Tesoro's Emily Baker swims the 200 individual medley at the South Coast League Finals at Capistrano Valley High on Thursday.

Tesoro girls, Dana Hills boys capture titles


Tesoro’s girls and Dana Hills’ boys defended their South Coast League swimming titles in impressive fashion Thursday night but didn’t stop there.

Both squads strengthened their resumes for the CIF-SS Division 1 meet next week in Riverside.

“They swam lights out,” Tesoro girls coach Todd Conrad said. “I definitely feel like we’re going to be contenders (in Division 1).”

The Titans captured their third consecutive league title by sweeping the relays and capturing six of the eight individual events. They scored 620 points to outdistance runner-up Trabuco Hills at 435.

Sophomore Jessica Epps paced Tesoro by capturing the 200-yard freestyle in a school-record 1 minute, 49.76 seconds and out-touching Andrea Felix of Capistrano Valley in the 100 butterfly (56.17).

The Titans raised their Division 1 profile in multiple events. Dominique Gray finished second in the 200 free with a Division 1 automatic-qualifying time of 1:50.82, while Emily Baker won the 200 individual medley in a qualifying time of 2:06.80.

Casey Brotherton claimed the 500 free in a season-best 4:56.20, while third-place Rhys Empey clocked an automatic qualifying time of 4:59.57.

After Jami Hwang took the backstroke in an automatic qualifying time of 56.89, the Titans’ Gray (school-record 1:05.38), Baker (1:06.11) and Victoria Epps (1:06.24) swept the top three places in the breaststroke. All three times were automatic Division 1 times.

The Dana Hills boys showed no effects from the league’s adjusted schedule, which moved up the finals one day because of weather concerns. The Dolphins won a fourth consecutive title by sweeping the three relays and claiming six of the eight individual events to outdistance Tesoro, 514-420.

Trent Pellini led Dana Hills by outdueling San Clemente’s Brad Prolo in the 200 individual medley (1:50.37) and breaststroke (55.80), which were both meet records. Prolo (1:51.23, 56.09) also raced under the existing records in both events.

Owen Kao (200, 500 free) and Bennett Williams (50, 100 free) also were double-winner. The Dolphins received two second-place touches from Shane Forker, two lifetime-best times from Jack McLaughlin (50 free, 50 fly) and a second-place touch from Adam Cole in the backstroke.

“Today was really incredible for our team, seeing a lot of guys who stepped up,” Kao said.

Tesoro’s Daniel Kim prevented the sweep by grabbing the 100 butterfly (meet-record 49.12) and 100 backstroke (50.28).

In the Sea View League:

Mission Viejo’s boys won the A and B finals in the meet-ending 400 free relay to edge dual-meet winner Aliso Niguel, 475-472, for the title at El Toro. Aliso Niguel took the girls title.

In the Academy League:

Crean Lutheran’s girls and Sage Hill’s boys captured titles at Kennedy. Taras Polakoff of Sage Hill lowered his meet record in the backstroke (55.04) and captured the butterfly (53.89).

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