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CdM boys rise up

High School Swimming

Sea Kings, led by Namba and Garkani, are runners-up at CIF D1 swim finals. Wong sisters fast for CdM girls.

May 12, 2012|By Matt Szabo

RIVERSIDE — For the third year in a row, the Corona del Mar High boys' swim team made an electrifying statement at the start of the CIF Southern Section Division 1 finals.

On Saturday night at Riverside City College, the Sea Kings shattered a record that had been around since before any of the four swimmers were born. It was the start of a night of strong swims that earned the CdM boys a historic second-place team finish.

It's the first time since winning in 1970 that CdM's boys have finished top-two as a team in CIF swimming.

CdM won the 200-yard medley relay for the third straight year at Division 1 finals. Senior Jared Namba, freshman Tyler Lin, junior Christian Garkani and junior Blake Motal touched in 1:32.88, a school record, Orange County record and Division 1 meet record time. San Marino held the previous Division 1 meet record, a 1:33.21 in 1991.

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"We've been going for that record since I was a freshman," said the Columbia-bound Namba, who won CIF in the event three times in his prep career. "We missed it by like 0.03 or something last year, so to get it senior year is pretty amazing. We've always been toying around with that record. We were posting pretty fast un-tapered. I thought if we just get it together and use the adrenaline of finals, we could definitely get it, at least go 1:33 and get it. I didn't know we'd go 1:32."

The Sea Kings were uniformly fast throughout the finals. It still wasn't enough for a team title, but it was good for that runner-up hardware. Capistrano Valley won the meet with 389 points, followed by CdM in second with 302 points. Newport Harbor was 12th.

The past two years, CdM had placed third as a team. This time they accomplished something that a CdM boys' team hadn't done in 42 years.

"Capo was really fast," CdM boys' Coach Barry O'Dea said. "We just wanted to hold on to the runner-up spot. It's better than finishing in the third spot. Of course, you always want to try and win it, but sometimes it's all about your numbers and how deep you can go. We had a couple of guys step up really big and put us in the right position."

JSerra edged University's girls in the decisive 400 free relay, capturing the Division 1 title while the Trojans took second. CdM's girls placed 13th for the third straight year.

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