Mustangs keep fighting

EDITOR'S NOTE: This corrects Tyler Conners' time in the 100-yard backstroke.

For the past two weeks, the Costa Mesa High boys' and girls' swimming teams have had to improvise as their new pool has been shut down. The pool's filter broke, said Coach Patty Smith, who is also the girls' athletic director at Mesa.

The Mustangs have practiced at Santa Ana High and Orange Coast College and settled for dry-land training, working with weights and performing other exercises the past two weeks. Smith said the pool should be fixed this week.

But the Costa Mesa girls didn't feel as if they were amid adversity at Estancia Wednesday. The Mustangs' girls' team beat the Eagles, 100-70, in an Orange Coast League meet.

The Estancia boys used its depth to score a 95-70 victory over Costa Mesa.

"I think considering we've been without a pool for two weeks we still performed well," Smith said. "I moved a couple of girls around in different events, but they stepped up."

Aubry Hill and Nichole Tafye led the way for the Mustangs (1-2 in league), winning two events each.

Hill won the 200-yard individual medley in 2 minutes, 40.76 seconds and the 100 butterfly in 1:13.38.

Tafye won the 50 freestyle in 27.92 and the 500 free in 6:15.19. It was Tafye's first time competing in the 500 free. Smith admired Tafye's effort and her willingness to compete in the 500 free for the first time.

Costa Mesa's Kellie Thorsness won the 100 free in 59.67 and finished second in the 100 backstroke in 1:12.72.

The Mustangs had been planning to have its inaugural Costa Mesa Swim Invitational in their new pool Saturday. But the meet, sponsored by Mattson Resources, had to be moved to Estancia High. So in that sense Costa Mesa had a bit of practice time in the Eagles' pool.

The Estancia girls won one event Wednesday, the 4x50 free relay with Maren McClanahan, Kinsey Aherne, Sara Ray and Danielle Ridge. They finished in 2:00.65, the Eagles' fastest time of the season.

Estancia Coach Bob Bandaruk said he has a young team with just one senior. But he said he has a good group of swimmers who are improving each meet.

Conversely, the Estancia boys have experience and depth.

Preston Schow showed that, as he won the 50 free in 23.32 and the 100 free in 52.45.

Asher Twardowski had a strong showing for the Eagles (4-6, 2-2 in league) in the 200 IM, winning with a season-best 2:17.91.

Derek Andrews, Conner Graham, Twardowski and Schow won the 200 medley relay in 1:54.61.

Schow, Andrews, Max Hume and Graham won the 4x50 relay in 1:38.70.

Graham touched first in the 100 breaststroke in 1:09.43.

"It was just a good meet because we had a lot of people scoring," Estancia boys' coach John Carpenter said. "We had a lot of good swims and a lot of close races. The depth was really good for us today."

Carpenter viewed Wednesday's meet as an important one. He had his swimmers taper a bit, leading up to the meet against their rivals.

"The kids were really psyched up for the meet," Carpenter said. "We were definitely up for this meet."

James Lewis won two events for the Mustangs, touching first in the 200 free in 1:55 and the 500 free in 5:15.65.

Costa Mesa freshman Tyler Connors won the 100 back in 1:02.49, a CIF-consideration time, Smith said. Connors never competed in swimming before coming to Costa Mesa, Smith said.

Costa Mesa's Victor Gonzalez won the 100 fly in 1:04.28.

"We are really young," Smith said of her boys' team (1-2 in league). "We have two juniors and one senior. It's fun coaching them. But we're rebuilding. They are just a great group of guys."

— From staff reports

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