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Spring notes: Excitement builds over O.C. Championships

STAFF REPORTS

The recent results suggest there could be some fast times and exciting competition at the Orange County Championships for track and field on Saturday at Mission Viejo High.

San Juan Hills’ Connor Meech set career-best marks in the 100-meter (14.68) and 300 hurdles (37.81) on Saturday at the Mt. SAC Relays. The senior holds the county lead in both events.

The throws competition Saturday will be a battle. Orange County possesses three of the state’s top-10 competitors in the shot put and discus - Mater Dei’s Malik McMorris, Valencia’s Nick Coghill and Esperanza’s Bronson Osborn.

Coghill and Osborn continued their stellar seasons at Mt. SAC. Coghill unleashed a thrown in the shot put of 59 feet, 5.75 inches to extend his school record. Osborn also produced a lifetime-best 176-6 in the discus.

Tesoro’s Andrew Suda, Garrett Mitchell, Wyndal Skarsden and Sander Kushen set a school record (17:44.77) in the 6,400 relay on Friday at Mt. SAC. Canyon (17:23.26) finished second in the event.

Orange Lutheran’s Jeremiah Harris had a breakthrough performance in a dual meet against Santa Margarita on Thursday. He posted a winning mark of 21-3 to move up to second on the county leaderboard.

- ANDREW TURNER, Contributing writer

SWIMMING

This week’s Foothill Swim Games will provide Orange County swimmers with a chance to tune up for the upcoming championship season.

Several county-ranked teams are expected to attend the annual meet, which starts Thursday with the boys prelims at 3 p.m. The girls prelims are Friday at 3 p.m. with the combined finals set for Saturday at 10 a.m.

The county teams expected to race include: Foothill’s boys and girls, Santa Margarita’s boys and girls, University’s boys and girls, Northwood’s boys and girls, Edison’s boys and girls, Crean Lutheran’s boys and girls, Tesoro’s boys and girls, Mater Dei’s boys and girls, Irvine’s girls and Newport Harbor’s boys.

The meet will be a homecoming of sorts for Newport Harbor boys coach Aaron Peirsol. The five-time Olympic gold medalist and world-record holder raced in the meet for the Sailors starting as a freshman in 1999. …

Newport Harbor’s 10th-ranked boys face their biggest challenge so far under Peirsol when they race Tuesday at No. 6 Edison at 3 p.m. in a duel of 3-0 teams in the Sunset League.

“Our boys are kind of building up to it,” Peirsol said. “For us, it’s going to be about those close races.”

In another top meet Tuesday, Tesoro’s No. 9 boys race at No. 5 Dana Hills in the South Coast. On Wednesday, University’s top-ranked boys will be host to No. 3 Northwood in the Pacific Coast. …

Jerod McMillen, one of Newport Harbor’s varsity swimmers, finished second in the 100-yard breaststroke at the Estancia Frosh-Soph Invitational Saturday with a lifetime-best time of 1 minute, 1.56 seconds and won the 200 free (person-best 1:51.67). …

The Estancia meet attracted several varsity swimmers and ended Saturday with nine new meet records. “This is the fastest (meet) we’ve had in a long time,” Estancia girls coach Bob Bandaruk said. …

Segerstrom’s girls and Warren’s boys won titles at the Jaguar Invitational on Saturday.

- DAN ALBANO

BOYS WATER POLO

Ross Sinclair’s dream coaching position has become a reality.

The former Newport Harbor water polo standout has been hired at his alma mater as the boys water polo coach, he confirmed Monday.

Sinclair, 30, replaces interim coach Marco Palazzo, who took over last season for Robert Lynn.

Sinclair, 30, played at Newport Harbor and once wrote during a high school English assignment that he aspired to someday return to the school as the head water polo coach.

He went onto to play at UC Santa Barbara, professionally and has coached the Corona del Mar girls the past two seasons.

“(It’s) a dream come true,” Sinclair said of the Newport Harbor position. “I’m looking forward to working with the kids over there.”

Sinclair resigned Monday as Corona del Mar’s girls coach.

Sinclair’s hiring pairs him at Newport Harbor with Peirsol, his former classmate.

- DAN ALBANO

FOOTBALL

Mitch Olson confirmed he is returning to Orange County to be the football coach at Loara.

Olson, 54, coached at Kennedy for 21 seasons. His teams won eight league championships and a CIF title (2006). He was 163-85-3 at Kennedy.

He has been the coach at a high school in Watkinsville, Ga., since leaving Kennedy in 2008.

- STEVE FRYER

BOYS VOLLEYBALL

Corona del Mar advanced to the final of the Karch Kiraly Tournament of Champions in Santa Barbara on Saturday.

The third-seeded Sea Kings were swept by Loyola of Los Angeles, 25-23, 25-23, 25-16, in the final.

Augie Miller, Will Hunter and Sam Kobrine earned all-tournament honors for CdM.

CdM defeated Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara and Mira Costa to advance to the final.

Esperanza finished in 13th place in the two-day tournament.

- DAMIAN CALHOUN

GOLF

Applications are being accepted for the inaugural So Cal Junior Tournament, which will be held June 29 at Strawberry Farms Golf Course in Irvine.

Former University golf coach Michael Bova developed the event primarliy to give the boys and girls who are at the bottom end of the varsity roster a chance to get tournament experience while their lower-handicap teammates are playing in AJGA tournaments across the country this summer. But coaches are encouraged to send their top players as well.

The entry fee is $150, which includes a goodie bag, bag towel and tickets for raffled prizes. The application deadline is May 28. The field is limited to 144 players. For more information and to print an application form, go to www.sports-international.us.

The boys will play from the black tees, setting up a par-71 course that’s approximately 7,000 yards. The girls will play a 6,200-yard cousre using a mix of the white and blue tees.

- DAMIAN DOTTORE


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