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University boys, girls collect sweep of Northwood
IRVINE Don’t count out University’s boys swimming team just yet.
Or the Trojans’ girls team.
The two-time defending CIF-SS Division 1 boys champion bounced back from some early-season jolts to post a short-handed victory, 90-80, at No. 4 Northwood in a Pacific Coast League meet Tuesday.
University’s girls improved to 2-0 in the Division 1 league with a 90-80 triumph behind several season-best times. The Trojans were 2-3 in league last season.
The Trojans’ boys, ranked third in the county, absorbed a runner-up finish to Loyola of Los Angeles at the Millikan CIF Southern Section Relays last month and then dropped a dual meet at Santa Margarita.
But they captured a tight meet at Northwood despite racing without one of its speedsters, Andrew Knoell.
“We’re still strong. We’re still coming and we’re still going to be highly competitive,” University first-year coach Ryan Vande Wydeven said.
“We had some great races. It wasn’t just our top guys on varsity, but a couple of the middle guys really stepped up.”
The University and Northwood boys were tied, 46-46, going into the 500-yard freestyle, but the Trojans took the lead for good behind a victory by George Horvath. The junior finished in an automatic Division 1 qualifying time of 4 minutes, 33.88, not far off his lifetime-best time.
The Trojans also received a pair of strong runner-up finishes from Jarod Yoshihara. The senior touched second to Horvath (1:45.67) in the 200 free (1:47.14) and second to teammate Sean Messer (54.50) in the 100 back (55.15).
Yoshihara also anchored the 200 free relay to a critical victory in 1:31.30.
University’s depth showed with second-third-fourth finishes in the 50 free and 100 butterfly to steal the events, 9-7. In the butterfly, Aaron Lee (53.79), Stephen Yang (54.58) and Alex Hao (54.94) touched within about a second of each other behind winner Hwa Min Sim of Northwood (52.74).
Northwood was without Hunter Hitchens (eligible April 20) and Shawn Lou (back), but Cameron Hsieh swept the 50 (22.55) and 100 (48.45) freestyles.
University’s girls posted season-best times in all three relays, sent freshman Riley Lexvold to two victories in the 200 IM (2:07.83) and back (58.27) and received swift runner-up finishes from Anne Jang in the 100 butterfly (1:00.77) and backstroke (1:00.95).
"We definitely are showing a lot of signs of progress," University girls coach Lara Navarro said.
Northwood also had reasons to be encouraged. Gabe Munoz and Hsieh's sister, Amanda, also were double winners.
"Don't count us out yet," Northwood coach Alex Nieto said. "This meet was a good indicator of where we are as a team. ... We're getting into it. It was a good meet."
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