CONCORD -- Granada High took second in the boys compeition at the North Coast Section swimming championships on May 17 at Concord Community Pool, edged out by a Northgate team that ended Campolindo's remarkable nine-year run as section champions.

Still, the Matadors provided one of the biggest highlights of the meet.

Minutes before Northgate was presented with its first team championship since 1996, Granada's Nick Silverthorn, Bryce McLaggan, Trent Trump and Maxime Rooney ended the meet by blazing to a national public school record of 2 minutes, 59.00 seconds in the boys 400-yard freestyle relay.

It was the fifth time in six years that a national high school record was set at the NCS championships.

Granada also won the 200 medley relay and got victories from Silverthorn in the 100 breaststroke and Rooney in the 200 and 500 freestyle.

Rooney, Granada's standout sophomore, was the only swimmer to claim two individual titles. But a day after setting NCS records in the 200 and 500 freestyle, he didn't go faster. He finished the 200 in 1:36.21 and the 500 in 4:26.36.

Rooney said he wanted to make sure he still had a little left in the tank as the Matadors' chased the 400 freestyle relay record. He did, with a time of 44.13 seconds in his anchor leg split.

"We were ahead of pace and we know with Maxime in the water we're not going to fall off pace," said Silverthorn, who took second to Rooney in the 200 freestyle, in addition to his win in the 100 breaststroke.


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San Ramon Valley dominated the girls team competition, claiming its fourth title in six years.

The Wolves set an NCS record in the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:33.51 as Cailey Steffens ran down second-place Carondelet in the final 50 yards. The relay team also included Heidi Poppe, Marina Smith and Alexa Fusari. San Ramon Valley also won the 200 medley relay.

Poppe closed out her San Ramon Valley career with an emotional win in the 100 breaststroke, posting the No. 2 time in NCS meet history with a 59.85 finish.

Though she won the event for the third straight year, she had never done it in under a minute.

"Going 59 (seconds) was such a mental barrier and it was hard for me to think of things to fix in my race," said Poppe, who also took second in the 50 freestyle. "I hit all my pull-downs and just knowing it was my last race in high school, I think that got me through."

Other individual winners from the East Bay included Amador Valley's Kevin McLaughlin (boys 200 individual medley) and Iris Brand (girls 50 freestyle), Carondelet's Maddie Murphy (100 freestyle) and Samantha Coloma (100 backstroke), Acalanes' Brittany Usinger (girls 100 butterfly) and Granada's Moriah Simonds (girls 500 freestyle). Amador Valley's Lauren Hall won the 1-meter diving competition on May 15.

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