Archive for the 'Dan Albano' Tag Under 'OC Varsity' Category

    Olympic Swim Trials: Rookies Shoults, Andrew make waves in debuts

    June 26th, 2016, 3:17 pm by By DAN ALBANO

    OMAHA, Neb. -- Grant Shoults of the Nadadores made a successful debut at Trials by grabbing the eighth and final spot in the men’s 400 freestyle final.

    The Santa Margarita graduate finished fourth in his prelims heat with a time of 3:50.52.

    “It’s pretty exciting,” Shoults, 19, said. “I squeezed my way in there. I had to scratch and crawl my way to that finish but I’m so happy with the prelims swim. … If I don’t make the (Olympic) team, it’s a great practice for the future. I get to race in front of I don’t know, 14,000 people (in finals). Just an awesome experience.”

    Michael Andrew of Lawrence, Kansas qualified fifth in the 100 breaststroke with a lifetime-best and junior world record 59.96 in his first Trials race. The 17-year-old professional swimmer also set the national age-group record for 17 and 18-year-olds in his heat victory, becoming the youngest American to break one minute in the event.

    “I knew that I could do it,” said Andrew, who unleashed a celebratory splash in his lane. “When it happened, I was, ‘This is amazing.’ … I’m just stoked.”

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    Olympic Swim Trials: McLaughlin fancy in successful opening race

    June 26th, 2016, 2:20 pm by By DAN ALBANO

    OMAHA, Neb. – Katie McLaughlin followed one of her favorite traditions before she stepped onto the starting block Sunday morning at the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials.

    The Mission Viejo Nadadores’ standout had her fingernails painted – metallic gold this time – as she followed her ritual for big competitions.

    “I told Coach (Bill) Rose that I wouldn’t get on the blocks if I didn’t have them done,” McLaughlin, 19, said. “I was kidding.”

    The former Santa Margarita and JSerra standout also was fast in the prelims of the women’s 100-meter butterfly, an encouraging sign what she endured to reach CenturyLink Center.

    McLaughlin qualified sixth for Monday night’s semifinals with a time of 59.14 seconds, including a swift 31.35 split in the final 50 meters that moved her from fifth place to second in her heat to defending Olympic champion Dana Vollmer (57.50).

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    Olympic Swim Trials: Sunday preview

    June 25th, 2016, 11:04 pm by By DAN ALBANO

    Sunday at the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials

    Event finals: men’s 400-meter individual medley, men’s 400 freestyle, women’s 400 IM

    Event semifinals: women’s 100 butterfly, men’s 100 breaststroke

    TV: NBC, finals, 5 p.m.

    What to watch: Stanford’s Ella Eastin (Crean Lutheran) could earn an Olympic berth in the 400 IM on the opening night of Trials. Ryan Lochte and Chase Kalisz, Michael Phelps’ protégé, could duel in the men’s 400 IM. But don’t forget about Tyler Clary (Riverside Poly) in the 400 IM and USC-based Conor Dwyer in the 400 free. Dwyer owns the fastest time in the 400 free by an American this year with a 3:46.09. The 100 butterfly will provide insight on the health of Katie McLaughlin (neck) and a chance for Newport Beach’s Eva Merrell, 16, to rise.

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    Olympic Swim Trials: Five O.C. racers to watch in Omaha

    June 25th, 2016, 5:32 am by By DAN ALBANO

    OMAHA, NEB. -- Five O.C. swimmers to watch at the U.S. Olympic Trials:

    Tom Shields: The Kellogg’s cereal box cover boy appears headed toward a showdown with Michael Phelps in the 100-meter butterfly but also watch for the Edison graduate in the 200 butterfly. Shields’ underwater streamlines might be the best in Omaha.

    Jessica Hardy: The Golden West Swim Club veteran made the 2012 U.S. Olympic team by capturing the 50 and 100-meter freestyles. But the pride of Long Beach Wilson has always been a breaststroker at heart and badly wants to qualify for Rio in the 100 breast.

    Katie McLaughlin: The U.S. national teamer could emerge as one of the inspirational stories if she qualifies for Rio after fracturing two vertebrae in her neck in January. The challenge might prove too much but the Nadadores’ 18-year-old deserves applause for trying. Just watch her last six strokes in the butterfly.

    Ella Eastin: The former Crean Lutheran star exploded during her freshman year at Stanford, setting the American record in the 200-yard individual medley at 1:51.65. Look for the SOCAL club swimmer to contend in the 200- and 400-meter individual medley.

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    Olympic Swim Trials: Meet Team Orange County for Omaha (updated w/ Vosseler))

    June 23rd, 2016, 7:53 pm by By DAN ALBANO

    The Novaquatics' Justin Nguyen of Fountain Valley, Courtney Mykkanen of Foothill and Andrew Koustik of Calvary Chapel are part of Team O.C. for Olympic Swim Trials

    Team O.C.

    Orange County swimmers for U.S. Olympic Trials, June 26-July 3, Omaha, Neb.


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    Football recruiting: Buena Park's Gates adds intriguing offer from Illinois

    June 22nd, 2016, 9:08 pm by By DAN ALBANO

    Buena Park senior-to-be cornerback Elijah Gates (5-11, 175) has landed an intriguing offer from Big Ten member Illinois.

    Coyotes football coach Anthony White reports that new Illinois coach Lovie Smith and defensive coordinator Hardy Nickerson -- two men who know defense at the highest level of the NFL -- called him to extend the offer.

    "Pretty cool," White said in a text Wednesday.

    In other Buena Park recruiting news, junior-to-be wide receivers/defensive backs Devon Cooley and Alijah Allen along with senior offensive tackle Ryan Nelson have been offered by Colorado. For Allen, Colorado was his first offer. Cooley also also been offered by Colorado State.

    Meanwhile, senior-to-be wide receiver/defensive back Niguy Simms and senior-to-be quarterback JD Rafkin have been offered by Division III Alfred State in New York while junior-to-be quarterback Deshaun Harvey has been offered by NAIA Langston in Oklahoma.

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    Water polo: Celebrate Olympic Day on Thursday at Woollett

    June 22nd, 2016, 7:44 pm by By DAN ALBANO

    USA Water Polo is celebrating Olympic Day -- held annually on June 23 -- on Thursday at the William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Center in Irvine with an event for fans.

    The Huntington Beach-based federation is hosting a meet-and-greet with Olympians, Splashball activities for kids, prizes and free food.

    Fans are encouraged to bring their swim suits and "jump in the pool" during the event, which runs from 5 to 8 p.m.

    The Olympians expected to attend: Julie Swail (Valencia), Jackson Kimbell, Ryan Bailey (UC Irvine), Jeremy Laster (San Clemente), Brad Schumacher -- an Olympian in water polo and swimming -- Dan Klatt (UC Irvine), Courtney Mathewson (Canyon), Maggie Steffens, Kaleigh Gilchrist (Newport Harbor), Aria Fischer, Makenzie Fischer (both Laguna Beach) and Maddie Musselman (Corona del Mar).

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    Football recruiting: Corona del Mar's Chase Garbers commits to Cal

    June 21st, 2016, 9:16 pm by By DAN ALBANO

    Chase Garbers reached his college decision Tuesday armed with his powerful right arm and plenty of sound reasons on his side.

    The Corona del Mar senior-to-be committed to Cal, picking the Golden Bears over Washington, Vanderbilt and Mississippi.

    He then promptly rattled off the numerous reasons why he picked the Pac-12 school, his enthusiasm seemingly building with his list.

    "On a scale of 1 to 10," he said via Twitter of his excitement, "I'd say (it's a) 20."

    He started with academics.

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    Football recruiting: Servite quarterback Tyler Lytle commits to Colorado (updated)

    June 21st, 2016, 5:28 pm by By DAN ALBANO

    Servite senior-to-be quarterback Tyler Lytle (6-5, 205) has committed to Colorado, he announced on Twitter on Tuesday.

    Lytle was recently offered by Harvard and Indiana and racked up close to 15 scholarship offers. He was offered by Colorado in the early spring.

    "I am excited for him," Servite coach Scott Meyer said of Lytle. "I think he will have an opportunity to play early at Colorado."

    Lytle started last season fast, passing for 422 yards against Fountain Valley in the Friars' season opener. He and Servite then faced eventual state champion De La Salle, Nevada state champion Bishop Gorman, Pac-5 contender Bishop Amat and Sunset League champion Edison to close out a challenging nonleague season.

    Lytle suffered a hamstring injury against JSerra in the first round of the Trinity League and didn't play again.

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    Girls water polo: Regency (Mater Dei) wins Villa Park club tournament

    June 20th, 2016, 10:21 pm by By DAN ALBANO

    Regency's girls water polo team, the club feeder for Mater Dei, edged Laguna Beach in shootouts, 4.3 to 4.2, to capture the Villa Park 18-and-under tournament at Beckman on Sunday.

    San Diego Shores defeated the Northwood club (Orange Lutheran) in shootouts, 10.3 to 10.1, for third place while Huntington Beach beat Newport Harbor, 10-4, for fifth place.

    Please send water polo news to Dan Albano at or @ocvarsityguy on Twitter

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