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Four tiers exist on the Doherty's girls' swim team.

The tiers go along with the classes, or at least they did last year. Every class had a standout, and the Spartans are looking to recreate that, albeit with different leaders.

Sophomore Audrey Vannelli, junior Ally Gregory and senior Ana Rojas are the newest members of their respective leadership tiers. The three stood out, once again, in a 118-62 win over visiting Coronado on Thursday.

The bookends of the trio — Vannelli and Rojas — won each of the events they participated in, despite having to swim unfamiliar races. Coach Murphy Barry wants all her Spartans to compete in everything, at least once.

As leaders of the team, there were no gripes.

Rojas swam the 500-yard freestyle, winning it by nearly a full minute. This coming on the heels of the fourth-year swimmer being the state's leader in the 100-yard backstroke and registering top-10 times in the 100-yard freestyle and butterfly already this year.

"I feel blessed to have these girls," Barry said. "They just take the leadership role and run with it. Audrey is finding herself as a swimmer and leader and it's fun for her to be a defined number two.

"They're silent leaders, and just their effort in the water and at meets makes the difference."

Rojas and Vannelli make it a point to not distance from the team. Even with another workout on tap Thursday after the meet, the latter stayed for the post-meet acknowledgements of teammate's efforts.

They both swim year-round, switching from club to high school and sometimes both at once. Even so, there's been no distance created. Rojas is her team's biggest cheerleader and Vannelli is taking the lesson and running with it, too.

"I just want to show our team that hard work pays off," Rojas said. "We train together, so without them, I would hate it. It would be awful. We had some good seniors leave last year, so I'm thankful to have the whole team around to support me and I support them."

The two even push one another. When Coronado held a 10-second lead in the final relay, Vannelli was tasked with making up the difference. Once she finished her leg of the 400-yard freestyle relay, the Spartans were comfortably in the lead.

When the two competed in the Spartans' 200-yard freestyle relay quartet, they made the difference once again, pulling Doherty away to an eight-second win.

All along, Vannelli and teammates are just looking to be pushed, and no one reels them in like Rojas.

"Ana is just such an inspiration to me," Vannelli said. "She pushes everyone and cheers for everyone. It encourages everyone to be like her and strive to be her. It helps to make a good and fun environment for the team."

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