Peirsol misses the cut

This time, Aaron Peirsol doesn't get a second chance at defending a backstroke gold medal at the Pan Pacific Championships.

The Newport Harbor High product on Friday could not depend on a U.S. teammate to reach the finals in his second backstroke event in as many days at the international meet.

Peirsol recorded the third-fastest time overall in the 200-meter backstroke preliminaries in the morning, but two fellow Americans finished ahead, eliminating Peirsol from the eight-man final at night at the William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Center in Irvine. Only the top two swimmers from a country can reach the finals.

The two spots for the U.S. went to Ryan Lochte and Tyler Clary, who deserved them after finishing first and second in 1 minute, 55.26 seconds and 1:55.56, respectively. Peirsol came in at 1:56.22.

Unlike Wednesday, when Lochte withdrew from the 100 backstroke final and Peirsol gained his spot and went on to win the event, Lochte and Clary did not plan to opt out of Friday night's 200 backstroke finale to allow the hometown swimmer a chance to advance to the main race.

"Nothing I can do about it," Peirsol, the world-record holder in the 100 and 200 backstrokes, told The Washington Post. "The time I had to do wasn't easy."

The five-time Olympic gold medalist had to settle for the consolation final, which he won in 1:56.67.

A faster time in the consolation final could have earned Peirsol a 200-backstroke berth into the FINA World Championships next summer. Peirsol only guaranteed himself an entry in the 100 backstroke after his Pan Pacific victory Wednesday.

Lochte won the 200 backstroke final in 1:54.12, breaking the Pan Pacific record of 1:54.44 set by Peirsol in 2006. Clary took the silver in 1:54.90.

— From staff reports


Whiteside enrolled at Santa Ana College

Former Newport Harbor High standout linebacker Cecil Whiteside has enrolled at Santa Ana College in hopes to attend Cal in the spring, said Sailors football Coach Jeff Brinkley.

The Golden Bears recruited Whiteside, ranked as the fourth best outside linebacker recruit in the country by, but Coach Jeff Tedford said that Whiteside will grayshirt at Cal this upcoming season after having to sit out his first year because of academic issues.

Brinkley said Whiteside would not play football at Santa Ana College, so he could have four years of athletic eligibility with the Golden Bears.

"I hope for Cecil that he goes and takes care of his business over at Santa Ana, and knocks out the units he needs to knock out, and then gets up there [at Cal] next semester and gets a chance to go to spring ball," said Brinkley, who coached the three-time first-team All-Sunset League player for four years. "Sometimes young guys don't realize the impact these things have, not only on them, their immediate future, but the long-term future. It can change somebody's whole life.

"If he can get up there and play for four years and get his degree, it'll set him up for the rest of his life."

— David Carrillo Peñaloza


Ross eliminated from tourney

Newport Harbor High alumna April Ross and her partner, Jen Kessy, were eliminated from the Federation Internationale de Volleyball World Tour beach volleyball event Friday in Aland, Finland.

Ross and Kessy, the No. 4-seeded team, were defeated by top-seeded Brazilians Larissa Franca and Juliana Silva, 19-21, 21-15, 15-11, to fall into the contender's bracket, where they then were ousted by No. 3-seeded Xue Chen and Zhang Xi of China, 21-14, 21-15.

The fifth-place finish for Ross and Kessy marks seven straight FIVB events in which they have failed to finish in the top three. The duo had earned medals in four of the first five FIVB events this season, including victories in Shanghai and Rome.

The victory for Franca and Silva over Ross and Kessy extended the Brazilians' winning streak to 39 matches. The Brazilians have won the last five FIVB events and have topped the field in seven of the 10 FIVB events they have entered this season.

— From staff reports


Belden aids victory

Newport Harbor High product Anne Belden scored two goals to help the U.S. women's national team defeat Hungary, 10-5, in the FINA World Cup water polo tournament Friday in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Belden has been a consistent scoring weapon for the Americans, who are 3-1 in the event and are now assured of playing for a medal.

Team USA will face the winner of the China-New Zealand match today.

— From staff reports


Lions win opener

Senior forward Karri Currier scored two goals to help the Vanguard University women's soccer team earn a 5-0 season-opening victory over nonconference visitor Vancouver Island on Thursday.

Sophomore Amanda Couch, senior Christy Horning and freshman Annamarie Tedeschi added goals for the Lions, for whom Ivana Mendez, Kimberly James, Horning and Wisniewski contributed assists.

Tessa Rowe had one save and shared the shutout with fellow goalkeeper Paige Sikes.

Vanguard posted a 24-3 advantage in shots.

— From staff reports


Anteaters club finishes fifth

The Anteaters 14-and-under girls' water polo team finished strong at the USA Water Polo National Junior Olympics, taking 15th place after topping Falcon, 14-8, on Aug. 8.

The team, which practices at UC Irvine, features players from Newport Beach. Rising Corona del Mar High freshmen Avery Warwick, Kampbell Gritsch, Marina Coskinas, Morgan Paduano and Maddie Lanfried, along with Mater Dei freshman Brianna Daboub, led the squad.

Also on the 13-girl roster were local junior high players Maddie Musselman, Ellie Reid, Eliza Britt, Shannon Frome, Grace Morgan, Heidi Ritner and Anja Phillips.

Marc Hunt, also the UCI men's coach and former U.S. national team player, coached the team along with former UCI player Jesse Briggs and former USC standout Marina Mayer. The Anteaters also beat teams from Bakersfield, Capo Valley and the Florida Riptides.

The Anteaters have water polo programs for boys and girls ranging from 10-and-under to 14-and-under. For more information, e-mail

— From staff reports

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