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High School Swimming:

Sailors turning heads

April 15, 2008|By MATT SZABO

Before the Sunset League season began, Newport Harbor High boys’ swimming coach Jason Lynch wasn’t so sure his Sailors could beat Fountain Valley.

“They have incredible depth,” Lynch said a couple of weeks ago, before the rest of the league found out that the Sailors do, too.

And not only did Newport Harbor beat Fountain Valley on Wednesday at home, but it wasn’t even that close. The Sailors boys prevailed, 111-59, to improve to 4-0 and 3-0 in league.

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The score was identical to when Newport Harbor defeated Edison a week earlier. In their league opener on March 18, the Sailors defeated Esperanza by a similar 113-57 score.

So what gives for a school that captured the CIF Southern Section Division I boys’ water polo title last November? Newport Harbor won back-to-back Sea View League boys’ swimming titles in 2005 and 2006, but the Sunset League is a step up in competition. The Sailors, who sometimes call themselves “a swimming water polo team,” found that out last year, when they went 1-4 in league dual meets before pulling an impressive win at the league championship meet.

Newport Harbor finished second overall last year, behind Edison, but this year the Tars are gunning for it all and it’s shown. They play host to Los Alamitos today at 3 p.m.

“I’m really surprised,” said Sailors senior Clinton Jorth, who won the 200-yard individual medley and 100 freestyle against Fountain Valley and anchored both winning freestyle relays. “Going into the Fountain Valley and Edison meets, I thought it would be a lot closer. It just shows that our hard work is coming into effect. It makes you want to work even harder.”

This week has been spring break at Newport Harbor, but everyone stayed in town for the Sailors against Fountain Valley. Lynch said momentum was achieved early in the meet, when the Sailors out-touched the Barons to win the medley relay.

That winning team featured juniors Zach Osadche (backstroke) and Andy Hayes (breaststroke), and seniors Myles Christian (butterfly) and Brandon Parole (free). They finished in a season-best time of 1 minute, 43.76 seconds.

Harbor went on to win the 200 free with senior Colin McKibbin, and the 200 IM with a personal-best 2:01.97 from Jorth.

“On paper, I had us losing at the end of three events,” Lynch said. “But we were up by four, 25-21.”

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