Taft boys win Invitational while girls place third

Everyone knows how home cooking can help a team. The Taft High swim teams took it one step further Saturday when they finished in the top three at the Wildcat Invitational.


Taft won the boys competition with an overall total of 276. Shafter followed in second with 217 points out of the eight team field.

Mike Hagstrom led the Wildcat success by finishing first in four races. Two of those wins came in the boys 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard freestyle where Hagstrom had times of 22.67 and 51.61 respectively. 

In the 100-yard freestyle race Shafter’s Matt Wolfe had the next closest time by finishing in 54.18.
Hagstrom’s other victories took place in the relay events when he teamed up with Nick Hagstrom, Dalton Thornsberry and Caleb Taylor to win the 200-yard medley relay and the 400-yard freestyle relay with times of 1:49.42 and 3:39.64.

In both of those races, the Wildcats won by a big margin with Ridgeview following in second place in the 200-yard medley with a time of 1:52.77 while Highland was second with a time of 3:48.17 the 400-yard freestyle relay.

Mike Hagstrom was not the only multi winner for Taft.

Along with the two relay races, Taylor also finished first in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:01.08 and the 100-yard backstroke in a time of 1:00.83.

In both cases, Taylor won by a large margin with Bakersfield Christian’s John Burksa finishing second in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:09.61 while Shafter’s Bryson Barton was second in the backstroke with a time of 1:04.61.

Nick Hagstrom had a pair of second place finishes in the 200-yard IM and the 100-yard breaststroke where he finished with times of 2:26.78 and 1:12.50.

Taft also had a fourth place finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay when Derrick Pitts, Jack Haroutunian, Jacob Hansen and Thornsberry joined forces to finish with a time of 1:46.07.
Taft’s success carried into the diving competition with Tim Casteel, Dylan Pitts and Brandon Park finishing first, second and third with marks of 149.70, 149.35 and 139.


Meanwhile, the Lady Wildcats finished third out of eight teams with 204 points. Highland was first with 256 points while Independence was second with 223.

Kasey Stuntebeck had the lone victory for Taft by winning the 50-yard freestyle in a time of 26.23.

Stuntebeck also placed second in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 58.40. Highland’s Taylor Solorio won the event with a time of 56.29.

Taft had another second place finish in the 200-yard medley relay when Kayla Schuyler, Chelsea Dickard, Lauren Melton and Stuntebeck teamed up with a time 2:12.25.

The Lady Wildcats also captured a pair of third place finishes with Schuyler taking third in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 1:19.20.

The other third place finish came in the 200-yard freestyle relay where Schuyler, Melton, Dickard and Stuntebeck completed the race in a time of 1:59.25.

In the one meter diving competition, Dickard was second with a mark of 143.20.