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A Laguna-Mesa stalemate

LAGUNA BEACH "” Who should be the favorite on the boys’ side at the Orange Coast League swimming finals?

Both Costa Mesa and Laguna Beach could lay claim after they tied, 85-85, in the final league dual meet Wednesday at Laguna Beach High.

Laguna Beach won the girls’ meet, 111-59.

Predictably, the boys’ favorite for league finals May 7 at the Breakers’ pool depended on who was asked.

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“We tied, and we should have won," Laguna Beach Coach Kari Johnson said. “We’re winning next week."

The Breakers had a good performance from many of their swimmers, highlighted by senior Preston Head, who took the 50 freestyle in 22.66 seconds and then the 100 free in 49.50.

Freshman Billy Wild won the 100 fly in 57.22, while junior David Brunner won the 100 back in 1 minute, 5.11 seconds.

Brunner was leadoff on the winning 200 medley relay team (1:52.72), which also included Spencer Dodson, Robert Chew and Sean Mulville.

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“I was really proud of my team," Johnson said. “We went out there and raced today. It’s great to see some of the water polo players go out and try to win a dual meet."

Mesa rallied to tie the meet, however, by taking three of the top four spots in the 100 breast and also winning the meet-ending 400 free relay.

It left the Mustangs, including senior Dustin Serrano who won the 500 free and was in that 400 free relay, feeling confident. Costa Mesa has won both Orange Coast League titles on the boys’ side since the league was formed.

“It sets it up perfect [for league finals]," Serrano said. “It’s a showdown. Lakers/Celtics finals, right there."

As they have been all season, the Laguna Beach girls were simply dominant Wednesday, winning all eight individual events and all three relays.

Senior Andrea Reigel won the 200 individual medley in 2:12.34, part of a Laguna Beach top-three sweep that also included freshman Yoshi Andersen (2:24.87) and sophomore Jessie Holechek (2:27.55).

“I wasn’t too happy with [the time] but it’s OK for right now," said Reigel, who also finished first and set the school record in the 100 breast (1:10.77). “We’re not tapered. Next week I’ll be a lot better."

Senior Chelsea Wild, who won the 100 fly in 59.13 and also the 500 free (5:22.96), agreed that the times weren’t the most important thing at this point, although those were easily CIF Southern Section Division III automatic times.

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“For us, it’s just like we’re swimming to win," Wild said. “Time doesn’t really matter necessarily right now, until we get to CIF. Basically, our motto until CIF is ‘Swim to win.’ "

Senior Annika Dries won the 100 free (55.11) and the 200 free (1:54.95), while senior Taylor Dodson won the 50 free in 26.72. Holechek took the 100 back in 1:08.81.

Winning relay teams included the 200 medley relay (Dries, Reigel, Wild and Dodson), the 200 free relay (Taylor Capobianco, Andersen, Holechek and Dodson) and the 400 free relay (Reigel, Wild, Capobianco and Dries).

Assistant coach Ethan Damato shared the same enthusiasm about the boys’ chances at league finals as Johnson.

“We’re going to win," he said as he passed by Reigel and Wild.

The league preliminaries are Tuesday and the league finals Thursday, both also at Laguna Beach High.


MATT SZABO may be reached at (714) 966-4614 or by e-mail at matthew.szabo@latimes.com.


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