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CdM, Newport happy at relays

Sea Kings finish sixth at Millikan relays and Sailors are 10th, as league meets loom next week.

March 22, 2014|By Matt Szabo

MISSION VIEJO — Senior Stephanie Samudro is the only top individual contributor returning from last year's Corona del Mar High girls' swim team, which finished a strong second place at the CIF Southern Section Division 1 finals.

Graduation hit the Sea Kings hard. Brynne Wong is now swimming at Texas, as is Ally McCormick at BYU. As for the Greek twins, Stephania and Ioanna Haralabidis, they are currently trying to help the USC women's water polo team win its second straight NCAA Division 1 title.

For last weekend's Capistrano Valley relays and this weekend's Millikan CIF Southern Section relays, CdM's swimmers haven't quite had to wear name tags. But close enough.

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Coach Doug Volding still liked what he saw Saturday night, after CdM put together a sixth-place finish at the Millikan relays for the second straight year at Capistrano Valley High.

Newport Harbor's girls finished 10th in varsity and a strong fourth in frosh-soph competition. Santa Margarita defended its Millikan relays title, while University was second.

Reinforcements have arrived for the Sea Kings. Junior Meagan Popp, who moved to Newport Beach last June from Chicago, is a fast club swimmer for Irvine Novaquatics. And freshman Nicole Lin, the younger sister of CdM boys' swimmer Tyler Lin, also can fly.

"It was a good learning experience for me to see these girls," Volding said. "I've just gotten to know them over the last two weeks. We've got some real promising new freshmen coming up. I'm, overall, very pleased with their times. I think we're going to have a successful season. I think we're going to rattle a few cages before this is over."

CdM did not win the championship finals of any of the seven relay events, but did have some fast swims. The Sea Kings came in third place in the meet-opening 4x100-yard individual medley relay. Samudro, Lin, Maddie Musselman and Popp touched in 4:02.68, an improvement of nearly three seconds from the preliminaries. JSerra set the meet record in 3:53.26.

CdM also finished third in the 4x50 breast, a bit of a disappointment as the Sea Kings were seeded first after prelims and led halfway through the finals race. But Samudro, Lin, Heidi Ritner and Popp still finished in 2:05.70, dropping nearly two seconds.

"We wanted to place higher, but overall our times got faster," said Samudro, who swims club for Golden West. "We were pretty happy with everything."

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