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CdM girls win with Grace

Junior steps in on relays for girls, as Sea Kings sweep Battle of the Bay for third straight year.

April 16, 2014|By Matt Szabo
  • Newport Harbor High's Marissa Robertson explodes off the starting line for the backstroke leg in the medley relay during the Battle of the Bay swim meet at Corona del Mar on Wednesday.
Newport Harbor High's Marissa Robertson explodes… (Don Leach, Daily…)

Corona del Mar High girls' swimming coach Doug Volding is always a bit apprehensive before the Battle of the Bay swim meet.

He had reason to be nervous Wednesday. Volding found out shortly before the meet began that one of his top club swimmers, freshman Nicole Lin, would be out of action.

Volding wasn't positive why, though he heard she may have hurt her shoulder. For the Sea Kings, who were already missing one of their best sprinters in Sami Pratt (dislocated collarbone), this was obviously cause for concern.

Somehow CdM made it work against rival Newport Harbor. Four days before Easter Sunday, the Sea Kings used an amazing Grace to come out ahead.

Junior Grace Morgan stepped in for Lin on both freestyle relays and swam well. And host CdM pulled away down the stretch, earning its third straight Battle of the Bay victory by a 92-78 score.

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The CdM boys won their seventh straight Battle of the Bay, 104-66, over Newport Harbor.

CdM's girls won seven events, including both of those freestyle relays. Morgan joined Meagan Popp, Maddie Musselman and Stephanie Samudro to win the 200-yard free relay in 1:41.07. Then CdM won the 400 free relay with the same four swimmers, in 3:43.20. CdM's "B" relay of Sarah Lawson, Shannon Frome, Bridgett Storm and Eliza Britt finished second, giving the Sea Kings a 12-2 edge in the event and making the final score a bit misleading.

"This is an example of girls stepping up," Volding said. "They had to today."

Prior to the final relay, neither team had led the meet by more than four points.

Popp win the 200 freestyle in 1:53.33, and the 100 back in 59.92 seconds. Samudro was another double winner, capturing the 100 fly (57.28) and 100 breast (1:05.31).

Newport Harbor senior Marissa Robertson, bound for Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, was a double winner for the Sailors. She won the 50 free in 24.39 and the 100 free in 54.19. Robertson also anchored the 200 free relay that also featured Carlee Kapana, Heidi Fults and Kate Pipkin, nearly catching Samudro at the end.

Robertson said her split of 23.90 seconds was a lifetime best.

"She's the heart and soul of our team," Coach Brian Melstrom said. "I don't think she's lost a race this year."

Kate Yasko won the 200 IM in 2:23.14 seconds for Newport Harbor, followed closely by teammate Morganne Goodson. The Sailors also won the meet-opening 200 medley relay, with Robertson, Kapana, Yasko and Fults touching in a quick 1:55.64. But the "B" team, which finished second, was disqualified.

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