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PHOTO, TEXT BY DAN ALBANO, OCVARSITY.COM
Pacifica's Ben Burns, who was born with a genetic bone disorder, with teammate Ryan Hollingsworth at last week's Empire League finals at Kennedy. Hollingsworth made supportive T-shirts for Burns, who missed the meet with a broken leg.

Notes: Pacifica's Burns stays positive despite bone disorder

OCVARSITY.COM

Ben Burns sat poolside in a wheelchair with his left leg in a cast and his right leg in a brace but no Orange County swimmer seemed more upbeat last week than the Pacifica junior.

Burns was knocked out of the Empire League prelims after breaking his leg during warm-ups against Valencia the week earlier. The junior varsity freestyler was injured after he accidently kicked a swimmer behind him while doing the breaststroke.

While it was a freak accident, it also was a somewhat common occurrence for Burns.

He was born with a genetic bone disorder in which his bones can break easily. The low-impact nature of swimming gives him an opportunity at athletics.

“I’ve broken almost every bone in my body,” he said. “I’ll just pull with the punches. If I break a leg, hey, I break a leg. It doesn’t bother me. … I am going to swim again.”

The support of teammates helps Burns stay positive. At the Empire League meet at Kennedy, teammates wore white T-shirts with black letters that read, “This ones for Ben.”

Teammate Ryan Hollingsworth made about 80 of the shirts.

“He had no idea,” Hollingsworth said. “(He was) emotional. … I like Ben. Ben is a nice guy.”

DANA HILLS EMERGES AS CONTENDER

Dana Hills boys used a stellar performance at the South Coast League finals to emerge as a contender for the Division 1 title. The Dolphins also feature a formidable diving contingent led by freshman Jake Greenberg, the top seed for Tuesday’s 11-dive competition at Riverside City College. “We’re excited,” Dolphins coach Matt Rosa said in a text. “Dana Hills has never competed for a team title at CIF.”


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