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Teamwork reigns at Los Amigos, Villa Park relays
There were unique winning combinations at Los Amigos and championship flair at Villa Park.
The first Saturday of the swimming season ushered plenty of relay excitement, complete with co-ed success and meet records.
Villa Park’s boys captured their own relay meet for the first time since 2005, scoring 273 points to hold off Irvine (266) and Santa Margarita (249).
Sophomore Dash Farr paced the Spartans by leading off a victorious 4x100-yard breaststroke relay with a school-record time of 59.50 seconds for 100 yards.
Villa Park won the race in 4 minutes, 20.49 seconds while Farr broke BJ Churnside’s school record.
Farr also led off the Spartans' runner-up 4x100 individual medley with a swift 55.85 and anchored the winning 400 medley grab bag relay with a 52.45 in the butterfly.
Santa Margarita’s two-time defending CIF Division 1 champion girls defended their title at Villa Park, posting 335 points to outdistance Irvine (280).
The Eagles set smashed meet records in the 4x100-yard individual medley and 4x100 breaststroke relays.
In the IM, the team of freshman Mackenzie Degn, Kristi Fecarotta, Bela Patino and Isa Odgers posted a 4:06.28, breaking their own record by just over four seconds.
In the breaststroke, Patino, freshman Caitlin Caruso and Odgers helped Santa Margarita reach the wall in a meet-record 4:39.59, slicing by about 7 1/2 seconds off its own meet standard.
Arcadia captured the 35th Southern California All Co-Ed Los Amigos Relays, which use the unique girl-boy pattern for all its races.
Trabuco Hills’ 12-x50 free and Kennedy’s 8x50 butterfly relays finished first while La Habra placed third in the team competition.
The Mustangs' sprint relay finished in 5:08.33 and consisted of water polo standout Tina Doherty, Spencer Redd, Vanessa Kane, Ricky Lewis, Allison Lockard, Jonny Kreiser, Lynn Sun, Kevin Vu, Ashley Bergen, Karsten Johnson, Amelia Lao and Reagan Yu.
Kennedy clocked a 3:47.62 in the butterfly with a relay that consisted of Roseryn Empremsilapa, Sam Yoo, Jasmine Zeng, Nicholas Soukchareon, Alexis Bauer, Akili Allen, Clara Kim and CIF champion Rodrigo Baca.
"This is really different," Empremsilapa said of the co-ed format. "You get to have fun and cheer for other people."
La Habra finished second in the butterfly with a team of Emalee Frady, Logan Robles, Elva Lopez, Roberto Iniguez, Natasha Velez, Wyatt Ramirez, Rachel Henson and Tim Efseaff.
Division 2 Arcadia, fresh off a runner-up finish to Crescenta Valley at the Pacific League Relays on Friday, won five of the seven races and racked up 230 points to outdistance league rival Burroughs of Burbank at 203.
Tenny Chong of Arcadia brought high-end speed to the meet, anchoring the winning 8x50 medley relay in a quick 21.18 seconds. He won the Division 2 title last season in the 50 with a 20.87.
"It's honestly one of our favorite events," Arcadia coach Janice Clark said. "It's a chance for our boys and girls teams to mix and mingle."
La Habra placed third at 199, edging Kennedy at 193. Trabuco Hills might have finished second but was disqualified in the breaststroke.
The loudest cheers of the meet were for the coaches' relays, which attracted swimmers to the edge of the pool for the race. Paramount won the 200 medley while Rancho Alamitos' Corinne Ingalla and Tori Cree teamed with coaches from Burroughs to win the 200 free.
"(The kids) love it," Los Amigos coach Tim Brogdon said of the coaches' races. "It motivates them."
Early or late in the season, that's always good.