Irvine Girls, University Boys Claim Pacific Coast League Titles

It was expected to be a tight race for the girls’ title at the 2015 Pacific Coast League championship meet, but Irvine High School showed itself to be the clear winner, earning the crown by a margin of 38 points. Although they didn’t win one individual or relay race, the Irvine girls scored points by virtue of their depth, often taking second, third, or fourth to run up the score.

Defending CIF Division I champion University dominated the boys’ side of the meet, winning by almost 150 points.

Girls’ Meet

Corona del Mar opened with a close win in the 200 medley relay over Woodbridge. Nicole Lin (28.01), Meagan Popp (29.46), Eva Merrell (23.50), and Samantha Pratt (24.34) combined for 1:45.31 to Woodbridge (Sydney Okubo, Isis Choi, Daniela Georges, and Molly McCance)’s 1:45.80. Irvine (Iman Bourdi, Kate Lee, Kristine Nguyen, and Kelsie Kan) placed third with 1:50.46.

Woodbridge went 1-2 in the 200 free when Georges and Kathryn Krolikowski touched in 1:48.31 and 1:50.79, respectively. Julia Wright of Irvine came in at 1:53.00 for third place. Georges doubled with a win in the 500 as well; her 4:54.09 was almost a full 25 yards ahead of second-place Wright from Irvine (5:05.00). Bridgett Storm of Corona del Mar was third in 5:22.33.

Corona del Mar’s Popp just missed the meet record in winning the 200 IM with 2:01.31; Woodbridge’s Choi (2:04.35) and Okubo (2:06.83) took second and third, respectively. Popp had another near-miss at the record book in the 100 breast; she nonetheless came out on top with 1:03.15. Choi was second in 1:04.76 and Irvine’s Lee took third in 1:05.90.

Lin of CdM was the 50 free champion, clocking a 24.21 to win by a half-second over University’s Princess Ferguson-Nguyen (24.78) and Woodbridge’s McCance (24.79). In the 100, it was Whitney Ching-Wen Chang of Woodbridge with the win, going 52.69 to McCance’s 52.96. Ferguson-Nguyen was third in 53.24.

CdM’s Merrell won the first of her two events with a 53.35 meet-record-breaking performance in the 100 fly. Woodbridge went 2-3 with Ching-Wen Chang (56.19) and Krolikowski (57.04). Merrell later broke the meet record in the 100 back as well, going 54.38. Woodbridge’s Okubo was second in 57.52, while Lauren Weins of University took third in 58.00.

Woodbridge took the 200 free relay in 1:37.90 behind Ching-Wen Chang (25.16), Krolikowski (24.12), McCance (24.76), and Georges (23.86). University (Ferguson-Nguyen, Lim, Anne Jang, and Celine Nie) placed second in 1:40.60. Irvine (Kaitlyn Tsou, Lannhi Nguyen, Katie Quon, Wright) rounded out the podium in 1:41.25.

Corona del Mar finished out the meet with a record-breaking 400 free relay, as Popp (52.27), Lin (52.87), Kaybree Albright (54.65), and Merrell (49.34) combined for 3:29.13. Woodbridge (Ching-Wen Chang, Choi, Okubo, and Krolikowski) came in second with 3:35.33, and Irvine (Tsou, Wright, Bourdi, and Kan) was third with 3:44.25.

Boys’ Meet

From the opening bell, University’s strength and depth were on display. Daniel Tran (23.48), Judd Howard (26.13), Andrew Knoell (22.98), and William Hofstadter (20.84) combined for 1:33.43 to win the 200 medley relay in record-breaking time. Corona del Mar (Ethan Archer, Tyler Lin, Justin Hanson, and Ashton Jajonie) came in second with 1:34.32, while Northwood (Shawn Lou, William Monjay, Gabe Munoz, and Judson Balding) took third in 1:36.18.

University’s Ken Takahashi won the 200 free in 1:39.08, breaking the meet record by 1.3 seconds. Allen Wong of Woodbridge eked out a second-place finish with 1:42.59, just ahead of Alejandro Ortiz from University (1:42.70).

Tran of University was the first to the wall in the 200 IM; his 1:49.38 moved CdM teammates Lin (1:50.33) and Hanson (1:51.50) into second and third, respectively. Tran scored a double with a win in the 100 back as well; his 49.26 was just under meet-record time. Archer of CdM placed second in 51.53, while Knoell of University went 52.00 for third.

University’s Hofstadter emerged as the sprint king, winning both the 50 free (20.85) and the 100 free (45.42) in decisive fashions. Peter Zhu of Northwood was runner-up in the 50 (21.33), while Beckman’s Justin Le (21.72) took third. In the 100, Fernando Ferreira Velazquez of Beckman touched second in 46.92, just ahead of teammate Le (47.06).

Hanson of CdM won the 100 fly with 49.94; he was followed by Beck’s Matt Lee (51.08) and Knoell from University (51.30). University went 1-2 in the 500 free with George Horvath (4:31.01) and Takahashi (4:32.33), while CdM’s Hanson took third in 4:35.97.

Beckman’s Le (21.80), Alec Holder (21.45), Ferreira Valazquez (21.16), and Lee (21.18) combined for a winning 1:25.59 in the 200 free relay. University (Ortiz, Matt Wong, Takahashi, and Hofstadter) took second in 1:26.19. Woodbridge (Allen Wong, Sheldon Ho, Alex Popovski, and Nick Vollucci) rounded out the podium with 1:27.78.

Corona del Mar’s Lin broke the meet record by a full second in the 100 breast, winning in 55.65. University’s Howard came in second with 56.88, just in front of Northwood’s Monday (57.02).

University finished the meet much as they started it, winning the 400 free relay with 3:07.31. Ortiz (46.46), Knoell (47.47), Tran (47.02), and Wong (46.36) contributed to the victory. Beckman (Le, Evan Kim, Holder, and Ferreira Velazquez) took second in 3:08.13. Northwood (Balding, Munoz, Zhu, and Cameron Hsieh) placed third in 3:09.82.

Final Standings

Girls Varsity

  1. Irvine 428
  2. Woodbridge 390
  3. Corona del Mar 370
  4. University 331
  5. Northwood 269
  6. Beckman 226

Boys Varsity

  1. University 563
  2. Corona del Mar 415
  3. Northwood 381
  4. Beckman 303
  5. Woodbridge 199
  6. Irvine 152

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About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/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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