Santa Margarita Girls Collect 7th Straight CIF SS DI Championship Title


Girls’ Meet Recap

Santa Margarita girls continued to dominate the CIF Southern Section DI Championships, winning their 7th straight title this year by more than 300 points. For context, they won in 2019 by slightly more than 200 points over  Tesoro. Valencia had the most drastic improvement in team standings, as they sprung from 7th place in 2019 to 2nd place this season.

Note that the 2020 CIF Championships were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, so Santa Margarita’s 7-year win streak excludes 2020. The team is also coming off two back-to-back California State Championship title wins in 2018 and 2019.

In total, Santa Margarita swept all three relay events and won six individual event titles out of eight.

Santa Margarita’s Justina Kozan highlighted the meet by winning two individual events and helping the team to two relay victories.

First, she claimed victory in the 200 free with a time of 1:44.40, taking .75 off her lifetime best time from 2019 Winter Junior Nationals. She set the pace fast, going out in 50.54 and coming home in 53.86. Her teammate Macky Hodges snagged 2nd place (1:47.34).

Kozan’s second individual win came in the 100 free where she led a 1-2-3 Santa Margarita finish with a time of 49.40, within .35 of her lifetime best from 2018. Kozan was the only swimmer to break 50.00 and junior Lindsay Ervin and freshman Teia Salvino  snagged 2nd (50.27) and 3rd place (50.63), respectively.

Ervin and Salvino demonstrated their sprinting prowess further in the 50 free where Salvino led another 1-2-3 Santa Margarita finish with a time of 23.06. Ervin took 2nd place close behind (23.20) and sophomore Linda Yu placed 3rd (23.52).

Earlier, Ervin anchored the winning 200 medley relay in 23.11. Santa Margarita’s team of sophomore Macky Hodges and juniors Mirabella LeVine, Isabella Abrajan and Ervin claimed 1st place with a time of 1:42.57, rattling the meet record from 2015 and coming within .28 of it. They finished with a 1.4 second lead over Valencia who came in 2nd place.

Santa Margarita’s sprint crew of Kozan, Salvino, Yu and Ervin won the 200 free relay with a time of 1:33.66. Kozan led off the relay in 23.30, a split almost identical to Ervin’s anchor split of 23.28, which included a relay start.

Santa Margarita’s relay of Hodges, Salvino, Yu and Kozan ended the session with another win in the 400 free relay with a time of 3:20.49 and a 5 second lead over the field. Kozan anchored the relay in 49.71.

Sophomore Asia Kozan kept Santa Margarita’s win streak going in the 200 IM with a time of 2:01.40, taking 2.5 seconds off her seed time to win the race with nearly a 1 second lead over Crescenta Valley sophomore Hojung Yoon who placed 2nd. Irvine’s Aurora Duncan was close behind, taking 3rd place (2:02.63).

In the 100 fly, Mater Dei senior Kailia Utley snapped Santa Margarita’s win streak by taking 1st place with a time of 53.67, out touching second-place finisher Isabella Abrajan of Santa Margarita by .42. Tesoro junior Katie Crom rounded out the top three (54.28) after taking out the race about the same pace as Utley (Utley turned at the 50-yard mark at 25.39 to Crom’s 25.40). Abrajan built her speed on the final 50, finishing with a 50 yard split .40 faster than Crom.

The 500 free was an especially exciting race, with the top 3 finishers touching the wall within 5 seconds of each other. Hodges won with a time of 4:47.56, followed by Tesoro junior Sophia Ribeiro (4:50.35) and Santa Margarita sophomore Abby O’Sullivan (4:52.35). Hodges commanded the race from the start, while O’Sullivan had a phenomenal finish, building speed and outpacing Hodges on the last 150 yards.

Santa Margarita sophomore Maggie McGuire won the 100 back (55.15),  out touching Irvine’s Duncan, who finished in 2nd place, by about .40. Duncan took out the race in 26.64, about .40 faster than McGuire but McGuire was able to chase her down on the last half of the race.

In the 100 breast, Valencia senior Izabella Adame won with a time of 1:00.43 and a commanding 3 second lead over the field. This was a solid swim for Adame whose lifetime best time stands at 1:00.35 from March.

Team Scores (Top Ten)

  1. Santa Margarita, 457
  2. Valencia-Valencia, 191.50
  3. Crescenta Valley, 177
  4. Tesoro, 127
  5. Mater Dei, 118
  6. San Juan Hills, 114
  7. Redondo Union, 110
  8. Hart, 108
  9. Los Alamitos, 96
  10. Woodbridge, 89

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About Annika Johnson

Annika Johnson

Annika came into the sport competitively at age eight, following in the footsteps of her twin sister and older brother. The sibling rivalry was further fueled when all three began focusing on distance freestyle, forcing the family to buy two lap counters. Annika is a three-time Futures finalist in the 200 …

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