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Laguna swimmers off to strong beginning

One meet down. Four CIF Southern Section Division III automatic qualifying times set.

Indeed, it was a successful season opener for the Laguna Beach High boys’ and girls’ swimming teams Wednesday in their tri-meet against Tustin and Cypress at Tustin High.

First-year Coach Kari Johnson said no official score was kept, but the Breakers showed little rust and started strong. In the girls’ 200 medley relay, the team of sophomore Taylor Capobianco, seniors Andrea Reigel and Taylor Dodson and freshman Yoshi Andersen set an automatic CIF time in 2 minutes, 0.69 seconds.

Reigel, bound for UCLA, also made two other automatic cuts individually, in the 200 individual medley (2:12.56) and the 500 free (5:11.41). The other automatic time was set on the boys’ side, with senior Preston Head finishing in 22.69 seconds in the 50 freestyle.

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“I was very impressed with their performance today as a team,” said Johnson, 25, who swam at Mission Viejo High, Saddleback College and UC Santa Cruz.

Johnson, a teacher at Foothill Ranch Elementary in Lake Forest, has also been coach at various club age-group programs.

“I thought it was a really good starting point for our season,” she said.

Dodson and Andersen were among Breakers girls’ water polo players whose season ended last weekend at the CIF Southern Section Masters Tournament. Senior Annika Dries is another, but she was out sick Wednesday, along with senior standout Chelsea Wild.

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Division III consideration times from Wednesday’s meet included the boys’ 200 medley relay team of junior David Brunner, sophomore Spencer Dodson, freshman Nolan McConnell and Head.

Freshman Billy Wild had consideration times in the 200 IM and 100 fly, as did Head in the 100 free and Capobianco in the girls’ 100 back.

The boys’ 200 free relay team of sophomore Nile Koegel, Wild, Dodson and Head earned a consideration time, as did the 400 foursome of McConnell, Koegel, Brunner and Wild.

The girls’ 200 free relay foursome of Dodson, Capobianco, Jessie Holechek and Reigel also earned Division III consideration times.

“We did great,” Johnson said. “They didn’t score the meet, but we would have won.”

Laguna Beach’s girls are trying to defend their Orange Coast League title from last year, and the boys are trying to upend defending league champion Costa Mesa.



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