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PHOTO, TEXT BY DAN ALBANO, OCVARSITY.COM
Tesoro's Jessica Epps powers through the breaststroke leg of her winning 200-yard individual medley at the Mission Viejo Invitational on Saturday.

Tesoro girls take second at Mission Viejo Invitational

STAFF WRITER

Orange County’s fleet of swimmers for a loaded 44th Mission Viejo Invitational on Saturday featured well-timed reinforcements.

Tesoro and Trabuco Hills joined the regulars at the Marguerite Recreation Center, helping the county hang with the swift currents of Northern California, San Diego and the Inland Empire.

Tesoro’s top-ranked girls finished second in the team competition to invitational powerhouse Campolindo of Moraga.

Crean Lutheran’s Colten Young and Capistrano Valley’s Camryn Hidalgo swept the diving competitions while the county crowned seven individual champions in the pool behind double-winner Brad Prolo of San Clemente.

“It’s awesome to be able to swim against Northern California,” Tesoro girls coach Todd Conrad said. “I thought we had a better shot. (Campolindo) is really deep and really strong.”

The Campolindo girls scored 476.5 points to outdistance Tesoro at 404.5. Campolindo’s boys swept the relays and claimed the title by 254.5 points. Tesoro’s unranked boys surprised with a fourth-place finish.

Prolo produced a pair of emotional victories but for different reasons.

In arguably the race of the day, the junior rallied in the 200-yard individual medley to out-touch Laguna Beach’s Cameron Karkoska by three one-hundredths of a second with a time of 1 minute, 52.53 seconds.

Karkoska led the entire race until his touch at the wall, at 1:52.56. Prolo celebrated and hugged Karkoska, who he initially believed won the race.

“I thought I got second for sure,” Prolo said. “I was super surprised.”

Prolo attacked John Criste’s 2007 meet record in the 100 breaststroke but missed by about a tenth with a touch of 56.28. He splashed the water in frustration.

“I didn’t get it (the record). I was super close, though,” Prolo said.

Jessica Epps led Tesoro’s girls by capturing the 200 individual medley in 2:03.29 behind a strong breaststroke leg.

Freshman Marybeth Johnson led a first-second sweep for Trabuco Hills in the 500 free by stopping the clock in 5:01.87. Crean Lutheran’s Kevin Chao rallied in the second half of the boys 500 to win in 4:34.77. Laguna Beach bounced back with victories by Max Morgan in the 100 free (46.97) and Kasey Karkoska in the backstroke (57.34).

At the Millikan Southern Section girls relays:

Edison won three of the seven races to capture the title in Los Alamitos.

Contact the writer: dalbano@ocregister.com


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