2017 CIF Southern Section Division 1 Finals: LIVE Recap


  • Prelims- Thursday, May 11th
  • Finals- Saturday, May 13th
  • Riverside Aquatic Complex (Riverside, California)
  • Meet Info
  • Results

Tonight, California’s high school section series ends with a bang: the Southern Section Division 1 Finals. That section features a number of California’s top high school talents, and has historically produced a host of big swims each year, even the occasional national high school record. (Last year it was future Stanford standout Grant Shoults setting a pair of national marks).

We’ll be covering the meet live, capturing each event as it happens. Stay tuned to this page and @SwimSwamLive on Twitter for up-to-the-second coverage.

The Loyola boys look to repeat last year’s title, which they won by 117 over Dana Hills. On the girls side, Santa Margarita are the defending champs, beating Woodbridge last year by 37.5.

Keep an eye on Sean Lee out of Loyola, who rattled the meet record in the 200 IM. The senior will look to lead the defending champs with top seeds in the IM and 100 fly. Santa Margarita’s Samantha Shelton held pace on the girls side, holding top seeds in the 200 free and 100 back.

Keep refreshing this page for live, event-by-event updates of all the action from Riverside, California.

Girls 200 Medley Relay – Finals

Ventura High picked up the first section title of the night, going 1:42.64 to win the girls medley relay. They finished within a half-second of the Division 1 meet record, set two years ago by JSerra High.

Ventura was third last year and returned all four legs, the only team in the top 3 to do so. But the team still swapped up its lineup fairly significantly. Last year’s backstroker Lindsay Clark moved to fly, making way for freshman Tea Laughlin, who staked the team to a lead with a 25.43 backstroke split. But it was Alicia Harrison who once again put up the most impactful leg, going 27.71 on breaststroke and outsplitting the field by a full second on her leg. Clark was 25.19 on fly (third-best in the field) and Amelia Ayala anchored in 24.31 as Ventura went almost four seconds faster than last year, making up most of the ground on back and fly.

Woodbridge was second (1:43.28) and Santa Margarita third (1:43.86). A few other notable splits: Valencia senior Nikol Popov had the best fly split at 24.78. She’s one of the nation’s best high school breaststrokers, but filled in on fly as Valencia had the second-best breaststroke split in the field (28.93) from Kaila Wong. The fastest anchor leg was Santa Margarita’s Marriott Hoffman, who was 22.92.

Boys 200 Medley Relay – Finals

Last year, Loyola touched out Dana Hills for the section title by six tenths of a second, but this season, no one would deny Dana Hills. Their team of Adam Cole, Trent Pellini, Jack McLaughin and Jake Ward went 1:31.26 to pick up the first boys win of the night.

As with the girls, it was the breaststroke leg that set the winners apart. Pellini blasted a 24.48 split, beating the A final field by a full second to stake his team to the lead. Cole led off in 23.70. McLaughin was 22.24 on fly, the third-best of the field, and Ward’s 20.84 anchor leg capped the win.

Northwood was second in 1:32.51, with defending champs Loyola finishing with bronze (1:32.75) after graduating three of four legs from last year.

Corona del Mar’s Ethan Archer led all backstrokers with a 22.72 leadoff leg. The top flyer was Daniel Kim, a junior out of Tesoro who went 21.56. And University’s Andrew Knoell went 20.35 for the fastest free split in the A final, though Fountain Valley’s Justin Nguyen split 19.87 in the consol heat.

Girls 200 Free – Finals

The first individual race of the night was a thriller, with Santa Margarita teammates Samantha Shelton and Ella Ristic tying for the section title in 1:45.76. Shelton, a junior, led early, but the freshman Ristic closed hard over the third 50 before the two went stroke-for-stroke into the finish. Shelton, the defending champ, was about seven tenths slower than she was in winning this race last year.

Katie Glavinovich of JSerra was third in 1:46.85. The 1-2 punch gives Santa Margarita the early team points lead by a wide margin. Their 121 outpaces second-place Capistrano Valley by 62 with just two events down. Those scores include diving, which was conducted earlier in the week. Capistrano Valley went 1-2-3 in diving and had an 18-point lead over the field before tonight’s swimming started.

Boys 200 Free – Finals

Dana Hills stayed red-hot on the boys side, winning its second event in a row. Junior Owen Kao defended his top qualifying position, going 1:38.04 for the win. That’s remarkable consistency after going 1:38.01 in prelims. Kao went out hard, challenged only by Hart’s Adam Osowski at the 100-mark, but Kao came home as well as anyone in the field.

Dos Pueblos senior Teodor Velikov started to charge over the third 50, but just ran out of space to track down Kao, settling for second in 1:38.27. Osowski wound up dropping back to third in 1:39.03 as 7 of the top 9 cracked 1:40.

Unsurprisingly, Dana Hills leads, sitting at 115 to Northwood’s 82. Santa Margarita is currently third at 79 before a big dropoff to the rest of the field.

Girls 200 IM – Finals

Valencia senior Nikol Popov crushed the field on her way to a section IM title, going 1:59.52. That’s still about a second off her lifetime-best, suggesting she may be saving her best stuff for next week’s state meet.

Popov was dominant in breaststroke (33.49, beating the next-best in the field by a second and most swimmers by three) and also went out well with a 26.09 on fly. She beat runner-up Jessica Epps by a second and a half (2:01.20 for Epps) after the two were separated by just .03 at the 50 turn. Epps, a junior for Tesoro, was herself three seconds ahead of third-place Sydney Okubo, a junior from Woodbridge. Last year’s winner Nora Deleske was 8th for Edison in 2:06.07.

Okubo’s points pushed Northbridge into second place at 75, with Santa Margarita still holding the lead at 142.

Boys 200 IM – Finals

Loyola’s Sean Lee ended the Dana Hills streak, winning the 200 IM in 1:45.98. That’s just off his prelims swim (1:45.90) and the meet record (1:45.42), the latter of which was set by current Princeton swimmer Corey Okubo in 2014. Lee, a senior, will compete against Okubo in the Ivy League next year after committing to Penn.

Dana Hills continued to impress, though, with Trent Pellini following up a great medley relay split with a 1:46.14 good for second place. That’s a massive time drop of almost three seconds for Pellini. Verbally committed to Purdue, Pellini is looking more and more like a diamond in the rough for the Boilermakers next season.

Saugus senior Tanner Olson was third in 1:47.18 in a veteran final heat that featured 5 seniors and 4 juniors.

Dana Hills continues to lead team points with 134. Northwood is second at 97, followed by Santa Margarita and Loyola.

Girls 50 Free – Finals

Valencia made it two in a row for the girls as Julia Wolf won the 50 free title by the slimmest of margins. In another thrilling finish between a junior and a freshman, the junior Wolf went 22.97 to beat Santa Margarita freshman Anicka Delgado (22.98) by one one-hundredth. Lutheran Orange’s Mollie Simmons was third in 23.42.

On the wave of back-to-back wins, Valencia jumped into the runner-up spot in what’s been a dynamic team battle so far. Santa Margarita has already run away with the top spot, sitting more than 100 points ahead of the field, but 2nd through 4th are separated by just 17.

Boys 50 Free – Finals

Mater Dei senior Christian Hockenbury successfully defended his 2016 title in the boys 50 free, going 20.51. That edged out Zander Minano of Saugus by about a tenth. The junior Minano was actually 20.36 for the top spot out of prelims, but couldn’t back it up in the final, fading to 20.67.

Alisa Niguel’s Sean Slusiewicz was third in 20.73 as the top 5 went under 21 seconds.

Girls 100 Fly – Finals

With defending champ Samantha Shelton opting for the 100 back instead, it was freshman Anicka Delgado who won the 100 fly title, touching out last year’s runner-up Sage Matsushima by two tenths.

Swimming for Santa Margarita, Delgado was 54.02, only three tenths off what Shelton went in winning this event a year ago. Matsushima, a sophomore from Marina, was 54.29, almost identical to her runner-up time from a year ago (54.25).

Fountain Valley sophomore Hannah Farrow was third, going 54.84 and finishing as the last swimmer under 55.

Santa Margarita expanded its points lead to 126, with Valencia remaining second and Tesoro third.

Boys 100 Fly – Finals

Loyola started to make a surge out of the diving break, going 1-2 in the 100 fly and almost entirely tracking down Dana Hills in the team points race. Sean Lee won his second race of the evening, going 47.72. Once again, he was a bit off his prelims efforts, but still won by two tenths over sophomore teammate Connor Lee (47.96).

They were well ahead of Tesoro’s Daniel Kim, who put up the fastest medley relay fly split earlier but went 48.32 for third place in the 100.

The big event for Loyola pushed them to just two points back of Dana Hills, but at the expense of using up both of Sean Lee‘s individual swims by the meet’s halfway point.

Girls 100 Free – Finals

Newport Harbor got in on the action with a section title in the 100 free. Ayla Spitz rose to the top spot after finishing second last year, as a freshman, by just a tenth. With Katherine Wagner graduated, Spitz went 49.80 to top the field by two tenths, the only swimmer under 50.

Ventura’s Alicia Harrison was second in 50.02, just touching out Santa Margarita sophomore Mackenzie Degn (50.03) and 50 free champ Julia Wolf (50.23 for Valencia).

Boys 100 Free – Finals

Fountain Valley senior Justin Nguyen capped his section career with a defense of his 100 free title. Nguyen was 44.47 to beat a veteran sprint field in which the top 5 were all seniors. University’s Andrew Knoell was 44.73 for second and 50 free champ Christian Hockenbury third for Mater Dei in 44.76.

Nugyen was about a tenth faster than he went last year in winning this event.

In the points race, Dana Hills scored three swimmers in the B final to jump back out to a 13 point lead over Loyola, who scored no one.

Girls 500 Free – Finals

200 free co-champ Ella Ristic toughed out another tight finish in a lengthy race, outlasting JSerra’s Katie Glavinovich for the 500 free title.

Despite losing her goggles early, it was actually Glavinovich leading for most of the way, with Ristic trailing slightly for 450 yards. But the freshman Ristic blasted a 28.04 final split to catch and pass Glavinovich, erasing a half-second lead in one lap to cap her double-win night. Ristic was 4:48.26 for the win.

Glavinovich finished in 4:48.68 for second place. Woodbridge senior Kate Krolikowski, the defending champ, was 4:51.73 for third overall, tying with Fountain Valley junior Shayla Erickson.

Tesoro put one in the A final and one in the B to catch and pass Valencia, which scored no one. Tesoro now sits in second by just 2 points over Valencia, with Santa Margarita still leading by 175.

Boys 500 Free – Finals

Dana Hills junior Owen Kao added his second win of the night, going 4:26.49 for the 500 free title. That’s just a tick slower than he went in 2016, when he took second to national record-setter Grant Shoults.

Juniors rounded out the top three. Crepi’s Sergey Ternov was 4:28.69 for second, with Matt Hales taking third in 4:29.58 for Laguna Hills.

Kao’s second win pushed Dana Hills out to a 32-point lead over Loyola.

Girls 200 Free Relay – Finals

Santa Margarita crushed the field en route to a 200 free relay title, going 1:32.33 and breaking the first meet record of the day. They just snuck under the 1:32.25 put up by JSerra back in 2013. That JSerra team included future Division I All-Americans Rebecca Millard (Texas) and Katie McLaughlin (Cal).

Santa Margarita’s team was made up of Anicka Delgado (23.12 leadoff), Marriott Hoffman (23.79), Mackenzie Degn (23.35) and Samantha Shelton (22.07 anchor). Shelton’s split was the fastest of any swimmer in the field, and Delgado had both the fastest leadoff split and the second-fastest overall split, even without a flying start.

Valencia was second in 1:34.07, getting a 23.19 leadoff from Julia WolfSan Marcos was third, powered by a 23.48 out of Paige Hauschild.

Boys 200 Free Relay – Finals

Once the first record fell, it wasn’t much of a wait for the second one. Loyola blasted a 1:22.13 to win the boys 200 free relay and break their own meet record from 2014. Sean Lee (20.27 leadoff), Connor Lee (20.31), Cade Bosch (21.01) and Marco Vavic (20.54) made up the winning team, an entirely different roster than the one that set the meet record three years ago.

Runners-up Saugus had the fastest split in the pool with anchor Tanner Olson blasting a 19.60. That earned them silver in 1:22.72, just two tenths off the old meet record. Hunt Beach was third in 1:23.98.

Dana Hills finished fourth overall, enough to maintain their points lead. They sit 22 up on Loyola, with Northwood 32 back of second place.

Girls 100 Back – Finals

Santa Margarita won its third straight girls event and fifth total girls event as junior Samantha Shelton completed her double with a 53.04 in the 100 back.

She outlasted Ventura freshman Tea Laughlin, who was just two tenths back at the 50 and finished in 53.72, only seven tenths behind Shelton at the finish.

Those two were a good second ahead of the field, as 100 free champ Ayla Spitz was third in 54.74.

Boys 100 Back – Finals

Corona del Mar senior Ethan Archer won another thrilling finish, denying Fountain Valley senior Justin Nguyen a repeat section title in the boys backstroke. Archer pulled out to a narrow lead of .03 at the 50 turn, and though Nguyen closed the gap marginally over the back half, Archer held on for the win, 48.95 to 48.97.

Crespi junior Hayden Liu took third in 49.48, himself touching out Daniel Kim‘s 49.50.

In team points, Loyola closed the gap some, cutting Dana Hills lead to 13.5 with two events remaining.

Girls 100 Breast – Finals

Valencia’s Nikol Popov popped off a dominating 100 breaststroke win, going 1:00.58 to add to her 200 IM win from earlier in the meet. Popov has been sub-minute previously, but didn’t need to be at her best to win the section title, winning by more than a second. On the other hand, Popov’s best time would have only been tenths off of a meet record that has stood since 2005. That 12-year-old record was set by future Olympian Jessica Hardy.

Ventura senior Alicia Harrison was 1:01.78 for second, and almost another full second back of her was Julianna Witting in 1:02.76 for third.

Santa Margarita has all but locked up the team points title, sitting at 417. Popov’s win pushed Valencia into second place with 204, though Tesoro is just three back at 201.

Boys 100 Breast – Finals

Saugus senior Tanner Olson broke his own meet record, going 53.18 to win the boys 100 breast. That’s a tenth faster than he went in prelims, setting the record for the first time at 53.25. He’s now taken almost a full second off the former record, set by John Criste in 2007.

Olson beat out Dana Hills senior Trent Pellini, who was 53.40 in another great swim and section runner-up finish. San Clemente’s Brad Prolo rounded out the all-senior final three, going 55.47.

Dana Hills now sits 18.5 ahead of Loyola in team points, and with both teams final relays in the A final, it would take a Dana Hills DQ or a Loyola win and Dana Hills finishing last in the heat (9th overall) for Dana Hills not to win the team title.

Girls 400 Free Relay – Finals

Santa Margarita capped off a state title in style, shattering the national independent high school record by two seconds with a 3:18.26 in the 400 free relay. Ella Ristic had the field’s best leadoff split, going 49.83 on the front end. Mackenzie Degn was 50.08, Anicka Delgado 49.64 and Samantha Shelton a field-best 48.71 for the section champs, who broke their own meet record from prelims.

The foursome also took down the national high school record for independent (private) schools, which previously stood at 3:20.42. That former record was held by another California school, Carondelet, and featured future NCAA and Pac-12 standouts Chelsea Chenault (USC), Maddie Murphy (Cal) Natalie Amberg (UCLA) and Madison White (UCLA).

Newport Harbor was second in 3:27.80, getting a 50.05 out of Ayla Spitz on the second leg. And Marina took third, with Jacquelyn Harris leading off in 51.48 to power a 3:28.59.

Boys 400 Free Relay – Finals

Loyola completed a sweep of the boys free relays, going 3:01.53 to break the meet record in the 400 free relay.

The team of Sean Lee (44.58 leadoff), Andy Kim (46.10), Emmett Pernecky (46.76) and Connor Lee (44.09) combined to touch out a tough Saugus lineup that also got under the old meet record. Saugus trailed early, but charged on a killer 43.96 anchor leg from Tanner Olson – that’s the fastest split in the field, and came on back-to-back events for Olson, who had just won the 100 breaststroke in a new meet record.

Saugus’s team included Justin Morsch (46.26 leadoff), Tim Lim (46.94) and Zander Minano (44.49), and went 3:01.65.

Dana Hills took third, clinching the team points title. They went 3:03.52 on a 45.18 anchor leg from Owen Kao and a 45.62 leadoff from Trent Pellini.

Final Team Scores


  1. Santa Margarita – 461
  2. Tesoro – 221
  3. Valencia – 206
  4. Woodbridge – 179.5
  5. Fountain Valley – 167.5


  1. Dana Hills – 292.5
  2. Loyola – 282
  3. Northwood – 236.5
  4. Saugus – 163.5
  5. Santa Margarita – 163

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Not Betty
4 years ago

Awesome start: Laughlin, Harrison, Clark and Ayala with an upset in the 200 IM relay

Not Betty
4 years ago

Rustic and Shelton tie in the 200 free!

Not Betty
4 years ago

Team from VHS pull off an upset in the 200IM relay. Laughlin, Harrison, Clark and Ayala.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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