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Laguna Beach dominates Orange Coast finals
Laguna Beach's swift fleet of swimmers will set sail for the CIF-Southern Section preliminaries with momentum on its side.
The Breakers concluded their regular season Thursday by dominating the Orange Coast League boys and girls finals at Costa Mesa.
Laguna Beach's swimmers and coaches leaped into the pool in celebration but their pool party could continue next week when the CIF finals shifts to Riverside Community College.
"I think we can win (CIF)," said Laguna Beach sophomore Lila Vera. "We had a great meet today. Everybody was dropping time."
Laguna Beach's girls were the CIF Division 3 runner-up last season to Mark Keppel.
The Breakers' girls claimed a fifth consecutive league crown by outdistancing runner-up Costa Mesa and emerging sprinter Kellie Thorsness by 120 points.
Vera doubled with victories in the 100-yard butterfly (57.97) — her CIF title event last season — and 100 backstroke (1:00.33).
Laguna Beach's Melena Masson claimed the 500 free in a solid 5:12.84. The Breakers' medley (school-record 1:53.75) and 400 free (3:42.61) relays also posted victories.
Thorsness, a junior, clocked lifetime-best and meet-records times in the 50 (24.74) and 100 (54.22) freestyles.
"I wanted to (finish) undefeated in league and to beat the records," she said. "I did it."
Godinez senior Lan Tran also doubled in the girls meet by touching first in the 200 individual medley (2:14.28) and 100 breaststroke (1:08.58)
Laguna Beach's boys captured their fourth consecutive league crown. The Breakers racked up 449 points to handle runner-up Costa Mesa by 154 points.
Senior Billy Wild and freshman Erik Juliusson each doubled for Laguna Beach. Wild claimed the fly (51.98) and breaststroke (1:03.81) in meet records. Juliusson blazed school and meet records in the 500 free (4:47.38) and backstroke (53.81).
The Breakers' boys finished fifth in Division 3 last season.
"I don't know if we're going to win, but we should give them a good run at CIF," Wild said.
In the Garden Grove (Div. 4) finals: The host Garden Grove girls set meet-records in all three relays en route to the league crown. The Argonauts' 400 free relay of Sofia Contreras, Hannah Caskey, Raquel Licea and Natalie Contreras smashed the league record from 1987 by just over five seconds with a 3:50.82. Garden Grove also won the boys title.
In the Golden West (Div. 4) finals: Ocean View's host boys and Orange's girls claimed league titles while Ocean View's Alyssa Isogawa and Westminster's Thien Nguyen earned swimmer of the meet honors.
In the Orange (Div. 3) finals: Katella's boys and Savanna's girls captured league titles while Katella's Elizabeth Barrera and Savanna's Tim Polman earned athlete of the meet awards at Santa Ana Valley.