Locals swim fast, but Los Alamitos sweeps Sunset League finals
Plenty of fast swims were recorded Friday at the Sunset League swimming finals at Golden West College.
With five swimmers under 21 seconds in the boys’ 50-yard freestyle, that certainly was evident.
As for the league championship hardware, however, it all went to Los Alamitos. The Griffins swept the boys’ and girls’ team titles.
Newport Harbor’s boys and Fountain Valley’s girls, both defending league champions, each placed second at league finals.
Sailors junior Ayla Spitz put on a show, setting meet records and personal-bests in winning the girls’ 200 freestyle (1:45.44) and the 100 free (48.88). She also swam leadoff on the Sailors’ winning 200 medley relay, which also featured Kili Skibby, Zoe Spitz and Carly Yasko and touched in 1:45.05. The Spitz twins, Yasko and Dinny Stevens won the 400 free relay in 3:25.69. Both relays also were meet records — and school records.
“It’s such a competitive atmosphere, and so much fun racing everyone,” Ayla Spitz said. “These are all my friends.”
Fountain Valley junior Hannah Farrow became a first-time league champion, winning the girls’ 200 individual medley (2:00.86) and the 100 butterfly (53.78). She held off a charge by Marina junior Sage Matsushima, who also finished second in the 100 backstroke to freshman Madelyn Harris of Huntington Beach, to win the latter event.
“Those were both best times for me, so it was exciting,” Farrow said. “I got second in both of my events last year. I seem to get second a lot, so [today] was like, ‘Finally!’ [Matsushima and I] are really close, and I like the friendly competition.”
Huntington Beach senior Natalie Crocker was second in the girls’ 50 and 100 free, in school-record times of 23.48 and 51.15, respectively. Fountain Valley won the girls’ 200 free relay in 1:36.18, and Barons senior Shayla Erickson defended her league title in the 500 free (4:54.29).
Edison junior Taylor Whitmore was another double winner, placing first in the boys’ 200 IM (1:52.66) and the backstroke (51.07). Huntington Beach senior Grant Brehm was outtouched by Los Alamitos’ Jacob Toland in the 50 free, despite lowering his meet-record time from preliminaries to a 20.35, but Brehm came back to win the 100 free in 45.39.
Fountain Valley’s Ivan Nghi won the breaststroke in 47.91, and Marina’s Stuart Holton won the butterfly in 49.92. Newport Harbor’s Nick Halphide, who won the 200 free, swam leadoff in the 400 free relay and won along with Reed Stemler, Jason Grew and Max Sandberg in a season-best 3:06.73.
Qualifiers will compete at the CIF Southern Section Division 1 meet next week at Riverside City College.
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