The Sunset League is one of the fastest, and most evenly-matched, leagues in Southern California, and rarely has this been more evident than in the race for the boys’ title at the championship meet on Friday.
Defending champion Edison was pitted against Newport Harbor, Los Alamitos, and Fountain Valley, each of whom was capable of winning the meet, making for a tense and exciting contest from start to finish. In the end it was Fountain Valley who got its first league title since 2007. Swimmer of the Meet honors went to Edison’s Thomas Smith, who broke the league record in the 200 IM with 1:49.51, and won the 100 back with 49.12.
The girls’ title race provided much less drama, as Edison was able to repeat their 2014 success with a fairly comfortable margin over Los Alamitos. Nora Deleske was named Swimmer of the Meet after winning the 100 breast (1:04.04) and 200 IM (2:02.03-meet record).
Edison got things rolling with a narrow win in the 200 medley relay, as Riley Crow (27.82), Deleske (29.93), Gabby Limon (25.88), and Taylor Newton (23.70) edged Fountain Valley (Carli Perri, Lauren Wong, Kennedy Hood, and Samantha Soriano), 1:47.33 to 1:47.67. Los Alamitos took third with 1:49.76.
Perri shaved .03 off the meet record in the 200 free when she won in 1:48.57. Second place went to Nicqueline Rettberg of Los Alamitos (1:50.54); Natalie Crocker of Huntington Beach was third (1:52.42). Perri doubled with a win in the 100 back as well. Her 55.51 was just .10 off the meet record. Sydney Rouse of Los Alamitos was second in 57.96, while Edison’s Crow got third in 58.24.
Edison’s Deleske broke the meet record in the 200 IM swimming all alone; she clocked a 2:02.03 to win by nearly 9 seconds. Sara Chin of Huntington Beach (2:10.86) and Alyson Mendez of Los Alamitos (2:11.13) were second and third. Deleske also won the 100 breast (1:04.04), with Amanda Poor of Los Alamitos (1:06.19) and Chin (1:06.46) coming in behind.
Los Alamitos’ Rouse edged Crocker, 23.85 to 23.96, for the 50 free title; Edison’s Newton rounded out the podium with 24.05. Newton got her revenge in the 100, though, which she won in 51.67 ahead of teammate Samantha Le (52.37) and Fountain Valley’s Soriano (53.24).
Fountain Valley freshman Shayla Erickson came from behind to win the 100 fly in 55.65, passing Marina’s Jacquelyn Harris (57.05) over the last half. Edison’s Crow took third in 57.87.
Los Alamitos’ Rettberg took the 500 title notching a 4:51.90, beating Fountain Valley’s Erickson (4:53.53) by 1.6 seconds. Edison’s Limon came in at third with 5:03.49. Rettberg then took to the water again in the 200 free relay which Fountain Valley won in 1:37.31. Rouse (24.26), Kara Gilbert (24.21), Rettberg (24.67), and Sharon Banh (24.17) contributed to the victory. Edison (Le, Meghan Kluck, Katie Lightle, and Sierra Page) finished second in 1:39.52, ahead of Fountain Valley (Erickson, Alexandra Brooks, Cassie Koger, and Monet Favreau) with 1:40.52.
Fountain Valley’s Perri (51.15), Hood (53.61), Erickson (51.97), and Soriano (52.60) closed out the meet with a 3:29.33 win in the 400 free relay. Edison (Le, Newton, Lightle, and Deleske) took second with 3:31.09, while Los Alamitos (Mendez, Gibert, Rettberg, and Banh) went 3:35.77 for third.
Fountain Valley threw down the gauntlet in the first event, winning the 200 medley relay in near-record time of 1:34.63 with Justin Nguyen (23.39), Samuel Knott (26.43), Kyle Reilly (24.07) and Josh Bernardin (20.74). Edison (Thomas Smith, Matthew Dalija, Zach Nelson, and Dylan Nelson) were runners-up with 1:35.89. Los Alamitos (Derek Fordham, Lucas Saliba, Asa Marvel, and Paul Carey) took third in 1:37.88.
Newport Harbor’s Hayden Hemmens won the 200 free with 1:39.45. It was a close race for second as Joe Lastelic of Marina edged Peter Crocker from Huntington Beach, 1:40.40 to 1:40.61, for second. In the 500, Lastelic again came to the wall just in front of Crocker; this time they were 1-2 in 4:31.67 and 4:34.01, respectively. Lastelic broke the meet record with his swim. Jonathan Bramm of Edison finished third in 4:40.69.
Edison senior Smith won his fourth consecutive 200 IM, this time going 1:49.51 and breaking the record by .21. Teammate Zach Nelson was second in 1:53.66, while Fountain Valley’s Knott came in third with 1:54.08. Smith later won the 100 back in 49.12, just off the 48.86 record he had set in prelims. Fountain Valley’s Nguyen (50.14) was second, while Newport Harbor’s Hemmens (51.60) was third.
Huntington Beach sprinter Ethan Wojciechowski won the 50 (20.83) and 100 (45.70) freestyles, both by narrow margins. In the shorter distance he came in ahead of Newport Harbor’s Dominik Folkner (21.09) and Fountain Valley’s Bernardin (21.45); in the 100 he edged Nguyen of Fountain Valley (45.88) and Folkner (46.26).
The most exciting race of the day was probably the boys’ 100 fly, in which Edison’s Dylan Nelson touched in a winning 52.48, and was followed in quick succession by Jacob Cavano of Huntington Beach (52.54), Fordham of Los Alamitos (52.62) and Gareth Svanda of Marina (52.78).
Newport Harbor’s Folkner (21.16), Jason Trezciecki (21.34), Sawyer Farmer (21.18), and Hemmens (21.07) won the 200 free relay in 1:24.75, edging Huntington Beach (Crocker, Cavano, Grant Brehm, and Wojciechowski) by .07 and just missing the meet record. Fountain Valley (Knott, Ethan Pham, Nguyen, and Bernardin) came in third at 1:25.88.
Knott sealed Fountain Valley’s team title when he won the 100 breast in 57.22, breaking Olympian John Moffet’s 1981 meet record of 57.37. Edison’s Zach Nelson took second with 57.86, just ahead of teammate Dalija (58.03).
Newport Harbor’s 400 relay of Hemmens (46.77), Trezciecki (46.47), Farmer (46.13), and Folkner (45.51) put up a meet-record-breaking 3:04.88 to end the afternoon. Los Alamitos (Fordham, George McHenry, Adam Lott, and Paul Carey) placed second in 3:08.72, a mere .09 in front of Huntington Beach (Crocker, Cavano, Brehm, and Wojciechowski).
- Edison 522
- Newport Harbor 480
- Fountain Valley 357
- Newport Harbor 231
- Huntington Beach 215
- Marina 194
- Fountain Valley 399.5
- Los Alamitos 391.5
- Newport Harbor 378.5
- Edison 374.5
- Huntington Beach 237
- Marina 231