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Santa Margarita girls lead Tesoro, Woodbridge in CIF entries
LA HABRA The highly anticipated race for the CIF-SS Division 1 girls swimming and diving title began to take shape Saturday with the release of the entries for the championships next week in Riverside.
Two-time defending Division 1 champion Santa Margarita and upstarts Tesoro and Woodbridge each look strong but the Eagles emerged with the most individual entries with 32 between swimming and diving.
Tesoro follows with 20 while Woodbridge has 15. The three schools also have three relays.
“I think it’s going to be awesome,” Tesoro coach Todd Conrad said of the Division 1 race Thursday after the South Coast League finals.
Santa Margarita’ girls strengthened their resume at the Trinity League finals Friday night. The Eagles are seeded first in the 200-yard freestyle relay with their Trinity League record time of 1 minute, 34.81 seconds and in the 100 butterfly with Samantha Shelton at a lifetime-best 54.50 from her Trinity League title.
Shelton’s other individual event will be the 200 free, where she will clash with Woodbridge top-seeded Kate Krolikowski (Pacific Coast-record 1:46.89). Shelton is seeded second with a 1:48.24.
The girls 200 freestyle could one of the best races during Saturday’s 5 p.m. finals at Riverside City College. The prelims are Thursday at 9 a.m.
Krolikowski also is seeded first in the 500 free with a 4:48.60.
The Titans’ highest seed belongs to Jessica Epps, slotted third in the 200 individual medley.
Edison’s Nora Deleske also earned two No. 1 seed thanks to Sunset League records in the 200 individual medley (1:59.91) and breaststroke (1:01.88). Deleske is about 1 1/2 seconds off the county record.
In Division 1 boys, Loyola of Los Angeles boasts 24 individual entries, out-pacing O.C. contenders Dana Hills (17) and Santa Margarita (14). Trinity champion Mater Dei might be the deepest team in the county but didn't rack up many high seeds.
Santa Margarita’s Grant Shoults is seeded first in the 200 and 500 freestyles, his same record-setting events from last season. In the 200 free, he could challenge Tom Shields’ county and national high school record of 1:33.83 from 2009.
Shoults’ entry time is his meet-record 1:35.64 from the Foothill Swim Games. The Stanford-bound senior set a national private school record last season with a 1:34.54 at the Division 1 finals.
Shoults also set the Division 1 record last May in the 500 free with a county-record 4:15.56, about two seconds off the national record.
In Division 2, Crean Lutheran's defending champion girls appear set for a showdown with challenger Glendora. The Saints are seeking a fourth consecutive CIF title overall.
In Division 3, Saddleback Valley Christian’s Casey Cunningham is seeded first in the 500 while Fairmont Prep’s Evan Munaretto and Edgar Chin occupy top spots in Division 4.
The CIF-SS championships begin with diving on Monday and Tuesday. The section put the final touches on meet entries Saturday at Sonora.