By The Bakersfield Californian
2012 All-Area Girls Swimming Team
SWIMMER OF THE YEAR
Taylor Solorio, jr, Highland
She won two Division II championships in times that would have put her right at the front of the D-I races: 24.39 in the 50-yard freestyle and 52.42 in the 100 freestyle. She also swam a strong breaststroke leg in the Scots' medley relay.
DIVER OF THE YEAR
Lucy LaFranchise, sr, Liberty
One of Kern County's hidden gems, LaFranchise is now a three-time Diver of the Year. For the second consecutive season, she was undefeated against the Central Section and won the Division I title with an automatic All-American score, this time 429.05.
Chandler Bullman, jr, Frontier
One of two Kern County girls to win a Central Section title, Bullman took the 100 butterfly in 59.42, out-touching Buchanan's Courtney Chacon at the wall. She also placed second in the 200 IM (2:13.42) and helped two Titans' relay teams reach the section final.
Jorie Caneta, soph, Frontier
No area swimmer had a more remarkable race than Caneta's section-title win in the 100 breaststroke. She clocked 1:04.43, breaking her own section record by more than half a second. She also placed fifth in the 50 freestyle (25.16).
Emily Cruz, jr, Centennial
She was unbeaten in the 200 and 500 freestyle all the way through the Southwest Yosemite League championships, then took sixth in the 200 free (2:01.85) and 100 butterfly (1:02.02) at the section meet.
Melissa Gore, jr, Taft
Besides winning the Division II diving championship with an automatic All-American mark of 375.85, Gore set the six-dive (234.25) and 11-dive (437.65) school records at Taft.
Laura Meert, sr, Garces
After leading the Rams to a Southeast Yosemite League title, Meert reached the section's 100 freestyle final, finighing eighth (56.36) and won the B final of the 50 free (25.91).
Morgan Musquez, sr, Centennial
The top local finisher in the 50 freestyle final at the D-I section finals (third in 24.82), Musquez also took fourth in the 100 butterfly (1:01.15) and helped Centennial's 400 freestyle relay take third.
Whitney White, sr, Centennial
A third member of that 400 free relay team, White also was the top local in the 100 backstroke section final (fourth in 1:03.39) and seventh in the 100 free final (56.26).
Sara Baldridge, soph, Highland
Tatum Collatz, fr, Stockdale
Noelle Farrer, jr, Garces
Elizabeth Hargis, sr, Centennial
Sara Klang, soph, Garces
Claryce Lazerson, soph, Bakersfield Christian
Natalie Ramos, sr, Stockdale
Kendall Rudie, fr, Garces
Jessey Warren, sr, Liberty
Bakersfield: Lauren Clarkson, Claire Dalke, Amber Kelly
Bakersfield Christian: Delaney Goltry
Centennial: Aly Arms, Annie Bardet, Carlee Burks, Kathryn Johnston, McCall Miller, Brianna Smith, Hanna Webb
East: Anna Worth
Foothill: Ragen Schallock, Jade Turner
Frontier: Taylor Ash, Sydney Fuller, Angela Mudge, Paige Richardson
Garces: Madeline Atchison, Annie Berry, Brynn Jamieson, Anne Shambaugh
Highland: Elizabeth Nakagawa
Independence: Morgan Regan, Shelby Woolf
Liberty: Hailey McBride, Elizabeth McMurray, Madi Olinger, Audrey Willoughby
Shafter: Heidi Lederhos
Stockdale: Brooke Bonetti, Anne Dravis, Lindsey Paulson, Madison Schutzner
Tehachapi: Colleen Chung, Lauren Turpin, Lexi Zimmerman
Coach of the Year
David Graves, Centennial
One year after ending Stockdale's 17-year domination atop the Southwest Yosemite League, Centennial coach David Graves' girls swimming team is launching a dynasty of its own, backing up its undefeated dual season by winning its second consecutive championship.
And for the second consecutive year, Graves has been selected as The Californian 's Girls Swimming Coach of the Year.
"It's great; (the SWYL titles) are both very special," he said. "We won them in different fashions, so they were sweet in their own way."
A tremendous Golden Hawks 2012 campaign was then completed with a top five finish at the Central Section championships.
That's something Graves said was an achievement, because he felt that the team did not have the experience across the board needed to compete at that level.
"We graduated a lot of really good swimmers last year, so our girls that remained really had to step up and perform," he said. "It was tough to repeat and took a lot of sacrifice from a lot of swimmers to make it happen."
Led by diligent efforts from swimmers Morgan Musquez and Whitney White, along with plenty of help from assistant coaches Sydney Peeples, Larissa Dewante, Taylor Sampson and Scott Marx, the Hawks' performance soared well beyond anyone's expectations.
That includes Graves, who wasn't content with just repeating on the girls side; he also helped the school add a boys SWYL title, a feat that snapped Stockdale's seven-year reign.
"It was great to get them both this year; the teams train together and are very close, so it was nice," Graves said. "The captains really did a magnificent job of bringing the athletes together and having them work together as a team."