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High School Swimming: Griffins top Sailors

Los Al girls win first-place showdown, finish regular season undefeated as teams prepare for league finals.

April 23, 2013|By Matt Szabo

LOS ALAMITOS — The Newport Harbor High girls' swim team came into Tuesday's Sunset League meet at Los Alamitos High with a plan.

But as the meet progressed, the Sailors saw a Griffins team that was a little bit deeper. Newport Harbor Coach Brian Melstrom said the Griffins have 57 girls in their program, while Newport Harbor has 35.

The Los Al girls were maybe even a little bit more physically imposing.

"They're tall," Melstrom said during the meet. "They're all two, three inches taller than our girls."

Los Alamitos did indeed stand tall during the last league dual meet of the regular season. The Griffins girls won the matchup of league unbeatens, 106-64.

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The first-place Los Al boys also beat Newport Harbor, 110-60.

Newport Harbor's girls can still win the outright league title by winning the league finals, which conclude at Newport Harbor on May 3. That was a reason why Los Al Coach Dave Carlson told his girls that Tuesday's meet "doesn't mean anything," but his squad still swam with pride.

Carlson said it is the first time since 2006 that the Los Al girls have gone undefeated in dual meets. He said he believes it is the first time in his tenure that the boys have been undefeated as well.

"We do have a really deep team," Carlson said. "A lot of it is competitive spirit. This girls' team has a really tight synergy. All of them lift weights together three days a week, club girls and everyone, and they became a really tight-knit group. In sports, when you have a bunch of people that have a good synergy and that will fight for each other, it has a huge impact on performance."

Senior Carly Christian, bound for UC Santa Barbara for water polo, had a standout day for Newport Harbor (4-1 in league). She won the 100-yard freestyle in 53.30 seconds, and finished second in the 200 free in 1:56.38. Christian also anchored two winning relays for the Sailors.

Marissa Robertson, Carlee Kapana, Ellie Reid and Christian won the 200 medley relay in 1:54.09. Robertson, Casey Duckworth, Allyson Hall and Christian also won the meet-ending 400 free relay in 3:44.68.

The quartet was in third place when Christian entered the water, but she swam a swift 52.67 split to overcome both Los Al teams.

"I knew I had to go my fastest, and that's what I did," Christian said. "It's pretty fast. We'll see if I can go a 52 off my flat start. That's what I'm working on."

Christian said she is excited for the rest of the season, and happy to be a part of one of the top Sailors girls' squads in years.

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