier took first.

A four-year member of Ceres High's varsity boys swim program, Tristan developed into one of the top competitors in the Stanislaus District.

He qualified for the section meet once as an individual and three consecutive seasons as part of relay teams.

"I had to push myself to go further," he said. "There's more to it (the sport) than swimming fast. There's technique. You got to think in the water. You have to relax. That's what I learned."