MISSION VIEJO — A week ago, Coach Bill Sumner told the Corona del Mar High quartet of Troy Hardy, Ryan Rodrigues, John Swigert and Kyle Iverson that he wanted them to break a school record that had stood for 29 years.
The four boys went after it in the 4x400-meter relay at the Orange County Championships on Saturday.
Afterward, Sumner was left saying, "This was big-time for us."
Hardy, Rodrigues, Swigert and Iverson hit the big-time, winning the event in 3 minutes, 20.2 seconds, lowering two seconds off the school record that was set in 1983 by Jon Forte, Lance Martin, Dave Patterson and Vince McGuinness.
The relay team's finish helped the CdM boys place fourth at Mission Viejo High.
Iverson, the Sea Kings' anchor, held off a charge from Mater Dei's Corey Hammond, the champ in the 300-meter hurdles (38.41). But Iverson showed a strong kick in the final 100 meters to help bring home the win and the school record.
Iverson knows how to finish strong. He took second place in the 800 (1:56.59), just behind Woodbridge's Dragan Simic (1:55.97).
Swigert also had a high finish for the Sea Kings. He was second in the 400 in 49.91, a personal record, and just a tad behind Servite's Julian Lujan (49.70).
"We shattered [the school record] pretty well," Swigert said. "We saw performances by other teams and we knew we had good competition, but we knew we had a good game plan ... We knew what we had to do and we just went out and did it."
Nick McGuinness certainly helped the CdM boys' to a fourth-place finish. He finished tied for second in the high jump (6 feet, 2 inches) and was fifth in the 300 hurdles (40.87).
On the girls' side, Newport Harbor junior Paige Tennison made a strong return after battling illness. She finished second in the 3,200 in 10:44.70 in her first significant race since being out for more than a week with a bad case of the flu.
"I'm feeling a lot better from where I was, but not 100%," Tennison said. "But I felt well enough to race."
Tennison's second-place finish was huge, considering the return from illness and she also took out her start way too fast.
CdM senior Ashlee Powers finished fifth in the race in 11:09.50. Marina's Laura Hollander won in 10:23.15.
Costa Mesa senior Ashley Tupailesa, the defending Orange Coast League champion in the shot put, finished third in the event with a season-best mark, 35-3 3/4.
Costa Mesa senior Robert Blackwell finished fifth in the boys' 800 in 1:58.0. Rodrigues was seventh in 1:58.4.
CdM senior Kristen Rivera finished seventh in the girls' 800 in 2:19.25.