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University pushed but wins Millikan boys relays
LOS ALAMITOS – The finals of the boys Millikan Southern Section Relays shifted Saturday night to the Joint Forces Training Base, offering swimmers new starting blocks and sight lines to navigate.
But nothing changed with University’s championship mentality.
The reigning CIF-SS Division 1 champion captured its trademark 200-yard medley relay in the final event to hold off a surprisingly close Northwood and capture the meet for the second consecutive season.
The top-ranked Trojans finished with 254 points to edge No. 3 Northwood (244 points). No. 2 Corona del Mar (206), which was shorthanded, finished third.
“I’m proud of all the guys,” said University’s Daniel Tran, who led off the medley relay. “I didn’t think Northwood would be that close, but it was fun. … Most of (our) relays went faster (than in prelims).”
University led Northwood by four points going into the medley relay, but with Coach Kevin Potter telling the Trojans they needed the victory, they responded with a winning-touch in 1 minute, 34.66 seconds, about three-tenths off their meet record.
University’s medley of Tran, Judd Howard, Andrew Knoell and Will Hofstadter touched almost three seconds ahead of second-place Northwood.
“With the meet on the line, those are the four boys I wanted,” said Potter, whose school owns the county record in the medley with a 1:30.10.
University captured four of the seven events, getting championship swims from Matt Wong, Matt Yong, Chris Havton, Austin Yan and Jarod Yoshihara on relays.
Northwood showed its freestyle power by taking the 300 (2:12.23) and 400 (3:09.30) relays. In the 400, the team of Peter Zhu, Cameron Hsieh, Hunter Hitchens and Judson Balding clocked a school record.
“That was a win for us,” Northwood coach Alex Nieto said of his team’s runner-up finish in the meet.
Mater Dei’s Gunnar Hauser, Clint Hurdle, Kaikea Wilinski and Spencer Carroll combined to capture the 200 butterfly in 1:36.73. The Monarchs edged Newport Harbor’s team of Sawyer Farmer, Jake Parks, Griffin Burke and Dominik Folkner, who raced for Coach and Olympic champion Aaron Peirsol.
Mater Dei claimed its first Millikan victory under third-year coach Ken Dory.
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