Marieta Mesa, Crespi Claim Titles at CIF-SS D3 Championships

2021 CIF Southern Section Division 3 Swimming and Diving Championships

  • May 20-30, 2021
  • Santa Margarita Catholic High School, Rancho Santa Margarita, California
  • Short Course Yards (SCY)
  • Full Results
  • Results on Meet Mobile “2021 CIF-SS Division 3”

After last year’s Section Championships were canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s competition is the first since 2019 to be held. Despite the yearlong break, the Marieta Mesa women and Crespi men were in top form, as both claimed their respective meet titles.

Girl’s Meet Recap

Kicking off the meet on the women’s side last week on the 1-meter board, Hayden Henderson claimed the top spot. Competing for Louisville high school, the senior scored a total of  552.05 points to top Abigail Ekstrom’s second-place score of 535.20. This is Henderson’s first Section Championships medal, as she finished in 4th as both a freshman and sophomore, before missing out on her junior year due to the meet’s cancellation. Outside of high school competition, Henderson has competed at multiple USA Diving Junior National Championships, finishing 19th on the 1-meter in 2019 and 6th on the 3-meter in 2018.

In the pool, it was Crean Lutheran who took the first event, with Ruth Harkins, Sophia Guntrip, Morgan Kampfer, and Masen Karsten swimming to a time of 1:52.43 in the 200 medley relay. The team sat in six after the fly leg of the relay, but fought back to take first with the help of Karsten’s anchor time of 23.66. She out-split the field by over a second.

After helping her relay to win the first event of the meet, Karsten would later pick up an individual win in the 50 free. Entering the meet as the third seed, she narrowly missed breaking the 24.0 barrier, touching in 24.04. Just behind her was Destany Lewis of Grand Terrace in 24.09.

In the 200 free it was Jamie Brennan, a junior at Chadwick, who claimed the title by a wide margin. Brennan was the only swimmer to dip below 1:50.00 in the race, touching in 1:48.80. She wasn’t done after winning her first event, going on to add a second title in the 100 free, where she touched in 50.68. As a freshman in 2019, Brennan took third in the 100 free (51.04) and 4th in the 100 breast (1:04.98).

Taking the 200 IM was Kennedy senior and 2021 Air Force commit Tyryn Empremsilapa. After going stroke for stroke with Thea Leimone through the fly, Empremsilapa jumped ahead during the backstroke and never looked back, touching in 2:06.04. In 2019 she took 6th in the race, which was won that year by US National Team member Justina Kozan in a near meet record time of 1:56.31.

Josephine Hein raced to a win in her only event of the day, the 100 fly. In another incredibly tight race, Hein, who entered the meet as the 11th seed, claimed gold in a time of 58.45 over Katherine Holland (58.48).

Claiming the title in the 500 free was freshman Grace Wharton. After trading the lead back and forth with Whitney sophomore Ayden Min through the first 400 yards, Wharton closed the race strong, winning by over two seconds in a time of 5:04.26. She also added a third-place finish in the 200 free with a time of 1:54.95.

Claiming the win in both the 200 and 400 freestyle relays were Emilee Elizondo, Riley Renaud, Ashley Murray, and Sonja Aarsvold of Murrieta Mesa. In the 200 Aarsvold closed the race in a time of 23.88 to help the team to a time of 1:41.44, while she anchored the 400 free in 52.02 on the way to a time of 3:41.38.

University of Chicago commit and Chino Hills senior Elisabella Forest came away with the win in the 100 back after taking 5th in the race two years ago. Forest touched in a time of 55.86, nearly a second faster than she was at this meet in 2019.

Closing out the individual events for the day was Taylor Carey in the 100 breast. Holding off Tyryn Empremsilapa, who won the 200 IM, Carey finished in 1:03.68.

Final Scores (Top 5)

  1. Murieta Mesa – 152
  2. Viewpoint – 142
  3. Crean Lutheran – 129
  4. Chino Hills – 125
  5. Archer School for Girls – 119

Men’s Recap

Competing on the diving boards last week, Glendora freshman Charlie Reuter came away with the win with a score of 456.35. The meet record in the event was set in 2019, when this year’s Division 4 champion Joshua Thai finished with a score of 590.40.

On their way to winning the meet, Crespi started pool competition off strong with a win in the 200 medley relay. Danya Musabekov, Sammy Negev, Thomas Hadji, and Baha Musabekov combined for a time of 1:35.66, helping them to finish almost three seconds ahead of runner-up Claremont in the event. Later in the meet, Musabekov and Hadji would be joined by Lenny Raybukh and Danya Musabekov to take first in the 200 free relay in a time of 1:24.92. The quartet narrowly missed the meet record in the event, which was set by Oaks Christian in 2008 at 1:24.73.

Izaiah Lozano of Notre Dame-Riverside came away with the win in the 200 free with a time of 1:39.95. The sophomore also added a third-place finish later in the meet with a 50.58 in the 100 fly.

Topping the field in both the 200 IM and 100 back was Joey Kling, a junior at Sonora. In the IM, he touched in 1:51.75, while he took the back in a time of 49.76. As a freshman in 2019, Kling competed in the same two events. In the back he took 6th with a time of 52.55, while he added an 8th place finish in the IM (1:57.77).

Sweeping the spring freestyle events, Ike Harms took first in the 50 and 100 freestyles. In the 50, he was a part of a trio who dipped below 21.0. Finishing ahead of Jeffrey Cha (20.79) and Williams Criley (20.92), Harms finished in 20.56. In the 100, he won by over a second and a half, touching in 45.17. Only a junior, Harms is set to join the University of Utah as a part of their class of 2022.

The 100 fly went to a freshman, Matthew Lee of Oxford Academy. Lee claimed the title in the event with a time of 50.46, just ahead of Thomas Hadji’s 50.54.

After taking second in the 200 free earlier in the meet, Matthew Vinh returned to win the 500 free by over 10 seconds. The junior at Vista Murrieta swam to a time of 4:29.35, well ahead of Skyler Kao’s 4:39.72.

Improving upon his 5th place finish in the 100 breast as a freshman in 2019, Kevin Ren returned in his junior year to claim the title in the event. While he was off from his lifetime best of 55.90, swum at the St. George Sectional meet earlier this year, he still won handily, touching in 56.65.

Closing the meet out, Palos Verdes came away with the title in the 400 free relay. Williams Criley, Taj Whitehead, Tyler Campbell, and Aidan Wattson combined for a final time of 3:13.02, just .03 ahead of runner-up Oxford Academy. Swimming the first leg of the race, Criley had the fastest swim in the field, touching in 46.16.

Final Scores (Top 5)

  1. Crespi – 197
  2. Jserra – 158
  3. Palos Verdes – 135
  4. Oxford Academy – 121
  5. Santa Ynez – 110

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Chruis Burke
3 months ago

Congrats, Crespi! Congratulations, Kyle F!