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Harbor View Dolphins seek to defend title

SWIMMING: Newport Hills also competing in South Coast Swim Conference finals today at Corona del Mar High.

August 10, 2006|By Matt Szabo

Harbor View Dolphins Coach Ted Bandaruk has coached some world-class swimmers, including Olympic gold medalist Aaron Peirsol and Corona del Mar High CIF champion Stephanie Gabert.

The foundation for greatness for both Piersol and Gabert was set at a young age, in the South Coast Swim Conference.

Bandaruk's Harbor View swim team looks to defend its conference title today at 9 a.m. at Corona del Mar High, where the Newport Hills Killer Whales will also be competing.

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Last year, Harbor View won the title, while Newport Hills finished second.

Lake Forest, Greenbrook, Green Valley and Pacific Sands are also set to compete in the six-team finals of the conference that is now in its 41st year.

Green Valley carries a 6-0 dual-meet record into the meet, and is the only team to have beaten Harbor View (5-1).

Newport Hills was 3-3 in dual meets.

"Our league is considered by many to be one of the most competitive summer league programs in the state," said Bandaruk, in his 30th year at the Harbor View helm. "It'll be a very close meet this year. That's what makes it exciting."

Newport Hills expects a strong showing under second-year coach Michelle Dienzo.

Dienzo competed at UC Irvine for four years and is an assistant coach for the Anteaters' men's and women's swim teams.

Harbor View enters the finals with momentum after beating Newport Hills in the teams' final dual meet on July 29.

Anna Venturini, in the 11- and 12-year-old girls' division, set a Harbor View pool record at that meet in the 100-yard individual medley. She also teamed with Pippa Saunders, Delaney Pouch and Stephanie McPhillips for a 200 medley relay record.

Justin Hanson set three individual records in the 7- and 8-year-old boys' division, winning the 50 freestyle, 25 butterfly and 25 backstroke.

Newport Hills has some strong younger swimmers of its own. Both the 6-and-under boys and 6-and-under girls have won their respective divisions in all six dual meets this season.

"I expect that to continue," Dienzo said. "We have a very strong 8-and-under group of swimmers. It's a fun group to coach, because they are so motivated to do well."

Strong swimmers for the Killer Whales 6-and-under boys include Henry Wilde, Morgan Cortens, Will Klein and Grayson Wueste.

Leah Givant, Lauren Openshaw, Madison Strasmann, Ashley Humphreys and Emily Ritner helped Newport Hills win every 6-and-under girls' race on July 29 against Harbor View.

The South Coast Swim Conference underwent a rule change this year, allowing year-round swimmers into the league. But Bandaruk said swimmers have to compete in a summer league for two years before going to year-round, so it's not like the conference was allowed to recruit year-round swimmers.

Still, the addition of those swimmers has only made the collective times faster.

"We'll have some very fast times," said Bandaruk of his Dolphins. "I look for some records to fall."

Dienzo said she is confident about her team's chances.

"I believe we'll be very competitive," she said.

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