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Laguna Beach girls look strong defending league crown

STAFF WRITER

Laguna Beach swimming maintained its grip on the Orange Coast League on Wednesday, but the Breakers’ girls team offered something extra.

With a dominating performance at the league finals meet at Costa Mesa, Laguna Beach’s girls signaled that they might be on the rise next week at the CIF-SS Division 2 meet in Riverside.

Last season, Laguna Beach’s boys caught the division off guard and captured the Division 2 crown.

The Breakers’ girls showed more depth Wednesday and could improve on last season’s 16th-place finish.

“I think they’ll move up for sure,” Laguna Beach co-coach Kari Damato said. “They can do really well.”

Laguna Beach defended its league title by scoring 492 points to easily outdistance runner-up Calvary Chapel (224).

Kasey Karkoska, part of a strong sophomore class at Laguna Beach, highlighted the effort by lowering her meet record in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 2 minutes, 7.08 seconds.

She also won the 100 breaststroke (1:09.00).

Laguna Beach sophomore Harper Dix and freshman Claire Kelly also were double-winners.

Laguna Beach also won the 400-yard free relay in a meet and school-record 3:38.36. The team of Karkoska (52.60 leadoff), senior Keira Dailey (55.96),transfer junior Claire Sonne (55.93) and Dix (53.87) clipped the 2012 school record of 3:38.40.

"We have a lot of new people," Kasey Karkoska said.

The Breakers’ boys defended their title by racking up 408 points to outdistance Costa Mesa (265).

Calvary Chapel’s Andrew Koustik outdueled Laguna Beach’s Cameron Karkoska in one of the best races of the meet, the 100 butterfly. Koustik won in a school-record 50.32 to outdistance Karkoska (51.47).

"It's so fun to race him," Cameron Karkoska said of Koustik.

Koustik, a sophomore, also edged Laguna Beach’s Max Morgan in the 100 breaststroke, touching in a season-best and league-record 57.53. Morgan also raced under the previous league record -- a 58.31 by Cameron Karkoska -- with a 57.95.

Estancia emerging sophomore Cobi White won the 50 free in 22.34, about a tenth off his 22.19 from prelims. The automatic qualifying time in Division 2 is 22.05.

In the South Coast and Sea View: The leagues moved their finals up one day, to Thursday, because of weather concerns.

In Sunset League prelims:

Edison’s Zach Nelson qualified first in the breaststroke with a school and meet-record record 56.50 at Golden West College.

Contact the writer: dalbano@ocregister.com


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