The competition was up for the challenge and the score was close, but at the end of the day, the Newport Hills Swim Team left the Fountain Valley pool of the Green Valley Dolphins with a 685-639 win July 24, and its fourth regular-season South Coast Swim Conference championship and undefeated season.
Over the past four years in regular SCSC action, Coach Michelle Sperling's Killer Whales have a record of 24-0.
Green Valley has a number of star swimmers, however, Newport Hills' team depth helped bring home the win. In events where they did not win, the Killer Whales often took both second and third. In addition, the Newport Hills relay teams had another successful outing, and certainly set the tone for the meet, as they captured first place in the initial six medley relay races of the day.
The Killer Whales were led by their 7-8 girls, 7-8 boys and their 11-12 boys, all of which took first-place honors in all of their individual stroke events as well as their two relay events, medley and freestyle.
Bianca Bays (25-yard freestyle, 25 breaststroke and 25 butterfly in the under-6 girls, Anna Wilde (25 free, 25 backstroke and 50 free) in the 7-8 girls, Jake Bays (25 free, 25 fly and 50 free) in the 7-8 boys, Henry Wilde (50 free, 25 fly and 100 individual medley) in the 9-10 boys, Taylor Cortens (50 fly, 50 back and 100 IM) in the 11-12 boys and Hollace Barden (100 free, 50 fly and 100 IM) in the 15-18 girls were all three-time winners in individual stroke events for Newport Hills.
Killer Whales Ryan McManigal (25 fly and 25 back) in the under-6 boys, Sophie Wallace (25 breaststroke and 25 fly) in the 7-8 girls and Morgan Cortens (50 breaststroke and 50 back) in the 9-10 boys all grabbed two blue ribbons in individual stroke events, while Jack Pluma (25 breaststroke) in the under-6 boys, Richard Eusey (25 breaststroke) and Speedy Laster (25 back) in the 7-8 boys, Lauren Openshaw (50 breaststroke) in the 9-10 girls, Nick Schroeder (50 freestyle) and Rourke Funke (50 breaststroke) in the 11-12 boys, Ian Givant (100 freestyle) in the 13-14 boys and Stephanie Farber (50 backstroke) in the 15-18 girls all swam to first-place individual stroke wins.
In winning the 13-14 boys 200 free relay, the Newport Hills foursome of Brett Greenlee, Kyle Cousens, Spencer Carroll and Ian Givant set a new team record of 1 minute, 41.72 seconds, coming in under the old mark of 1:42.02 set in 2004.
Openshaw's 9-10 girls 50 breaststroke winning time of 35.39 reduced her previous team record of 36.63, and Bays set a new Killer Whale team record in the 7-8 boys 25 fly with a time of 15.24, erasing the old team record of 15.31 established by David Linden in 1999.
The Killer Whales will compete in the South Coast Swim Conference finals today at Corona del Mar High.
— From staff reports