This week's Foothill Swim Games is shaping up as one of the best meets of the regular season. And one of the biggest reasons: the potential matchups in the finals Saturday.
Today's boys prelims at 3 p.m. will help set the stage for Saturday's 10 a.m. finals at Foothill.
Santa Margarita's Grant Shoults has entered the 500-yard free and 200 individual medley.
The junior leads the county in the IM with his early-season 1:48.33. Shoults is coming off a strong showing at the Arena Pro Swim in Mesa, Ariz. but could be challenged in the IM by surging Daniel Tran of University, who is ranked third in the county with a 1:51.24.
Shoults could again blaze in the IM but will be intriguing to watch in the 500. In December, he sizzled a 4:17.52 in a meet for the Mission Viejo Nadadores. Could he set his sights this weekend on Nick Norman's county-leading 4:23.76?
Shoults isn't the top seed for the 500. GeorgeHorvath of University checks in first with a 4:30.80 from March, which ranks second in the county.
It also will be interesting to see if Will Hofstadter of University can continue his reign in the sprint freestyles, if Marc Morizono of Santa Margarita and Alejandro Ortiz of Uni duel in the 200 and who wins the breaststroke.
And if Tran is strong in the 200 IM, it could be exciting if he takes aim at Thomas Smith's county-leading (48.76) in the backstroke.
The girls prelims are Friday at 3 p.m. and feature Katie McLaughlin of Santa Margarita making her Foothill Swim Games debut.