The storied Millikan Southern Section Relays, which highlighted the swimming season during their glory days at the old, indoor Belmont Plaza, won't be held this season because of coaching turnover and challenges finding a facility, Long Beach Millikan boys coach Danely Smith said in an e-mail.
"We have had some issues with coaching turnover (at Long Beach Millikan)," Smith wrote. "Finding a pool for the meet has also been a challenge since the Belmont facility closed."
The meet thrived at Belmont Plaza, which was torn down a few years ago. The relays attracted many of the top teams and swimmers in the Southern Section.
A sneak peek of the pool that would later host the CIF finals was a draw at the old Belmont Plaza but it was more the team atmosphere and energy created by the relays that fueled the meet. Veteran John Montrella expertly announced the swift-moving meet that featured records that teams were hungry to break.
Ken Dory, then the coach of the Irvine boys, called the Millikan Southern Section Relays one of his favorite meets of the season.Read the rest of this entry »