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PHOTO COURTESY OF MATER DEI SWIM; TEXT BY DAN ALBANO, OCVARSITY.COM
Mater Dei's boys swim team is ranked No. 1 in Orange County for the week of March 14 after capturing the Capo Valley Relays.

Swim notes: University pushes top challenger Loyola

OCVARSITY.COM

University’s boys swim team encountered arguably the biggest threat to its reign as the two-time defending CIF-SS Division 1 champion.

The Trojans didn’t back down Saturday night.

They pushed Loyola of Los Angeles at the 46th Millikan Southern Section boys relays, finishing a narrow second to the Cubs at the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos.

“They look strong in all events,” first-year University coach Ryan Vande Wydeven said of Loyola. “But I think we had some good swims. We dropped a lot of time. … Hopefully we’ll be able to put a better showing up when we see them at CIF.”

Loyola touched first in all seven of the races, narrowly missing the meet record in the 4x50-yard butterfly. The Cubs, however, were disqualified in the 6x50 freestyle for an early jump in the fourth leg, losing 40 points.

University led Loyola, 204-200, going into the meet-ending 200 medley relay but the Cubs touched first in 1 minute, 36.60 seconds to seal the meet victory.

The Trojans’ team of juniors Sean Messer, Matt Strong and Andrew Knoell and freshman Aaron Lee placed second in 1:38.43.

University finished second in all seven events.

“They’re studs,” Loyola coach Kevin Mann said of the Trojans. “We have as good a shot (at winning Division 1) as we’ve ever had. … I think it’s University, Santa Margarita, Dana Hills, us.”

The No. 3 Trojans will face another leading contender Thursday when they race at No. 2 Santa Margarita.

NEWPORT SPRINTS TO WIN

Newport Harbor emerged as the winner in the 6x50 relay as Sawyer Farmer, Erik Alvarez, Matthew Carlson, Charlie Covina, Reece Hemmens and Jason Grew combined for a 2:17.78.

“Good old-fashioned Newport sprinting,” Sailors assistant coack Kevin Potter said.

PEIRSOL RESIGNS AT NEWPORT

Five-time Olympic gold medalist and world record-holder Aaron Peirsol resigned in the fall as Newport Harbor’s boys swim coach, the school confirmed. Ross Sinclair is the new coach and also leads the boys water polo program.

AND THE NEW NO. 1

Mater Dei’s boys and Tesoro’s girls are the county’s new top-ranked teams after capturing the Capistrano Valley Relays on Saturday for the first time.

The Monarchs clinched a 108-106 victory against previous No. 1 Santa Margarita by placing second to Eagles in the final two relays: the 400 free and 200 medley.

Grant Shoults blasted a 44.89 anchor-split for the Eagles’ winning 400 free (3:12.02) but Mater Dei (3:14.07) held off Corona del Mar for second thanks to a 45.30 anchor by Christian Hockenbury.


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