A repeat performance was oh so close for the Edison High girls' swim team, but it wasn't to be.
In a Division I final Friday at historic Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool in Long Beach that had plenty of drama and several stellar performances, Edison fell two points shy of repeating as CIF champion. The honor instead went to University of Irvine, which won the girls' crown with 235 team points.
Edison finished in second place with 233 points, followed by Aliso Niguel in third with 191 points.
"While it would have been nice to repeat as CIF champions, both myself and my co-coach, Keith Ryan, could not be more proud of these girls and how well they swam Friday night at the finals," Edison co-Coach Diggy Riley said. "As I said before, the bigger the challenge, the more excited they get about swimming fast, and there was no doubt they were pumped."
The Chargers got off to a fast start Friday. Their 200 medley relay team of senior Cindy Tran (backstroke), freshman Kylie Boyce (breaststroke), sophomore Abby Oshio (butterfly) and junior Nicole Boyce (free) swam a 1:43.34. The time was the fastest ever in Orange County and also a CIF record.
And it was set during the first event of an action-packed night.
"We had a game plan on winning CIF that involved coming out of the gate strong and winning the medley relay," Riley said. "The girls set the stage that we were not going to swim anything like we did at prelims. We wanted University to know that we were not laying down and that we were going to make them beat us."
Tran capped her stellar Edison career with another huge swim later in the meet. She set a national record (51.85) in the girls' 100 backstroke.
Her time broke her own CIF record in the event (previous mark was 53.61 set in 2008) and shattered the previous national record time of 52.86 set in 1998 by U.S. Olympian Natalie Coughlin.
The Chargers also bolted to a new county and CIF record in the girls' 400 free relay when junior Alli Gillespie, sophomore Ellie Morrissey, Nicole Boyce and Tran swam a 3:23.86. The time was just shy of the national record (3:23.10).
In the boys' final, Edison placed seventh in the team standings.
"They swam with no pressure and really had a lot of fun in the finals," Riley said. "Josh Smith and Michael Hauss had great swims.
"Our (girls') swim program has been runner-up two of the last three years and champion in the other. We are so proud but also humbled by the success of our program, not just swimming, but our entire girls' aquatics program. Girls' water polo this season was ranked as high as No. 2 in the county and beat Newport Harbor and Corona del Mar, both for the first time in the school's history. We are already looking forward to next year in both swimming and water polo."
Fountain Valley senior Cynthia Fascella claimed an individual CIF title by winning the girls' 100-yard freestyle in 49.80. She was third (23.36) in the 50 free and also swam the first leg on the Barons' 200 free relay team that won the event in CIF-record time of 1:34.75. Senior Erika Lucas, freshman Jaime Dang and junior Shelby Webber round out the relay team that eclipsed the previous Southern Section record of 1:34.94, set last year by the Barons.
In the boys' Division I final, Marina junior Nick Soedel won a CIF title in the 100 free with a 45.63 swim. Soedel was also seventh in the boys' 50 free.