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Breakers take titles

The Laguna Beach High boys’ track and field team laid claim to the 2007 Orange Coast League championship, and the girls’ squad earned a runner-up finish at the league finals competition held May 3 at Orange Coast College.

Titles were aplenty for the Laguna program that day, as the girls’ junior varsity and boys’ frosh/soph teams earned championships.

“First off, although we are now in an inferior league compared to last year’s Pacific Coast League, we accomplished what we pressured to do,” Laguna Coach Dave Brobeck said. “I think it’s clearly a lot more difficult to win when it’s expected. We probably had a superior boys’ varsity team a year ago, and we came up second to Northwood in the PCL.

“Winning a track and field championship this year satisfies a defined goal of mine when I got into coaching the team eight years ago,” he said. “There is satisfaction and completion in this for us. It’s great to be on top.”

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Brobeck said the road to the league title for the boys wasn’t easy. The Breakers were without Jeremy Eaton, their star specialist in both the 800 and 1600, who is out with a season-ending knee injury. Another CIF athlete and leader from a year ago, Andrew Raub, had a severe ankle sprain in the first meet of the year and hasn’t had time to fully recover, Brobeck said.

“I am most impressed with the guys who filled in where there was need and allowed the program to win the league,” he said.

In the boys’ finals, senior E.J. Gomez was champion in both the 200 meters (22.66) and 500 meters (51.51) and senior Nick Newell was a triple champion in the long jump (19-8 1/4 ), triple jump (43-0 3/4 ) and high jump (5-6; sophomore Matt Karam was second at 5-4). The 4 x 400 relay team won league in 3:34.77.

In the girls’ finals, senior Brittany Clark easily captured titles in the 100 (12.53) and 200 (26.66) meters, senior Alex Crawley took both the 1,600 (5:16.97) and 3,200 (11:43.58) and the 4 x 100 team won league in 51.49.

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Laguna athletes who have qualified will compete Saturday at the CIF-Southern Section Division IV prelims at Carpinteria High.

“The goal will be to qualify as many as we can for the finals meet the following weekend,” Brobeck said.

CIF Qualifiers

Boys

E.J. Gomez (200, 400), Jonathon Martinez (200, 400), Peter Hastings (800), Blake Hofmeister (3,200), Sheldon Eaton (110 hurdles, 300 hurdles, Nick Newell (long jump, triple jump, high jump), 4 x 100, 4 x 400 relay teams.

Girls

Brittany Clark (100, 200), Jessica Good Man (400), Kativa Strickland (800), Heather Thomas (800), Alex Crawley (1,600, 3,200), Camille Borges (1,600, 3,200), Emily LaRose (high jump), 4 x 100 relay team.

League swimming championships

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Laguna finished in second-place in both the boys’ and girls’ standings at the conclusion of the Orange Coast League championships at the Laguna pool.

Costa Mesa won both the boys’ and girls’ titles.

League prelims were held May 1 and finals on May 3.

At the girls’ finals competition, Chelsea Wild was a double league champion, winning both the 200 and 500 freestyle races. Annika Dries won the 100 free and finished second to Wild in the 200 free.

Laguna’s 400 and 200 free relay teams, each composed of Wild, Dries, Natasha Schulmann and Taylor Dodson, also won league.

Wild (200 free, 500 free), Dries (100 free, 200 free) and the 400 and 200 free relay teams competed Thursday at the CIF-Southern Section prelims meet at Belmont Plaza Pool in Long Beach. The finals are Saturday, also at Belmont Plaza.

Schulmann (50 free) and Dodson (50 free, 100 free) both made consideration but didn’t swim at CIF prelims.

Laguna’s boys’ 200 free relay team of Pierre Masson, Max Brick, Preston Head and Nathan McConnell also made consideration but didn’t compete Thursday at CIF prelims.

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McConnell did qualify for CIF in the 200 free and made consideration in the 500 free.

Head (50 free, 100 free) also made consideration but did not advance.


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