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  • Writer's pictureHugo Traverso

Newman Dominates Santa Rosa on Senior Night

Cardinal Newman swimming dominated Santa Rosa at Ridgeway Swim Center at Santa Rosa High School Friday. Newman's home pool at Santa Rosa Junior College wasn't available so the two sides agreed to meet at Santa Rosa's home pool and treat it like a Newman home meet. The Cardinals came in hyped after the men's team had suffered a close loss to Rosa the last time they met. The Cardinal men had fallen in their 2 meets against Ukiah and Maria Carrillo earlier in the week while the women were 1-1 with a win against Ukiah. Both teams were looking for a win and Coach Geoff Peters and Captain Teagan Craig rallied the Cardinals pre-meet.

Women's Swimming

The first event of the meet was the 200 medly relay and on the women's side, Newman lead with Princeton Commit Junior Natalie Farquhar dominating and setting the pace in backstroke, Freshman Lydia Cunningham expanding the lead in the breatstroke, Sophomore Morgan Puckett dominating in butterfly and Freshman Jordyn Menconi bringing it home for Newman in freestyle. All 4 swimmers are part of the elite Santa Rosa Neptunes who produced olympians and numerous elite college swimmers such as 2 time gold medalist and Stanford alum Maya DiRado who won 2 gold medals and a silver and bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Newman took 3rd too in the event behind Senior Hayden Hansel doing backstroke, Junior Abby Smits doing breaststroke, Neptune Freshman Grace Thumhart doing fly and Neptune Junior Maddy Ratto. This gave the Newman women a huge head start heading into the 200 freestyle. In the 200 free, Nora Mensch won for Santa Rosa, but for Newman, Riina Palmgren took 2nd, Grace Thumhart took 3rd and Maddy Ratto took 4th. Newman strengthened their lead with the 2-3-4 finish. In the 200 indivual medly, Abby Smits, Lydia Cunningham and Hayden Hansel came in clutch for the Cardinals, finishing 1-2-3 and giving Newman 13 points for the race. Smits out touched Cunnigham by 0.1 seconds, finishing with a 2:33.72 while Cunningham finished with a 2:33.82. Newman continued dominance with a 1-2-3 finish in the 50 freestyle. Jordyn Menconi won with a 26.49, Morgan Puckett finished 2nd with a 27.63 and Teagan Craig came in 3rd with a 28.83 giving Newman another 13 points and expanding their lead to 45-17 as the meet hit the dive break where Newman honored their Seniors.

Teagan Craig and Hayden Hansel were the only 2 seniors for Newman swim this year as the Newman team is young with over 20 freshmen. Craig and Hansel had competed for Newman throughout their 4 years at Newman and had also been stars in the water polo program at Newman. Both had shown incredible passion for their sports and teammates throughout their 4 years especially in their senior year, carpooling teammates to practices and team dinners as well as keeping good morale around the team throughout the water polo and swim seasons. Hansel was captain of the water polo team and lead the charge as well as the scoring for Newman in the fall. Craig is captian of the Newman swim team and has rallied the team before every meet. Both are incredible student athletes who will be attending great schools this fall. Hansel will be attending UCLA and Craig will be attending UC Berkeley. The ceremony was great and the celebration was grand for the 2 Seniors with Coach Peters giving a good speech and the team rallying around the Seniors to keep morale and to go finish the job.

Everyone geared up for Part 2 of the meet as Morgan Puckett and Riina Palmgren got set to swim the 100 butterfly and keep the Newman momentum. Puckett won the event by 8 seconds, finishing with a 1:05 and Palmgren finished 3rd giving Newman 9 points. The 100 freestyle was up next and Newman finished 1st, 3rd and 4th with Natalie Farquhar finishing 1st with a 54 second 100 free. Lexie Lewis swam a 56 second 100 free for the Panthers, capturing 2nd, but Newman took 3rd and 4th with Jordyn Menconi swimming a 57 second 100 free and Teagan Craig swimming a 1:03. The next race was the big one, the 500. Newman had Grace Thumhart, Hannah Bickel and Shawet Shibeshi racing for them while the Panthers had Rose Williams and Glaeson going for them. Thumhart dominated and finished with a 6:15, Williams came 2nd with a 6:22 and Bickel finished 3rd with a 7:29. Newman continued this dominance in the 200 relay with their teams finishing 1st, 3rd and 4th. The A Team with Teagan Craig, Natalie Farqhuar, Abby Smits and Morgan Puckett won by 4 seconds with 1:48. The B Team finished 3rd with a 2:07 and the C team finished 4th with a 2:26. The 100 back was up next and Natalie Farqhuar continued her annihilation of the competition taking the event with a 1:01 while Nora Mensch finished 2nd with a 1:08 for the Panthers, but Newman got 3rd with Hayden Hansel finishing with a 1:18. Freshman Keely Dickey was narrowly beat out and took 5th for the Cardinals. Santa Rosa got just their 2nd and last win in the 100 breatstroke with Lexie Lewis taking it with a 1:13. Lydia Cunningham finished 2nd with a 1:17, Abby Smits took 3rd with a 1:23 and Freshman Emma Lando beat out Emma Grace to take 5th. Newman went into the final event, the 400 free relay with some gas still in the tank and dominated to take home 1st and 3rd. Thumhart, Craig, Cunningham and Menconi swam a 4:16 to take first by 23 seconds while the team of Bickel, Dickey, Palmgren and Ratto took home 3rd with a 4:47 to give Newman 10 points to finish the meet.

The Newman girls needed a win to finish 2nd in League and they had dominated Santa Rosa winning 9 of the 11 events on Senior Night and finishing with a blowout 116-56 victory. Santa Rosa had raced a tough opponent well but fell short. Lexie Lewis and Nora Mensch had lead the charge for the Panthers and had been great. Newman finished well with a great sendoff for their Seniors.

Men's Swimming

The Newman men started slow in the 200 medly relay finishing 2nd but in the 200 free, Neptune Freshman Josh Trebe dominated for Newman with Freshman Ian Beranek and Sophomore Kai Slater finishing close behind. In the 200 indivual medly, Neptune Freshman Jacob Sullivan and SF Water Polo Freshman Brody Hansel raced a close race with Hansel hanging on through the back, breast and fly portions, but Sullivan took the lead in the freestyle portion and out touched Hansel in a close finish to give Newman a 1-2 finish with Sullivan finishing with a 2:15.97 and Hansel with a 2:16.82. In the 50 free, Freshman Adam Holmes took 3rd with a 27.38 for Newman, but Rosa went 1-2 with Sebastian Kino-Gile and Alessio Meldoty finishing with 25.9 seconds and 27.2 seconds.

After the diving break, the 100 fly commenced and Freshman Kameron Guttormsen took first with a great 1:16 time and Sophomore Kai Slater finished with a 1:32 to take 3rd and get more points on the board for Newman who had been up 31-29 before the break. Newman continued the dominance in the 100 free with Jacob Sullivan winning with a 54 second 100 and Brody Hansel taking 3rd with a 1:02. Gile finished with a 58 second 100 to take second for the Panthers. Newman then expanded their lead even more by going 1-2 in the 500 free with Freshmen Rocco Smith and Hugo Traverso swimming a close race. Smith finished with a 7:23 and Traverso finished with a 7:25, both personal records. The 200 free relay was up next and Newman's teams of freshman finished 1st and 3rd gifting them huge points. Josh Trebe, Adam Holmes, Brody Hansel and Jacob Sullivan combined for a 1:48 relay and beat out Santa Rosa by 3 seconds. Ben Tisman, DJ Kellam, Hugo Traverso and Ian Beranek were down by 7 seconds early, but the relay kept chugging and Ian Beranek finished it off outpacing Santa Rosa's B team anchor by 6 seconds to give the team a 2:20 finish, a 5 second win over the Panthers B team to finish 3rd. Josh Trebe finished 3rd by under a second to Robin Bibson and Ian Swallow who both finished with a 1:11. It didn't faze Newman, though, as Brody Hansel cruised to a huge win in the 100 breast with a 1:11 and heading into the final event, the 400 relay, Newman was up 81-67 and a relay win would win them the meet. The 400 relay team, the same as the 200 relay: Hansel, Trebe, Holmes and Sullivan, dominated with a 3:58, finishing about 20 seconds faster then the Santa Rosa A team. The Newman B Team of Tisman, Smith, Slater and Guttormsen finished 3rd to give Newman 10 points and finish the meet with a Newman win, 91-71.

The Newman men had proven they were the better team against Rosa and won respectfully, cheering, "Good Meet Rosa", at the end of the meet. Newman will see Rosa again at NBL Championships on Friday and Saturday at Santa Rosa Junior College. Newman won 91-71 and finished their year well. Santa Rosa raced well and had some talent, but came up short to a well coached, young Newman team.

JV Swimming

Both JV teams competed well in their respective events. Santa Rosa had a JV team in the 200 medly relay who competed well, finishing with a 3:33. Newman competed in the 100 indivual medly with Alena Bardashova swimming a 1:40. In the 50 fly, Haley won for Santa Rosa with a 54 second 50 fly. In the 50 free, Madylin won for Santa Rosa with a 37.34, out touching DJ Kellam who swam a 39 second 50. Zosia Michalek finished with a 40.92 and Haley Davis finished with a 41 second 50 for Newman. Kellam, Michalek and Davis raced the 100 free against 3 Santa Rosa swimmers with Kellam winning. Newman's 200 free relay team of Diane Van Anne, Maria Perez, Haley Davis and Zosia Michalek swam a nice relay against Santa Rosa and showed improvement from their last race against Ukiah. Maria Perez competed in the 100 backstroke, finishing well and Diane Van Anne finished well also in the100 breaststroke. Newman's JV has showed a lot of improvement and finished the season well.


Cardinal Newman dominated Santa Rosa on Friday on Senior Night and celebrated by eating muffins from Costco that had been brought by Captain Teagan Craig. As they finished their Newman chant, they honored their Seniors with one final win as a team. At NBL Championships, Newman look like they will place well, but it is all the work they put in. All of the Cardinals have put in work at practice and in and out of the water to get better at their events and look to finish well at NBLs. The end of a great season for the Cardinals is a sweet one with them accomplishing their goal: Finish the year with a strong win. There will be many more as Newman's team is incredibly young, talented and hungry. The team will continue to work event past NBLs on Friday and Saturday, NCS in May and maybe CIF State in late May on their own to enhance their craft and get geared up for a great 2024 season.

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