Madeline Woznick reaped the rewards of hard work on Saturday, winning two Sac-Joaquin Section swimming titles.
Competing at the Sac-Joaquin Section Championships at Tokay High’s swimming pool, the Lodi High swimmer, a senior, took first place and shattered school records in two events to capture the crowns.
“It feels real amazing,” Woznick said. “I wasn’t really expecting it at first. I just went into the meet just thinking it’s another meet.”
Woznick is one of two Lodi High swimmers who earned section titles toward the end of last week. Madison Liu won the girls’ section title in diving.
The duo are part of four Lodi High swimmers who will be competing at the fifth annual California Interscholastic Federation Swimming, which will take place at the Clovis Olympic Swim Complex on the Clovis West High campus this Friday and Saturday. Aidan Scott and Audrey Moore, both of whom also placed in their events at the section championships, are the other two. Woznick has qualified for the state meet all four years in high school.
In the girls’ 100-yard freestyle on Saturday, Woznick finished with a time of 50.77 seconds for her first title. A quick start after diving into the pool led to more than half of a body length lead.
“I knew my start was going to be a major factor in giving me a little bit of a lead in the beginning,” Woznick said. “Just getting on top of the water and going as fast as I could. In that race, you have to sprint the entire time and knowing you can’t make any mistakes. It’s kind of splash and dash; just got to get up and go.”
Her second section title came in the 50 freestyle at 23.18. And just like the 100 freestyle, Woznick splashed to an early lead.
“You have to make sure you don’t breath as much because breathing takes time; adds more time to your race,” Woznick said. “Sometimes I say to myself ‘OK, I’m going to breathe once on the way down and twice on the way back.’ You just have to sprint it as fast as you can and get your hand on the wall.”
According to Lodi coach John Griffin, Woznick’s times in both events are new school records.
“Very relaxed at the blocks,” said Griffin of Woznick’s starts in both races. “Confident in which she’s done in her work. She’s a sprint star.”
Woznick’s 50-freestyle time is an auto All American time, and her 100-freestyle time is an All-American consideration time. Woznick is still in awe of winning two section titles.
“When I looked at the board and found out that I won, it’s just an amazing feeling,” Woznick said. “Especially being a senior. I felt it was my turn to shine.”
During the season, Woznick swam twice a day; in the mornings before school — rain or shine — and with her Flame teammates at their afternoon practice.
Woznick also has a personal trainer, who has her lift weights twice a week.
“I averaged about 3 1/2 hours of training,” Woznick said.
Scott, a junior, swam to a third place finish in the 100 backstroke at 51.32 and took sixth place in the 200 individual medley at 1 minute, 53.26 seconds.
“He’s a focused young man,” said Griffin of Scott.
Scott, a freshman, took second place in the 200 freestyle at 1:51.46 and fourth in the 5:08.95.
“I’m very excited for the both of them,” said Woznick of Moore and Scott, both of whom are advancing to the state meet for the first time. “It will be a really cool experience to watch both of them.”
Other Lodi varsity swimmers who competed in the finals of the section meet were Melissa Celli, who was in the 200 IM and finished at 2:11.95 for 13th place. In the 100 breaststroke, she also took 13th at 1:06.78.
The Lodi girls’ 200 freestyle team of Celli, Woznick, Madison Rishwain and Moore were clocked at 1:40.71 for sixth place.
As a team, the Lodi girls took fourth place with 126 points in Division I. Davis High of Davis won the blue banner with 397.50 points, Granite Bay second at 302 and Folsom third at 147.
In D-I boys, Lodi took 10th place with 53 points. Oak Ridge won the section title with 293 points, Jesuit second at 286.50 and Granite Bay third at 186.
In the frosh/soph events, Tokay’s Katie McLain was also a double-winner. McLain was first in the 200 freestyle at 1:54.95 and the 100 breaststroke at 1:06.07.
Lodi’s Elisa Grim placed in two events; third place in the 100 breaststroke at 1:06.85 and fifth in the 100 butterfly at 1:00.09. Emma Cecchini took 13th place in the 100 breaststroke at 1:13.31.
The Lodi frosh/soph girls’ 200 medley relay team of Cecchini, Grim, Hollie Becker and Chloe Nowak took 16th place at 1:58.71. The 400 freestyle team of Grim, Nowak, Macy Munson and Kenna Dooley were 11th at 3:59.33.
Liberty Ranch’s Katie Schwarze took second place in the 100 freestyle at 53.17 and ninth place in the 100 butterfly at 1:00.05.
For the Lodi frosh/soph boys, Tyler Daley took fourth place in the 100 freestyle at 49.68 and fifth in the 50 freestyle at 22.67. Victor Plunkett took 12th in the 200 freestyle at 1:53.87 and 16th in the 500 freestyle at 5:11.40.
The Flames’ boys 200 freestyle team of Daley, Max Broudreau, Braden Endter and Plunkett took fifth place at 1:34.05. The quartet was also part of the 400 freestyle relay team also took fifth at 3:28.50.
Contact Mike Bush at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter: @MBushLodiSports.