Santa Margarita's Katie McLaughlin and Grant Shoults each set school records in the 200-yard IM on Thursday against University.

Santa Margarita, University start with a bang


RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA – Santa Margarita and University’s swim teams showed Thursday the results of pairing two reigning CIF-SS champions for a season-opening meet.

Eye-popping times will follow.

Katie McLaughlin of Santa Margarita’s defending Division 1 champion girls added two school records to her collection, teammate Grant Shoults set one and Will Hofstadter of University’s defending Division 1 champion boys clocked three impressive times.

“For the first meet of the season, times have been very, very fast,” Santa Margarita co-coach Ron Blanc said.

Both section champions also collected nonleague victories at Santa Margarita. The Eagles’ girls cruised, 137-33, while University’s boys seized a 108.5-61.5 triumph.

McLaughlin captured the 200-yard individual medley in a school-record 2 minutes, 1.45 seconds and the 100 backstroke in 55.28. The U.S. national member and Cal signee broke records set by Lizzie Devitt and Jax Shoults in runner-up finishes at the CIF Division 1 final two seasons ago.

“I was happy,” said McLaughlin, who now holds school records in five individual events. “I don’t remember the last time I did the 200 IM, so that was probably a lifetime-best. … I didn’t know what to expect. It went well.”

Grant Shoults, a junior, stopped the clock in the boys 200 IM in 1:48.33, which ranks third in county history and under former county record-holder Darren Ward of Sonora (1:48.83, 1987).

“I was surprised by 1:48, so I was happy,” said Shoults, who narrowly missed a school record in the backstroke with a 51.36. “I think it was pretty cool that we got to open against them (University) … even though the score wasn’t in our favor.”

Hofstadter, who recently committed to Northwestern, paced University by touching first in the 100 breaststroke (58.88) and 50 free (21.31) and leading off the 400 free relay with a 46.64.

“This time of year, that’s very impressive,” University coach Kevin Potter said.

University’s Matt Wong also broke a minute in the breaststroke with a 59.67. Santa Margarita freshman Samantha Shelton made an impressive debut by winning the 200 free (1:50.44), and Santa Margarita’s Sydney Franzen claimed the 500 freestyle in 5:00.10.

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