Sea Kings rule bay

CORONA DEL MAR — The Battle of the Bay high school rivalry between Corona del Mar and Newport Harbor in track and field is unique.

"It's not like the other sports," CdM Coach Bill Sumner said. "The other sports are a little tougher."

The Back Bay schools tend to go all out against each other no matter the athletic event, just not in track and field. Sumner remembers when it used to be that intense 10 years ago.

"In the old days, what happened is doggone it alumni show up and they're all hanging on the fence here, going, 'What's going on today? How are we doing?'" Sumner said. "They show up. They want to see some results. Got to get the results."

Maybe the fans stopped showing up because one school has dominated the rivalry in recent years.

The CdM boys and girls won their respective nonleague dual meets at home on Wednesday. The boys made it three straight against Newport Harbor with a 79-48 victory and the girls prevailed, 75-56.

Sumner cannot remember the last time his girls lost to the Sailors. It just hasn't happened much during his 29 years at CdM.

During that stretch, one thing has remained the same. The Sea Kings always dual Newport Harbor first.

"That's one thing about Battle of the Bay and doing it early, everybody knows it early," Sumner said. "So you get to come out here and see how your kids look against the guys across the bay, but it's still early, so you don't have to worry about it too much."

There is a reason why Sumner isn't overly concerned with his athletes' marks at this point in the season.

"I don't want anybody running that hard and I don't think [Newport Harbor girls' coach] Eric [Tweit] does either," Sumner said. "We don't want anybody playing that hard this early in the season. I like the level. It's like a high-level pick-up game, instead of the Final Four."

The Sea Kings scored the most points in the boys' meet, jumping and running better than the Sailors.

The throws belonged to Newport Harbor, specifically Ethan Cochran. The UC Berkeley-bound senior set personal records in the discus throw and shot put, finishing first in both events.

Cochran heaved the discus 203 feet, 10 inches, bettering his previous best by an inch. The new mark leads the nation. His previous best of 203-9, which he hit Saturday at the 33rd annual Irvine Invitational, used to be No. 1 in the country.

Cochran, the defending CIF State discus champion, looks primed to contend at state in the shot as well. He launched a 58-footer at CdM and finished ahead of teammates Marty Taylor (56-5 1/2) and Steve Michaelsen (54-6 1/2), who is heading to Wake Forest.

The strength of the Newport Harbor boys' team is throwing.

The Sea Kings showed their depth in the other events and that propelled them past the Sailors.

Troy Bolus won two individual events for CdM, the triple jump (36-10) and 110-meter hurdles (15.3 seconds).

John Swigert placed first in the 400 (52.5) and helped CdM's 4x400-relay team (3:27.9) win. The other relay members were Tanner Love, Ryan Rodrigues and Kyle Iverson.

Iverson claimed the 800 in 2:00.8, while Blake Myers won the 1,600 (4:31.5) and Thomas Testini the 200 (23.0).

Other individual winners included CdM's Braden Brahs (high jump, 6-0) and Nick McGuinness (300 hurdles, 41.4), and Newport Harbor's Titus Hasson (100, 11.0), Jake Barber (3,200, 10:03.1) and Landon Gyulay (long jump, 18-6 1/2).

The Sailors finished first in the 4x100 relay in 44.2.

Karléh Wilson was CdM's lone girl who won two individual events. The senior took the discus (119-1) and shot put (40-2).

She also helped the Sea Kings win the 4x100 relay (51.4).

Wilson said she was just trying to get her throwing technique down before Saturday's Laguna Beach Invitational.

The 1,600 and 3,200 races featured two of the top distance runners in Orange County, CdM's Ashlee Powers and Paige Tennison.

Powers beat Tennison in the 1,600 (5:03.1) by 11 seconds, while Tennison beat Powers in the 3,200 (10:48.8) by 33.5 seconds.

The Sailors saw three girls win two individual events, Sammy Yeager (high jump and long jump), Hope Bender (100 and 200) and Natalie Woods (100 hurdles and 300 hurdles).

CdM's Emily Meckler (400, 1:03.8), Hannah Bagdasar (triple jump, 27-6) each finished first in their respective events.

CdM senior Kristen Rivera won the 800 (2:20.5) and ran the third leg in the 4x400-relay team's first-place showing (4:21.7).

Rivera, who is bound for San Diego State, said she was a little nervous about competing in the rivalry. Once the 800 started, her main event, all she really had to worry about was the wind.

Twitter: @DCPenaloza

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