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SOUTHERN SECTION BOYS’ SWIMMING RELAYS : San Marino Outlasts Capistrano Valley for Team Title

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

If Saturday night was any indication, the swimmers from Capistrano Valley and San Marino high schools will still be wake-and-wake come the Southern Section championships.

San Marino won the boys’ Southern Section Swim Relays Saturday at the Belmont Plaza Pool but did so by the slimmest of margins: 230 points to Capistrano Valley’s 220.

“This is the best team we’ve ever had,” said Capistrano Valley Coach Don Cholodenko, whose team won the 4-A championship last year. “But the competition is much better than it’s ever been.”

That includes San Marino, which finished ahead of Capistrano Valley in six of the seven relays.

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“We beat ‘em in six races, but we still barely won,” San Marino Coach Burt Kanner said.

Kanner is in his 35th season at San Marino, which has won the past three 3-A championships. This year, San Marino will be competing at the 4-A level.

Kanner was reluctant to brand his swimmers as the favorites for this season’s 4-A title, despite Saturday’s impressive showing.

“This meet shows that you have depth,” Kanner said. “You’ve got to have 10 good swimmers to win this thing.”

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San Marino won the first three relays--the 400 medley (in a meet-record 3:35.24), the 300 freestyle (six legs), and the 200 breaststroke.

Teams from Capistrano Valley finished second in the first two relays, and took third in two others. The Cougars set school records in five of the seven events.

Walnut (160 points) set meet records in the 200 fly and the 200 medley. Teams from El Dorado (124), Edison (120) and Irvine (120) also posted impressive times.

The relays featured two of the three favorites for the 4-A title. Mission Viejo withdrew because several a number of its top competitors were participating in a United States Swimming club meet for seniors this weekend.

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“This was a great high school swim meet,” Kanner said. “The teams were having fun, and so were the coaches.”


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