Marina swimming girls hold on to beat Huntington Beach again

Terra Matsushima knows that the Marina High girls’ swimming team is strong, but she also knows many of the teams in the Sunset League possess better depth.

Coming into Tuesday’s league dual meet at Huntington Beach, the Vikings senior said she knew this was her team’s best chance to earn a league win. There was a precedent, as she had helped the Vikings beat the rival Oilers in each of her first three years on varsity.

Much of the season still remains, but Matsushima can now say she went 4 for 4 against Huntington Beach after she helped the Vikings earn an 88-82 victory Tuesday. Huntington Beach’s boys beat Marina 127-40.

“I’m honestly super-stoked,” said Matsushima, bound for New York University. “It just adds a little cherry on top for my high school career.”

Matsushima definitely helped Marina (1-1 in league) take down the the Oilers again.

She swam three events in a row, winning them all. She claimed the 100-yard butterfly in 58.16 seconds and the 100 freestyle in 53.26. The Vikings’ 200 free relay team of Sage Matsushima, Daphne Pham, Madeline Sandstead and Terra Matsushima then won in 1:41.44, ahead of Huntington Beach’s Madelyn Harris, Caitlin Richter, Summer West and Natalie Crocker in 1:41.93.

Crocker, one of 12 seniors that Huntington Beach honored on its senior day, won the 200 freestyle (2:01.60) and was second to Terra Matsushima in the 100 free. In the relay, Matsushima had a deficit of 0.18 seconds going into the final leg, but she edged out her friend at the end, much to the delight of Marina girls’ swim coach Stephen Wight.

“We’ve been swimming all four years against each other,” Matsushima said of going against Crocker. “I don’t see it as a rivalry. It’s just another friend I’m swimming against.”

Sage Matsushima, a junior, won the 200 individual medley (2:11.49) and the 100 butterfly (58.16) for the Vikings, while Sandstead won the 50 free in 26.13. The Vikings’ Matsushima sisters, Pham and Amelia Garrard also won the 400 free relay. Swimming safely to avoid a disqualification that would cost them the meet, they touched in 3:58.19.

Wight, in his fourth year in charge, can also say he’s beaten Huntington Beach all four years. He said he is proud of his team, which pushed Edison last week before falling by a score of 89-81.

Huntington Beach got an event win Tuesday in the 200 medley relay, where Harris, West, Joslynn Young and Crocker touched in 1:52.50. West won both the 100 backstroke (1:06.58) and the 100 breaststroke (1:12.04). But the Oilers (0-2 in league) were hurt by Harris’ disqualification in the backstroke, negating her first-place time.

Huntington Beach girls’ swim coach Candice Mason said that Harris, a freshman who set the school record in the backstroke earlier this season, was disqualified because she was underwater too long off the wall before emerging.

Huntington Beach, which had lost at Newport Harbor in a league opener last week, easily improved to 1-1 in league on the boys’ side by beating Marina (0-2 in league).

Grant Brehm was a double event winner for the Oilers. The Cal Poly San Luis Obispo-bound senior won the 50 freestyle in 21.69, edging teammate Jake Cavano (21.98), who is headed to UCLA for water polo.

Brehm then won the 100 free in 48.92. He also swam anchor on two winning relays.

The 200 medley relay of Chase Dodd, Andre Mai, Cavano and Brehm touched first in 1:41.14, while the 200 free relay of Cavano, Dylan Gunn, Andy Tucker and Brehm finished in 1:31.48.

Dodd was a freshman who performed well for Huntington Beach, which won every event. He won the backstroke in 59.11 and tied for first with teammate Jack Reed in the 200 free (1:51.97).

“We’ve been training really hard,” Huntington Beach boys’ swim coach Ryan Camps said. “We’re tired right now, but we did well.”

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