2015 CIF-SS Division I Preview – Santa Margarita Depth Should Carry Girls; University-Dana Hills Boys Even on Paper

2015 California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section Swimming & Diving Championships – Division I

  • Diving: Results
  • Swimming: Prelims – Thursday, May 14, 2015; Finals – Saturday, May 16, 2015
  • Location: Riverside City College
  • Defending Champions: Santa Margarita (girls), University (boys) – 2014 Results
  • Live Results: Available
  • Championship Central

Division I

The girls’ race is likely to be a two-team contest between Santa Margarita and JSerra, and while this is JSerra’s strongest squad with seniors Karli Thuen and Kaitlyn Albertoli, senior transfer Sonia Wang, and sophomore Katie Glavinovich, it’s still hard to bet against Santa Margarita. Besides senior Katie McLaughlin, the Eagles have senior Sydney Franzen, junior Emily Boggess, sophomore Camryn Barry, freshmen Samantha Shelton, Isabelle Odgers, and Amy Qin… as well as a handful of other who should score. All of which makes them a tough team to beat next year as well.

The boys’ meet should be a nail biter. University lost several of last year’s big stars to graduation but they seem to keep rotating them through, and this year the senior class includes William Hofstadter, Ken Takahashi, Danny Tran, Judd Howard, Alejandro Ortiz and Matt Wong. George Horvath and Andrew Knoell are sophomores who should contribute heavily, too. Dana Hills could be the D1 team of the future, led by freshmen Jake Greenberg (diving) and Owen Kao, sophomores Trent Pellini and Michael Smith, and juniors Christopher Labella (diving) and Shane Forker.

Here is what we get when we score out the psych sheet:

Girls’ Meet Psych Sheet Boys’ Meet Psych Sheet
Santa Margarita 281 University 273
JSerra 242 Dana Hills 269
Tesoro 197 Loyola 209
Woodbridge 190 San Clemente 206
Corona del Mar 187 Dos Pueblos 172
Valencia/Valencia 156 Valencia/Valencia 153
Los Alamitos 156 Santa Margarita 152
Edison 138 Newport Harbor 148
Hart 137 Corona del Mar 145
Ventura 129 Huntington Beach 118


Races To Watch

Freestyle Events

Sprint freestyle in Southern California means one thing: Saugus senior Abbey Weitzeil. And if you’re lucky, you might get to see Weitzeil break an American Record. Last year she won the 50/100 setting a pair of national high school records along the way. This year there’s no one to challenge her for the titles, so it’s just a matter of how fast she will be. Weitzeil comes in seeded with 22.70/49.02. JSerra’s Albertoli (23.41/51.26), Katherine Wagner of Alemany (23.48 in the 50), Aislinn Light of Mater Dei (50.94 in the 100), and Santa Margarita’s Shelton (50.20 in the 100) are other names to watch.

Santa Margarita’s McLaughlin leads the qualifiers in the 200 with 1:47.76, just 2/100 faster than teammate Shelton. But McLaughlin set the D1 record with 1:44.66 last year so we expect her to be all alone out front in finals. Daniela Georges, runner-up last year in the 200 and defending champion in the 500, is seeded with 1:48.31 and 4:54.09, respectively. Other contenders in the 500 are Mater Dei’s Brittany Kampfer (4:50.35), Nicqueline Rettberg of Los Alamitos (4:51.90), and Shayla Erickson of Fountain Valley (4:53.53).

Seniors Cole Cogswell of Hart (21.11/44.80) and Hofstadter of University (20.85/45.42) are the top sprinters on the boys’ side, with water polo specialist Ethan Wojciechowski of Huntington Beach (20.83/45.70) chasing them.

Capo Valley senior Nick Norman (1:38.68/4:19.97), Santa Margarita’s Grant Shoults (1:39.01/4:21.13) and freshman Kao of Dana Hills (1:38.59/4:25.07), as well as his teammate Forker (4:25.39) should make the distance free events exciting.


Corona del Mar freshman Eva Merrell leads the girls’ qualifiers in the 100 back with 54.38; JSerra’s Wang (54.80) and defending champion, junior Courtney Mykkanen of Foothill (55.42), will make it a close contest.

Edison senior Thomas Smith is the fastest returning finalist from 2014 with 48.76, but he will have competition from San Clemente senior Josh Swart (48.91), University’s Tran (49.26) and Dos Pueblos senior Alex Valente (49.68).


Nikol Popov of Valencia, who won this event last year, is seeded at the top with 1:00.63. 2014 runner-up Nora Deleske of Edison (1:04.04), Alicia Harrison of Ventura (1:03.05) and Meagan Popp of Corona del Mar (1:03.15) are all names to watch.

Defending champion Tyler Lin, a senior from Corona del Mar, leads the qualifiers with 55.65. He will be challenged by Dana Hills’ Pellini (56.23), Brad Prolo of San Clemente (56.45), Harvard-Westlake’s Alexander Hsing (56.48), and last year’s runner-up, Howard of University (56.88).


Merrell of Corona del Mar comes in with the top qualifying time of 53.35, but Santa Margarita’s McLaughlin (53.97) set the meet, and national high school record, last year with 51.78. The national record has since fallen, and it’s likely that McLaughlin has it in her sights for her last high school race.

Dos Pueblos senior Valente (47.37) will also be eyeing the D1 mark in the 100 fly as he wraps up his high school career. Loyola sophomore Sean Lee (49.42), Johnny Ellery of Valencia (49.71), Daniel Kim of Tesoro (49.90), and Justin Hanson of Corona del Mar (49.94) will all challenge Valente for the title.


JSerra’s Wang, who won the 200 IM in D2 last year when she was at Upland, is the top seed with 1:59.68. 2014 champion Popov from Valencia (2:00.45), JSerra’s Thuen (2:00.84), Corona del Mar’s Popp (2:01.31), and Edison’s Deleske (2:02.03) all have a legitimate shot at the title.

The race of the boys’ meet just might be the IM, with University’s Tran (1:49.38), Corona del Mar’s Lin (1:50.33), University’s Takahashi (1:50.34), Loyola’s Lee (1:50.53) and four more with 1:51s, all eager to claim the prize.


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cynthia curran
8 years ago

These schools either have year round swimmers or water polo players. Water Polo players do some of their workouts as just swimming and not all freestyle. So, it makes a difference.

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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