LODI -- Even on an off day, Justin Carter is still pretty darn good. The Golden Valley junior won his second straight section title in the 100-yard backstroke and finished fifth in the 200 individual medley at Saturday's Sac-Joaquin Section swimming championships.
While the championship was nice, Carter came into the day with bigger goals.
"It feels good but I wanted the record," Carter said. "I wanted a time under 50 (seconds) or the record. I'm definitely going to get it next year."
Carter finished with a time of 50.13 in the 100 backstroke, which was an All-American time. The record is 49.80 by Bella Vista's Randall Bal.
Carter came into the finals seeded second in the 200 IM, but settled for fifth when he touched the wall in 1:56.72.
"I usually don't get out of it that early in a race," he said. "But I had a bad turn on the butterfly and that was pretty much it."
With his focus on the Olympic Trials in Nebraska in a few weeks, Carter has maintained his intensive training, which includes swimming 7,000 meters on Monday.
Most athletes at the section meet had tapered their workouts to conserve energy for Saturday.
"I was tired from the last couple of practices," Carter said. "I was not able to get up and go like I could if I was fully tapered."
The highlight of the day was Downey's Karlee Bispo breaking a national record with a time of 1:45.14 in the 200 freestyle.
Golden Valley's Stacy Carter finished third in that event with a time of 1:55.05.
The GV senior also finshed seventh in the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:01.18.
Merced's Becca Gallery finished 13th in the 50 free and 15th in the 100 free.
Gallery was also part of a relay team that finished 12th in the 400 freestyle.
Buhach Colony's relay team finished 14th in the 200 freestyle relay.
Atwater junior Adam Rice rebounded on Saturday from what he felt was a disappointing effort in the trials.
Rice won the consolation heat of the 200 individual medley to finish ninth with a time of 1:58.58, which was four seconds faster than his time in the trials.
Rice also finished fourth in the 100 butterfly with a time of 52.57.
"I was kind of depressed (Friday) after the trials," Rice said. "I was two seconds behind my best time.
"Today I was two seconds ahead of my best time, so I'm pretty happy."
Shawn Jansen is a Sun-Star sports reporter. He can be reached at 385-2462 or via e-mail at email@example.com.