Laguna eyes another strong season

The Laguna Beach swimming teams opened their season March 4 and both the boys' and girls' squads soundly defeated Pacifica.

The boys won, 108-60, while the girls took a 114-53 decision from the Mariners at the Laguna pool.

In action this week, the Laguna girls lost to both Esperanza (117-49) and Irvine (130-36) and the boys also lost to the Aztecs (94.50-71.50) and Vaqueros (127-39). Breakers Coach Kari Johnson said that "standout swims and new CIF cuts" were turned in by Melena Masson (200 freestyle, 2 minutes 05.08 seconds), Yoshi Andersen (50 free, 26.23, and 100 butterfly, 1:04.47), Taylor Capobianco (100 backstroke, 1:08.04), Nicky Brunner (200 free, 1:56.90), Billy Wild (200 free, 1:51.77, and 500 free, 5:07.30), Nile Koegel (50 free, 23.01), Nolan McConnell (100 backstroke, 1:00.49), and the boys' 400 free relay team (Koegel, Brunner, McConnell, Wild, 3:27.76).

Johnson begins her third year as head coach of the program, with a coaching staff of Ethan Damato, Trevor Frimond and Beth Weber. Last year, Laguna tasted plenty of success as the boys' team won the Orange Coast League championship for a second straight year, while the girls' team won league for a third consecutive year.

"We sent more kids to CIF than in years past," Johnson said of squads that included the boys' 200 medley relay team 1:45.00 (Sean Mulville, Spencer Dodson, Robert Chew, Erik Henrikson) setting a school record time of 1:45.00) and the girls free relay team (Annika Dries, Taylor Dodson, Chelsea Wild, Andrea Reigel) "held on" to their 2009 CIF Division III record time (1:38.37) in the event.

Some of the key girls' team members are Capobianco (free/back, Sr.).; Masson (free, Jr.); Andersen (fly/IM/free, Jr.); Paige Watroba (fly/IM, Sr.); Jessie Holechek (free/back, Sr.) and Lila Vera (fly/back/free, Fr.).

Some key boys' team members are: Koegel (free/fly, Sr.); Wild (free/IM/100 fly school record-holder, 55.09); McConnell (free/back, Jr.); Brunner (200 free); Tommy Renner (breast/IM, Jr.); Spencer Dodson (breast/free, school record-holder 200 medley relay team, Sr.); Samer Alkateb (free, Jr.); Erik Henrikson (free, school record-holder 200 medley team, Jr.).

"I'm looking forward to another successful and memorable season with the Breakers," Johnson said. "Our team is hoping to swim fast early in the season and make as many automatic CIF cuts as possible.

"Placing well in CIF is our focus. Our boys are coming off of a water polo CIF championship and our girls played their hearts out in the Division I CIF water polo semifinals. This group knows how to work hard and I foresee a very successful season."

The Breakers are scheduled to compete Saturday (3:15 p.m.) at the Los Alamitos Co-Ed Relays. They'll swim at Mission Viejo in a nonleague meet against the Diablos at 3 p.m. Thursday.

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