By Keith Peters
When it comes to high school swimming, Palo Alto senior Jasmine Tosky has been unbeatable. Coming into this season, she had never lost an individual race -- whether in a dual meet, the league finals or Central Coast Section Championships.
Streaks are meant to be broken and Gunn senior Rachel Acker took care of Tosky's on Wednesday while helping the Titans pull off a big victory in the annual SCVAL De Anza Division showdown between the schools.
Tosky, a national recordholder in the 100 fly and the state recordholder in the 200 free, was moved into the 100 free against Gunn in order to take points away from the Titans.
Acker, a teammate of Tosky's with Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics, had other ideas and beat her rival for the first time with a fast 50.18 clocking. Tosky was second in 50.80, her first-ever defeat in a high school individual event.
Acker also won the 50 free in 23.64 and swam leadoff legs on the winning 200 free relay (1:37.83) and 400 free relay (3:34.81) as the Titans beat the Vikings, 97-89.
Gunn went into the final relay with a six-point lead, forcing Paly to finish 1-3 just to tie. It didn't happen as Acker sped to a 50.67 clocking on the opening 100 to give her team almost a four-second lead. Tosky closed in 50.55 but was too far behind by the time she entered the water.
The victory put Gunn (5-0) in position to win the regular-season title over the Vikings (4-1). Each team has one dual meet remaining.
Gunn beat Palo Alto two years ago for the first time in 17 years, but Tosky was competing for PASA in a US Swimming meet in Ohio. She swam in last year's dual against Gunn and the Vikings won.
Wednesday's victory by Gunn was even more impressive because the Titans were missing two of their key swimmers -- seniors Julia Ama and Casey Lincoln. Ama is away competing at the Brazilian Olympic Trials and Lincoln was at Yale University for Admin Week.
Despite missing those two, Gunn had plenty of depth and first-place points to hand Palo Alto the rare loss.
The Titans swept all three relays, got the two wins from Acker, a triumph from freshman Jenna Campbell in the 100 fly (58.35), a victory from sophomore Fiona Hon in the 100 back (1:01.75) and a win from senior Maggie McKenna in the 100 breast (1:08.47).
Tosky, who like Acker is training for the U.S. Olympic Trials in June, won the 200 free in 1:52.11 with teammate Molly Zebker taking the 200 IM (2:13.76) and 500 free (5:15.85). Serena Yee won the diving as the Vikings won just four times.
In the boys' meet, Palo Alto evened the score with a 108-78 triumph to improve to 5-0 while closing in on the regular-season dual-meet championship.
The Vikings won 11 of the 12 events with seniors Rollin Lau and Byron Sanborn winning twice along with sophomore Andrew Liang.
Lau took the 200 free (1:50.08) and 500 free (5:05.90), Sanborn won the 200 IM (1:58.95) and 100 breast (59.10), and Liang captured the 50 free (22.13) and 100 free (48.82) with times that rank among the best in the CCS.
All three also contributed two winning legs on the three relays.
In West Bay Athletic League action on Wednesday, the Sacred Heart Prep boys and girls won meets. The boys defeated visiting Menlo School, 127-43, while the girls downed Castilleja, 124-44, and Menlo, 130-37. Castilleja beat Menlo, 97-61.
SHP senior Tom Kremer had the fastest times of the day as he won the 50 free in 21.52 and 100 fly in 50.48, just missing school records in both races (21.46 and 50.26). He also swam legs on the winning 200 medley and 200 free relays.
Harrison Enright added solid wins in the 200 free (1:50.41) and 500 free (4:57.81) and Bret Hinrichs took the 200 IM (2:03.65) and 100 back (57.20).
In the girls' meet, SHP's Ally Howe set a school record while winning the 500 free (4:56.03), breaking the previous mark of 5:11.10 set in 2005. Howe also won the 100 breast (1:08.45) and swam on two winning relays.
SHP senior Erin Sheridan took the 200 free (2:00.06) and 50 free (25.42). Selby Sturzenegger added wins in the 100 fly (1:01.43) and 100 back (59.30), Erica Myers won the 200 IM (2:19.31) and 100 free (56.65) and the SHP relay teams swept all three races.
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