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Aquatics: Nadadores dive complex vandalized
The Mission Viejo Nadadores’ world-renowned diving complex was vandalized over the weekend, causing damage that cancelled practice Monday for about 150 divers, the president of the club’s dive board said.
Over the weekend, a stepping stone-sized cement block was tossed through the glass door to the dive office, said Robert Gallagher, president of the Nadadores’ dive board.
Gallagher said a computer was stolen from the office and one of the club’s trademark, wooden “Mission Viejo” signs was taken from the dive tower.
The vandalism also included one of the 1-meter springboards being flipped backward and debris tossed into the pool, he said. The board is valued at $3,000, Gallagher said.
Gallagher said the pool was vandalized throughout the summer but called the weekend incident “by far” the worse.
“The parents are very upset about this,” he said. “The kids are very upset.”
The diving complex has been a training area for Olympians, including four-time Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis, and Olympic hopefuls since the late 1970s.
Current diver Camryn Hidalgo, an eighth grader at Newhart Middle School in Mission Viejo, will compete at the FINA World Junior Championships, Oct. 8-13, in Adelaide, Australia. Mark Anderson of the Nadadores and El Toro competed at the U.S. Olympic Trials in June.
Gallagher said the club has reported the vandalism to law enforcement.
Crime tips can be reported by calling 1-855-847-6227.
ATTACKER TRANSFERS TO MATER DEI
High-scoring water polo player Andrew Papilion of JSerra has transferred to Mater Dei, Monarchs coach Chris Segesman confirmed Monday.
Papilion, a junior attacker, has enrolled at Mater Dei and is taking classes, Segesman said in an e-mail.
As a sophomore in 2011, Papilion scored 90 goals for JSerra. He scored 71 goals as a freshman.
Papilion helped SET’s 18-and-under club team claim silver at the Junior Olympics this past summer.
Mater Dei (12-0) is ranked No. 1 in Orange County and won a Southern Section-record 60 consecutive matches.
NEW BUILDING FOR MONARCHS
Mater Dei is constructing a two-story aquatics building, Segesman said in a text message.
The first floor will house boys and girls team rooms, a storage room and snack bar while the second level will feature a video room and players lounge, the coach said.
The building is expected to be completed in February.
In Mater Dei swim news, boys and girls swim coach Michael Collins has resigned, Segesman said. Collins coached the Monarchs in 2011 and 2012.
RISING GOALIE CREDITS MENTOR
Emerging goalie Byron Rivers, who helped El Toro claim the Villa Park Classic title on Saturday, credits training under former standout Charger goalie Garrett Danner for his development.
“I trained with Danner for two years,” said Rivers, a 6-foot-2 junior. “He made me really, really fast. I can react very well to the ball. He helped me a lot with that, and passing.
“He taught me to use my wrist, and completely helped my throw. I used to not be able to even pass it full-court without throwing my entire arm.”
Rivers, an all-tournament pick at Villa Park, said Danner freely passed along many tricks of goalkeeping.
“He would give little bits of information and then you just apply them to the cage, and he shows you how to do it,” Rivers said of Danner, a two-time first-team All-County goalie now red-shirting at UCLA.
COLTON TALKS RECRUITING
El Toro senior Joey Colton – this week’s athlete of the week -- said Harvard and Princeton are among his top college choices.
Colton has taken an official recruiting trip to Harvard and plans to visit Princeton this weekend. Princeton made a strong recruiting presence over the weekend at the Villa Park Classic, appearing at El Toro matches on at least Thursday and Saturday.
“Right now, it’s between those two,” Colton said of Harvard and Princeton. “I’m trying to narrow it to get things done, and if something doesn’t work out, options never close.
LEAGUE MATCHES OF THE WEEK
On Tuesday, Villa Park plays host to Foothill in a key Century League match while Dana Hills plays host to El Toro in a South Coast League matchup of two Top 10-ranked teams.
On Wednesday, Newport Harbor takes on visiting Los Alamitos at 7 p.m. in a critical Sunset League clash.