Santa Margarita Girls Power to CIF-SS D1 Win, Loyola Boys Set Relay Records

2019 CIF-SS Division 1

  • Swimming prelims May 2nd
  • Swimming finals May 4th
  • Riverside Aquatics Complex, Riverside, CA
  • Short Course Yards
  • Live Results

Santa Margarita took the team title on the girls’ side, while X boys won their team title. Division 1 in CIF’s Southern Section is one of the fastest high school meets, and this meet, the freestyle talent on the girls’ side really impressed.

The 200 free was a huge battle. Newport Harbor’s Ayla Spitz went head-to-head with Santa Margarita’s Ella Ristic, as the former beat the latter, 1:45.38 to 1:45.66. Foothill’s Samantha Pearson was third in 1:47.13.

Those three were back for more in the 100 free, with Spitz again taking charge with a winning time of 49.42. Not far behind her, though, were Pearson (49.59) and Ristic (49.66).

Ristic was a heavy hitter for the Santa Margarita, along with junior Anicka Delgado and freshman Lindsay Ervin. Delgado took the 50 free (22.55) and 100 fly (53.33), while Ervin was the 50 free runner-up (23.11) and placed 4th in the 100 free (50.63). In the 500 free, another freshman Tesoro’s Katie Crom, dropped a 4:46.52 to edge past Santa Margarita’s Mackenzie Degn (4:46.62) for the win.

Santa Margarita won all three relays (and didn’t use Ristic, Delgado, Ervin, or Degn on the medley), finishing with a 3:20.32 in the 400 free relay. Ristic’s 49.08 was the best in the field. Crom, leading off for Tesoro, had a strong 50.25 swim.

The freestyle races were tight on the boys’ side, too. In the 200, Foothill’s Hunter Ingram was 1:36.14, just out-touching Crespi’s Zach van Zandt (1:36.32). The margins were closer in the 100 free, but the order the same: Ingram took it in 44.39, with van Zandt second in 44.42. Loyola’s Connor Lee was 20.09 to just miss 19-second territory, taking the 50 free, and adding a win in the 100 fly (47.26). Aliso Niguel’s Sean Slusiewicz was 47.62 to take second there.

A couple freshmen on the boys side fought against tough competition to win event titles. Laguna Hills’ Tona Zinn was 1:48.61 to win the 200 IM, ahead of another freshman, Harvard Westlake’s Tommy Park (1:48.70). Park was 23.19 leading off his team’s runner-up 200 medley relay, which had yet another freshman, Ronald Dalmacio, anchor in a blazing 19.94. Loyola won the relay in 1:29.80, however, to break University’s 2014 meet record. Lee was 21.33 on fly on that relay. Dalmacio wound up 2nd in the 100 back (48.67) behind Canyon’s Kevin Childs (47.88).

In the 400 free relay, Lee helped Loyola seal the team title, leading off their winning 400 free relay in 43.95. He combined with seniors Emmett Pernecky and Mark McCrary along with freshman William Kim to go 2:59.65, winning by over four seconds and blowing away their meet record time from last year by almost two seconds.


  • Fountain Valley’s Hannah Farrow won both of her individual events. She was 2:00.06 in the 200 IM and then 1:00.63 in the 100 breast.
  • Notre Dame’s Dominic Margarino was 4:23.98 to take the 500 free.
  • Hart’s Maxine Catig won the 100 back in 54.44.
  • The 100 breast went to Sluciewicz in 54.90. Zinn was third (55.79).


Girls Top 5

  1. Santa Margarita 489
  2. Tesoro 275
  3. Mater Dei 198
  4. Hart 162
  5. Woodbridge 155

Boys Top 5

  1. Loyola 317
  2. Santa Margarita 274
  3. Harvard-Westlake 247
  4. University 186
  5. Hart 174

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socal swim fan
3 years ago

SS section needs to have a separate Division for private/independent schools. Those schools attract top talents by offering scholarships/ tuition discount, and the talents who are bound to go to the public schools, are recruited away by private school coaches, based on the assumption of a easy and guaranteed SS sectional/state champion( whoever does’t want an easy ride to a championship?). This is not good for the whole section in terms of competition. On girls’ side, SM dominated for so many years and no real competition. On boys’ side, 4 out of top five schools are private. Nobody can compete with those so called powerhouses, because they can recruit whoever they want, while public schools can only have swimmers from… Read more »

Reply to  socal swim fan
3 years ago

Well, some of the private schools were hit this year like Crean Lutheran who doesn’t have all the elite swimmers anymore. Also, there are private Christian schools and academy that don’t recruit. that don’t recruit like Saddleback Christian high school which got 7 points in division 3. Now, forcing Saddleback Christian high school against Santa Margarita would not be fair either. Maybe, Loyola, Santa Margarita, Mater Dei, and forth should have their division.

socal swim fan
Reply to  anonymous
3 years ago

They can have small independent division and big independent division. They should also disclose the number of scholarship/tuition discount they offered, and they should let public know whether it is need based or sports scholarship

socal swim fan
Reply to  anonymous
3 years ago

Once they reclassify the division, the big public school division’s competitiveness and excitement and the possibility of a champion will attract some talents back to the public school, which will promote the sports with a more balanced development, not a monopoly like we have today.

socal swim fan
Reply to  socal swim fan
3 years ago

Top public schools are normally carried only by a few star swimmers, and they will be lucky to have 4-5 junior national level swimmers in one year, so they can really shine. Once they graduate, it’s another school’s turn. Just look at what happened to Dana Hills and Northwood boys, the stars graduated, and they start rebuild, which brings opportunity to other schools. This is beneficial to overall high school swimming, because every school has a chance to really shine, nothing is fixed. But, if you allow private schools to recruit away swimmers from public schools without restriction, the public schools already few talents are lost and the team may collapse. Swimming as a sport will be less attractive to… Read more »

Reply to  socal swim fan
3 years ago

Your point is valid but swimming powerhouses in SoCal are built at the club level and there is probably just about zero development done by high schools. So if the nova and mvn kids all decide to go to the same high school and crush the team title there isn’t much you can do about it.

Reply to  Taa
3 years ago

Which happened at University a few years back and created one of the best HS teams I have ever seen. As a coach of a private school in SS I can tell you the only money given to any student at my school is based on financial NEED and not athletic ability. It’s the process all students are put through. If I showed you the list of very very FAST kids who applied that were turned away for sub par grades or because they thought there was a possible discount because of their times you’d be very surprised. Not saying this is the same at all schools so I understand the comments above but it’s not the case at all… Read more »

Formed elite swimmer
Reply to  socal swim fan
3 years ago

As a former “elite” swimmer from SM I can attest that the school does not recruit or give students aid towards tuition based on athletic performance. SM is a power house because it’s academics attract top swimmers and the location of the school is in close proximity to top performing swim clubs MVN, Nova, Aquazot, SoCal etc. On top of this the coaches at SM foster an environment that encourages swimmers to perform at their best.

Reply to  Formed elite swimmer
3 years ago

Are you on the board of directors or have access to the school financial and admission records? Is there public data you can point us to? Or is this just your personal information/opinion. Irvine public schools (Northwood, University, Woodbridge, Irvine High) are among the top rated in the state and country so you can’t claim that SM academics is the reason these top swimmers attend the school (Many of the girls on the team – and future up and comers live in/around Irvine). Irvine schools are the most competitive academically so I agree with your statement that SM Fosters an Environment for Swimmers. Kids can focus on elite level training because they are not having to focus on making grades… Read more »

Reply to  socal swim fan
3 years ago

Irregardless of how these students matriculate to private schools, the whole point is that they don’t have the residence requirements imposed on public schools. Some public schools are fortunate to be located close to the powerhouse club teams (like UHS). Why not continue to have schools compete together but award separate titles to public and private schools. You could even score the meet like a tri or quad meet in college where you have individual champions in each event but scoring is separated based on public vs private.

3 years ago

Both are going to state., Santa Margarita and Loyola for chances at top three at state.The schools that want to do are after the state title.

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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