It was a roller-coaster of a night for Crean Lutheran’s Ella Eastin and her teammates. Her night began with a win and a new Division 3 record in the 200 IM as her 1:59.88 made her the first swimmer in the history of the Division 3 CIF-Southern Sectional Championships to break the two-minute barrier. That snapped the old record of 2:01.33 set by Kirstie Chen in 2009.
She would pull a two-for in the 100 fly, with another state record thanks to a 53.93 victory. That broke another 2009 record, this one belonging to Emily Andelson at 55.26.
Two meet records in the first two finals of her high school career (she’s only a freshman) is not-too-shabby. But then in her next race, she had to learn about the disappointment that comes with sports. After the Crean Lutheran relay touched the wall first, but was then disqualified.
But the resilient young group (two sophomores and two freshmen) would bounce back in the 400 free relay to win in 3:36.03, including a 49.68 leadoff from sophomore Lindsey Engel.
All-told, Crean Lutheran won 7 events at the meet, and the group should have two more years together. The wins included a pair from another freshman Lauren Maurer (1:55.02 in the 200 free, 5:06.33 in the 500), and a pair from Engel (49.86 in the individual 100 free, 54.00 in the 100 back). Engel broke the meet record in that 100 back in prelims with a 53.60, and though she couldn’t match it in finals she still had a comfortable five-second win.
There weren’t a whole lot of events left for the rest of the meet to win on the girls’ side, but individual victories did go to Kathy Pierce out of Valencia in the 100 breast (1:04.91) and Kiersten Shew in the 50 free in 24.76. Shew’s win came in a barn-burner of a race, as she outtouched Kellie Thorsness by .01 seconds for the title.
That DQ would cost Crean big in the team standings; despite winning over half of the meet’s events, they only ended up 4th overall. For a team that only has enough depth to score two of the three relays, a relay DQ is a killer points-wise. Even with those points, however, they would have been only 2nd. Mark Keppel High School in Alhambra won their third-straight team championship by almost 100 points without winning a single event; partially on the strength of great divers.
The highlight of the boys’ meet was the 500 free, where Kennedy’s Ryan Kao took the win in 4:27.38. That’s a two-second drop off of his lifetime best from last year’s meet for the sophomore.
Michael Haney won the 200 free in 1:39.99, though he was much faster in the prelims in 1:38.70. Both of those swims were off of his personal bests.
Mark Keppel swept the team titles in Division 3, and took the men’s championship as well.