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SAM GANGWER , STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Santa Margarita's Grant Shoults swims the breaststroke leg of the boys 200-yard medley relay against Mater Dei in a Trinity League meet Thursday at Mater Dei High.

Santa Margarita boys pull a fast one on No. 2 Mater Dei

STAFF WRITER

SANTA ANA Santa Margarita’s boys swim team was in a hurry Thursday.

The top-ranked Eagles used season-best speed and depth to quickly torpedo the drama that was anticipated for their showdown against No. 2 Mater Dei.

Seniors Grant Shoults and Marc Morizono and freshman Kevin Tu each won twice, and the visiting Eagles swept the three relays en route to a 102-68 victory over the reigning Trinity League champion.

Related: Thursday's leaderboard

Santa Margarita opened a 16-point lead after four events. The Eagles essentially had the meet wrapped by the time Shoults made a swift exit after the 200-yard freestyle relay and headed off to catch a flight to Arizona for the Arena Pro Swim.

Mater Dei outscored the Eagles in one of the 11 events, the 100-yard breaststroke.

“Well, it didn’t look like a one versus a two, did it?” Mater Dei coach Ken Dory said. “They showed up. We didn’t. I don’t think we swam that poorly. They just got all the wins.”

Santa Margarita’s girls, ranked No. 2 in the county, posted an 111-59 victory against the No. 5 Monarchs.

Shoults captured the 200 individual medley (1 minute, 54.20 seconds) and out-dueled Mater Dei’s Christian Hockenbury in the 100 free and the anchor of the 200 free relay. (There was no official time for the 100 free due to a timing system malfunction.)

The Stanford-bound Shoults took a pair of exams Thursday and didn’t ride the team bus to Mater Dei, but the Eagles knew he would make it to the meet.

“He definitely wouldn’t miss this meet,” Morizono said of Shoults. “He’s an awesome dude.”

Santa Margarita received a boost from Morizono in the 200 free. He clocked a season-best 1:41.88 to beat Hockenbury by about three-tenths of a second.

Santa Margarita senior Gregor Yacoubian then surprised in the 50 freestyle, touching first in a lifetime-best 22.50. Tu won a close butterfly (52.64) and the backstroke (54.03).

Freshman Noah Brune joined Tu, Brock Petersen and Morizono to claim the 400 free relay in a swift 3:16.46.

“Every person on this team has a great role, especially in a meet like this,” said Morizono, a Cornell-bound senior who led a first-second sweep with Brune in the 500 free with a 4:40.04.

“This is definitely the fastest we’ve had to swim for a league meet. Of course, Mater Dei is an awesome team and they always push us to our limits.”

Hockenbury embraced the challenge, playfully shouting before the 200 free relay anchor, “Let’s go Shoults!” Shoults smiled and split 20.84 to hold off Hockenbury’s 20.25.

Isa Odgers and freshman Mackenzie Degn each won twice for the Santa Margarita girls. Degn edged Cal-bound senior Aislinn Light of Mater Dei by about two-tenths of a second in the 100 free with a 51.83.

“We have really great depth and we all work really well together and we just have fun,” said Odgers, who won the 200 IM (2:06.79) and breaststroke (1:05.37).

Contact the writer: dalbano@ocregister.com


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