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JSerra, Capo Valley finish on top in Division 1
RIVERSIDE JSerra's girls and Capistrano Valley's boys navigated different courses to championship glory at a drama-filled CIF-SS Division 1 swimming and diving final Saturday night.
The Lions capitalized on a disqualification by defending champion University in the medley relay to edge the Trojans by a single point, 275-274, to capture the closest Division 1 race in history.
Capistrano Valley's boys claimed their third title in four seasons in a dominating display reminiscent of Mission Viejo's past powerhouses. The Cougars finished with 389 points to outscore runner-up Corona del Mar by 87 at Riverside City College.
The JSerra girls grabbed the title by winning the meet-ending 400-yard freestyle relay. The Lions' squad of Kaitlyn Albertoli, Brittany Kahn, Rebecca Millard and anchor Katie McLaughlin stopped the clock in 3 minutes, 25.44 seconds, just over half-a-second ahead of University.
JSerra captured its first Division 1 title in a girls sport one season after finishing 22nd in this meet with 31 points. The Lions' squad featured five girls, including four freshmen.
"I'm in shock," said JSerra coach Mary McLaughlin, also the mother of Katie. "These girls are amazing."
JSerra said it would have been thrilled with second place but emerged as a title contender after University's 200-yard medley relay was disqualified just moments into the meet. The Trojans appeared to capture the meet-opening race in a county-record 1:42.30. But the team was disqualified for an early jump and lost 48 points.
University still raced hard, getting late victories from Cheyenne Low in the backstroke (55.87 in a touch over Santa Margarita's Jax Shoults) and Maggie Burton in the breaststroke (1:02.78). The two-time defending champions led JSerra, 232-227, going into the final relay.
In 2010, University edged Edison, 235-233, for the Division 1 title.
"JSerra put up a good fight," University junior Emma Henderson said. "We did the best we could and that's all that matters. CIF should be fun."
JSerra had some pre-meet fun by getting its finger and toe nails painted in a Lions' theme. The squad then highlighted its title sprint by taking the 200 free relay in a county record. Albertoli, Karli Thuen, Millard and McLaughlin blasted a 1:34.50 to slice almost three-tenths of a second off Fountain Valley's 2010 mark.
McLaughlin split her anchor in a swift 22.97.
Capistrano Valley's boys 200 free relay also blazed to a county record. The quartet of Jon Beck (21.52), Tyler Testman (20.81), Spencer DeShon (20.98) and anchor Jack DesCombes won in 1:23.17. DesCombes split an impressive 19.86 as the Cougars shattered Newport Harbor's 2010 county standard of 1:23.83.
The Cougars also won the 400 free relay by 1 1/2 second with a 3:03.47, third in county history. The team consisted of Beck (47.44), DeShon (45.74), Logan Redondo (46.07) and DesCombes (44.22).
Capistrano Valley now has two of three fastest 400 free 400 free relays in county history.
"You definitely proved to everybody that you're the dominate team," Capistrano Valley coach Steve Yancey told his team.
The Cougars also got a victory from Redondo in the 200 freestyle (1:38.52) and a second-place finish from diver Tarek Abdelghany, who finish behind El Toro's Mark Anderson.
"Logan is an animal," said Corona del Mar's Christian Garkanki, who took second in the 200 free in a lifetime-best 1:39.79.
But in the end, Capistrano Valley dominated thanks to its freestyle strength. DesCombes finished third in the 50 free (20.90) and second in the 100 free (44.92).
Capistrano Valley also picked up third, fifth and sixth in the 500 free with strong efforts from DeShon (4:28.09), Zach Ridout (4:30.68) and freshman Nick Norman (4:31.95).
"I didn't realize it (our freestyle strength) was going to win the meet like it did," Yancey said. "They like to swim finals."
The announcement of Capistrano Valley's title kicked off a wild celebration, which included some of the Cougars jumping off the 10-meter diving platform.
O.C. RACKS UP WINS
Corona del Mar's boys medley relay recorded the third county record of the ultra-quick session. The Sea Kings claimed the race for the third consecutive season as Jared Namba, Tyler Lin, Christian Garkani and Blake Motal blazed to a 1:32.88. Corona del Mar also shattered San Marino's 1991 Division 1 record of 1:33.21.
Namba later won the 200 individual medley in a lifetime-best 1:50.01. The senior out-dueled his Aquazot training partner, Corey Okubo of University, for his first title.
"He pushes me," Namba said of Okubo, who took second at 1:50.19.
Woodbridge freshman Daniela Georges rallied in the back-half to claim the 200 freestyle in a lifetime-best 1:47.11 - a personal best by almost two seconds.
Georges also finished a strong second to Katy Campbell of La Canada in the 500 freestyle in with a lifetime-best 4:44.00 -- a personal-best by about three seconds. Campbell won in 4:42.83.
"It's just a lot of fun," Georges said of her first CIF meet. "That's why everyone swims fast here. You're with your friends having fun."
University's Megan Rankin took third in the 500 (4:45.77) but won the 200 IM (2:01.10).
McLaughlin bounced back from a second in the 200 free to take the butterfly in a personal-best 53.70. The time also set a Southern California Swimming record for the 13-14 age-group.
Aliso Niguel’s Janardan Burns won the boys 500 in a county-leading 4:23.55. The junior led from the first 100 and finished strong despite a morning workout with his Mission Viejo Nadadores club.
Burns said his 1 1/2 hour workout of about 4,000 meters was "not that much."
"It feels pretty good (to win)," he said. "Hopefully next year, I'll do better in the 200 (free)."
Mission Viejo’s Alexandra Caplan defended her title in diving.
SHIELDS' RECORD FALLS
Redlands sophomore Kyle Gornay broke Tom Shields' Division 1 record in the 100 butterfly with a 47.29. Shields set the record with Edison during his epic 2009 meet in which he set the national record in the 200 free.
"aww rats," Shields - the NCAA swimmer of the meet for Cal this year -- responded via twitter Saturday night.