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Boys swimming preview: O.C. top 10

STAFF WRITER

The Register’s season-opening O.C. top 10 for boys swimming.

BOYS SWIMMING

O.C. TOP 10

(Based on dual meets)

1. Santa Margarita: The Eagles feature arguably the best 1-2 punch in county with Grant Shoults and Marc Morizono. They also have quality depth with Alexander Qu and a strong freshman class led by Kevin Tu.

2. University: The two-time defending CIF Division 1 champion Trojans graduated more stars last year but there’s still plenty of speed left for new coach Ryan Vande Wydevn. The trio of Andrew Knoell, George Horvath and Sean Messer lead the way.

3. Mater Dei: The Monarchs are the defending Trinity League champions and might have their best team under Coach Ken Dory. They’ve already defeated Northwood.

4. Northwood: The Timberwolves expect sophomore Hunter Hitchens to be eligible by mid-April. Don’t be surprised if Northwood surges late in the regular season.

5. Corona del Mar: The Sea Kings are usually tough with their blend of club standouts and water polo speed. Michigan-bound Tim Hanson is a pace-setter but watch for Ethan Archer.

6. Foothill: The Knights again have the depth and balanced lineup to make a run at another Crestview title. Water polo standouts Bobby Lee, Mike Miller and Zane Scott are among the key leaders.

7. Edison: The Chargers’ Sunset League reign ended last spring, but they’re heavy on returners for the post Thomas Smith Era. They also added freshman backstroker Taylor Whitmore, son of assistant coach Matt Whitmore.

8. Fountain Valley: The Barons emerged as one of the surprises last season and return several swimmers, led by Justin Nguyen. The rising junior broke 50 seconds in the 100 backstroke in a recent meet with the Novaquatics.

9. Dana Hills: The Dolphins return almost all their point-scorers from a team that finished second to University at the CIF Division 1 finals last season. They were humbled in their season opener at Loyola, but University rebounded from an early-season loss against the Cubs last spring.

10. Los Alamitos: The Griffins’ mix of year-round swimmers and quick water polo players makes them formidable in dual meets. They’ll need to be because the Sunset League will again be challenging.

Others: Brea Olinda, Huntington Beach, Mission Viejo, Villa Park.

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BOYS PREVIEW

Contact the writer: dalbano@ocregister.com


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