Garden Grove girls stay in it


RIVERSIDE – Garden Grove's girls swim team is at least in the conversation about the top contenders in CIF-SS Division 4.

And that in itself shows progress.

The Argonauts delivered a solid showing at Wednesday's prelims at Riverside City College to remain contenders for the runner-up plaque.

Garden Grove's girls finished ninth last season and were the pre-meet favorite this year based on the seedings for prelims.

"We're right in the hunt," Garden Grove coach Keith Clarkson said. "We swam well ... but a lot of other teams, especially Viewpoint (of Calabasas), step it up today."

Clarkson projects that defending champion Viewpoint is the team to beat while the Argonauts' main competition for second is Citrus Valley of Redlands and La Salle of Pasadena.

The finals are Friday at 5 p.m.

Garden Grove highlighted its qualifying session by blazing to the No. 1 seed in the 400-yard freestyle, the county's lone top seed in the division. Sofia Contreras, Hannah Caskey, Raquel Licea and Natalie Contreras finished in a Garden Grove League and school-record 3 minutes, 47.86 seconds.

The Argonauts suffered a blow in the butterfly. Fifth-seeded Natalie Contreras, the sister of Sofia, was disqualified after making a one-handed touch on the final wall. In the butterfly, swimmers are required to touch each wall with two hands.

Ocean View's boys showed depth by qualifying for finals in the medley (1:47.85) and 400 free (3:31.56) in the No. 7 and No. 8 positions, respectively.

The boys breaststroke is one of the county's strongest events. Garden Grove's Jason Gwynn (fifth, 1:04.27), Westminster's Thien Nguyen (seventh, 1:04.41) and Ocean View's Pedram Shafiei (10th, 1:05.46) advanced to finals.

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