The Sunset League is one of the fastest, and most evenly-matched, leagues in Southern California. The speed and depth was on display at the League finals last Friday, when the Edison girls three-peated but by a very narrow margin, and the Los Alamitos boys squeaked by perennial favorite Edison.
You knew it was going to be a great meet when the opening event produced a near three-way tie. Edison (Riley Crow 27.34, Nora Deleske 29.14, Gabby Limon 26.38, and Taylor Newton 24.15) won the 200 medley relay with 1:47.01, beating Marina by .06 and Fountain Valley by .17.
2015 runner-up Nicqueline Rettberg of Los Alamitos won the 200 free in 1:49.96 ahead of Shayla Erickson of Fountain Valley (1:50.16) and Katie Lightle of Edison (1:50.93). The trio finished in the same order in the 500 free as well: Rettberg 4:50.25, Erickson 4:50.32, and Lightle 5:01.48. Both races featured heated battles between Rettberg and Erickson over the final 50 yards.
Edison’s Deleske absolutely crushed the meet record in the 200 IM. She had set it last year with 2:02.03; this year she took another 2.1 seconds off the mark for a new time of 1:59.91. 2015 runner-up Sara Chin of Huntington Beach repeated at number two, touching in 2:11.65. Deleske won the 100 breast with 1:01.88, 2.2 seconds faster than a year ago. Teammate Megan Kluck was second in 1:05.43.
Marina’s Jacquelyn Harris was another double event winner, although her victories were extremely tight. Harris’ 23.77 in the 50 free just beat out Newport Harbor’s Zoe Spitz (23.82) and defending champion Sydney Rouse of Los Alamitos (23.96), and her 54.55 in the 100 fly edged that of Marina’s Sage Matsushima (54.64).
The last pair of individual titles came from Newport Harbor’s Ayla Spitz, who won both the 100 free (50.22) and 100 back (55.60). Terra Matsushima was runner-up in both events, with 51.20 and 56.45, respectively.
Los Alamitos (Rouse 24.34, Sharon Banh 24.58, Amy Griffin 23.84, and Rettberg 24.06) beat Fountain Valley, 1:36.82 to 1:36.87 in the 200 free relay, while Marina (Harris 51.68, Madeline Sandstead 53.17, Sage Matsushima 51.36, and Terra Matsushima 51.17) slipped past Edison, 3:27.38 to 3:27.49 in the 400 free relay.
Girls’ Team Scores
- Edison High School 444
- Los Alamitos High School 437.5
- Fountain Valley High School 399.5
- Marina High School 272
- Newport Harbor High School 231
- Huntington Beach High School 223
The boys’ meet began much as the girls’ had, with a thrilling medley relay. Fountain Valley (Jake Huynen 24.83, Kyle Reilly 26.32, Justin Nguyen 22.57, and Adam Mancini 21.50) hit the wall in 1:35.22, just ahead of Edison (1:35.59).
Nguyen then turned around and won the 200 free with 1:37.65, heading off Peter Crocker of Huntington Beach (1:39.31) and Joe Lastelic of Marina (14:0.54). Nguyen also won the 100 back, clocking a 49.55 and beating Edison’s Taylor Whitmore by nearly 3 seconds.
Edison’s Zach Nelson doubled with wins in the 200 IM (1:51.83) and 100 breast (56.54). Derek Fordham of Los Alamitos was runner-up in the IM with 1:53.45. Fordham took home a title of his own with a 51.43 win in the 100 fly over teammate Asa Marvel (51.87). Marvel also placed third in the 200 IM.
Huntington Beach sprinter Ethan Wojciechowski repeated his victories in the 50 (20.89) and 100 (45.60) freestyles. Brandon Toland of Los Alamitos came in second in the 50 with 21.25, just .02 ahead of Sawyer Farmer from Newport Harbor. In the 100 it was Los Alamitos’ Adam Lott in second; this time the margin was only .01. Lott touched in 46.78, while teammate Paul Carey went 46.79.
The 500 free provided its share of excitement, as the top four finishers came to the wall nearly together. Huntington Beach’s Crocker got the win in 4:31.18. Marina’s Lastelic was second in 4:32.15, while Edison’s Jonathan Bramm (4:33.03) and Los Alamitos’ Abe Marvel (4:33.85) followed.
Huntington Beach won both free relays. Wojciechowski (20.72), Jacob Cavano (20.72), Grant Brehm (21.36), and Crocker (20.61) combined for 1:23.41, beating Los Alamitos (1:25.76) and Newport Harbor (1:26.45). In the 400 it was Brehm (48.08), Cavano (47.21), Crocker (45.17), and Wojciechowski (45.33) with a combined 3:05.79. Los Alamitos placed second with 3:08.51, while Newport Harbor clocked in at 3:09.53.
Boys’ Team Scores
- Los Alamitos High School 427
- Edison High School 406
- Fountain Valley High School 357.5
- Newport Harbor High School 312.5
- Huntington Beach High School 303
- Marina High School 208