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Swimming: CdM girls earn big win

Water polo players and club swimmers both contribute, as Sea Kings win league meet vs. University for first time in eight years. Uni boys too strong.

April 29, 2014|By Matt Szabo
(KEVIN CHANG / Daily…)

IRVINE — Do not underestimate the girls' water polo contingent on the Corona del Mar High girls' swim team.

Two weeks ago it was junior Grace Morgan stepping in on the "A" relays, helping CdM win the Battle of the Bay for another year.

On Tuesday afternoon at University High, sophomore Bridgett Storm took center stage.

Storm sure picked a great time to win her first 200-yard freestyle race of the season. She gave her team some early-meet momentum, helping CdM accomplish something it hadn't done in eight years.

The Sea Kings raced past the rival Trojans by a 94-76 score, earning their first Pacific Coast League victory over University since 2006.

CdM's boys suffered their first league loss of the season, 119-50.

CdM's girls (4-0 in league) also have not won a league title since 2006, when CdM captured the CIF Southern Section Division 2 crown in current assistant coach Stephanie Gabert's junior season. But now CdM takes momentum into the league finals next week.

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The girls' 200 freestyle was the closest race of the meet. Storm stormed back in the last stretch to out-touch University's Princess Ferguson-Nguyen, 2:01.13 to 2:01.14. Storm was more than a second quicker in the final 50 yards to edge out the victory. She said she thought she lost, until she looked at the scoreboard.

Storm has been working hard. She and other water polo players like Morgan, Maddie Musselman and Eliza Britt have been training with Coach Barry O'Dea's boys' team. Storm said she has dropped about four seconds in her 100 free time.

"It's been a big improvement," Storm said. "I'm really taking swim team seriously this year."

CdM, which finished second in CIF Southern Section Division 1 last year, appears ready to be taken seriously yet again too. Senior Stephanie Samudro won twice on Tuesday, capturing the 100 butterfly (56.72 seconds) and the 100 breaststroke (1:05.83). Both were easily Division 1 automatic times. Junior Meagan Popp won the 200 individual medley in 2:10.15 and also was second in the 200 back.

Musselman won the 100 freestyle in 54.79, while another water polo player, senior Marina Coskinas, captured the 500 free in 5:33.71. CdM also won two of three relays, as Popp, Nicole Lin, Samudro and Musselman won the 200 medley (1:51.32) and the same quartet also captured the 400 free (3:40.13). Both are CIF consideration times.

"On the paper lineup, I thought we had a good shot [to win]," CdM girls' Coach Doug Volding said.

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