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12 meet records set at Foothill Swim Games
SANTA ANA – The outside temperatures at the Foothill Swim Games hovered on the cool side Saturday. The readings on the timing board showed that the water actually was sizzling.
“That was smoke,” Crean Lutheran coach Craig Brown jubilantly declared after the girls 200-yard medley relay.
The 43rd edition of the meet indeed was smoking fast. After welcoming Katie McLaughlin for her first visit, hosting rising freshman Elise Garcia and pitting Grant Shoults against Will Hofstadter, the Foothill Swim Games saw its record book shredded.
County swimmers combined to set 12 meet records in the 22 events. In the boys 200 free relay, University and Santa Margarita tied with Shoults and Hofstadter dueling in the final lap and touching under the meet record. Two other races produced multiple under-the-record finishes.
Billy Monjay of Northwood nearly notched a 13th meet record, missing the standard in the breaststroke by two one-hundredth of a second with a win in 56.84.
“This is probably the best meet that Foothill has had,” Crean Lutheran senior Ella Eastin said.
Santa Margarita’s top-ranked girls and University’s No. 1 boys showed their speed in defending team titles by large margins.
The Eagles’ McLaughlin sliced more than a second off her meet-record from prelims in capturing the 200 freestyle in 1 minute, 47.82 seconds. She also claimed the butterfly in a season-best 53.97 and popped a 49.95 to anchor the Eagles’ 400 free relay to a meet-record and season-best 3:29.35.
“We’ll be faster later, hopefully,” said McLaughlin, selected female swimmer of the meet.
Santa Margarita’s Shoults earned male swimmer of the meet after winning the 200 individual medley (1:48.51) and 500 free (4:21.13) in meet records. The junior moved to ninth in county history in the 500 and produced an eye-popping split at the midpoint: 2:07.48. Shoults would have broken Olympian Larsen Jensen’s county record (4:16.93) had he kept the pace.
“It would have been cool to break 4:20 but I died a little,” Shoults said. "At this point of the season, it was a decent swim."
Shoults went with little rest from the 500 to a duel with University’s Hofstadter in the 200 free relay. The schools touched in matching meet-record times of 1:26.81 but Hofstadter’s split was almost half-a-second faster at 20.37.
"That was crazy," Shoults said of the finish.
Beckman's boys also were part of the drama, racing under the meet standard with a third-place 1:27.00. The unranked Patriots finished second in the team race behind University.
Hoftstadter broke Olympic water polo player Gavin Arroyo’s 1990 meet-record in the 100 free with a 45.71 and won the 50 free in a county-leading 21.02.
“He’s almost like Mr. Automatic,” University coach Kevin Potter said of Hofstadter. "He's having a fantastic year."
The Trojans impressively won the 400 free relay in a meet record without Hoftstadter as Andrew Knoell, Alejandro Ortiz, Ken Takahashi and Daniel Tran combined for a 3:07.30. Newport Harbor also raced under its previous meet record with a 3:09.21.
Crean Lutheran’s girls combined for four meet records, including two relays anchored by Garcia. Eastin smashed her 2014 meet-record in the 200 IM by almost three seconds with a county-leading 1:58.69, giving her the three fastest times in county history (1:55.15, 1:56.54 and Saturday). She also took the breaststroke in a county-leading 1:02.96.
Eastin’s sister, Emily, blasted a lifetime-best in the backstroke to touch in a meet-record and county-leading 53.79, moving her to fourth in county history. Foothill’s Courtney Mykkanen also touched under her previous record with a runner-up 55.42 while Tran took the boys backstroke in a meet-record 49.99.
Garcia, a member of the Aquazot club, anchored Crean Lutheran’s medley (1:44.37) and 200 free (1:34.85) relay to meet records and also won the 50 free in 23.65.
Brown said the medley relay set the tone for the Saints, who finished third in the team race behind Santa Margarita and Tesoro. Crean's B medley placed fourth with a 1:50.85.
"When you swim against the best, you have to show what you can do," he said.
Orange County's best certainly showed their speed Saturday.
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