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Girls' Swimming: No goggles, no problem

Strong swims help Sea Kings, Sailors each reach top 10 status at Millikan Relays.

March 23, 2013|By Matt Szabo

MISSION VIEJO — Corona del Mar High senior Brynne Wong has heard the snickering at times in the early part of the season.

Two weeks ago, the Capistrano Valley relays were the first swim meet of the year. CdM showed up with its Greek twins, Stephania and Ioanna Haralabidis, who are bound for USC for water polo.

What some opponents were shocked to see was that the Haralabidis sisters do not wear goggles while they swim.

"Then we won the heat, and everyone kind of shut up," Wong said. "It was nice."

Wong again heard some comments Saturday night back at Capistrano Valley High, but it was easy for her to brush them off. Even without goggles, the Haralabidis sisters teamed with Wong and Ally McCormick to nearly break the school record in the 400-yard freestyle relay in the finals of the Millikan Southern Section Relays. They finished third in 3 minutes, 32.11 seconds, less than a second off the school record of 3:31.42.

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"This year, the best part is that no one really expects it," said Wong, bound for the University of Texas. " When we show up with the Greeks, and they're not wearing goggles, it throws everybody off. It's so great. Before the 400 free relay, Rebecca [Millard] from JSerra goes, 'Do you guys not wear goggles?' It's kind of funny to see everyone's reaction to them. I like that we have a little bit of sneak attack [this year]."

CdM had disappointment to start Saturday's meet, as the Sea Kings were disqualified in the 4x100 individual medley. But they rebounded with some strong swims to finish in sixth place, with 123 points.

Newport Harbor Coach Brian Melstrom said his team achieved its goal of a top 10 finish. The Sailors also had some fast swims, and finished 10th with 99 points.

Santa Margarita won the meet, edging out second-place Foothill. Defending champion University would have been co-titlists with Santa Margarita, but the Trojans disqualified in the meet-ending 4x50 medley relay and had to settle for fourth place.

CdM Coach Doug Volding saw his team bounce back after its own disqualification in the individual medley.

"There's some great talent in this meet," Volding said. "What I take away from this meet is that we started out with a disappointment. But instead of [thinking] just, 'We're out of it,' they did some great times."

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