The Pacific Coast League is one of the most competitive high school leagues in California’s Southern Section, and it swimmers had the crowd on their feet on Friday night at the championship final at Woollett Aquatics Center. After years of dominance from Irvine’s University High and Newport Beach’s Corona del Mar, it was Irvine’s Northwood High at the top of the 2016 boys’ leaderboard with a sweep of the Varsity, JV, and Open league titles. (You can read about the boys’ meet here.) The girls’ meet was just as exciting, with Woodbridge girls edging defending champions, Irvine, for the win.
Woodbridge avenged their 38-point loss to Irvine from last year’s Pacific Coast League Championships with a 34-point victory this time around, due in large part to a sweep of all three relays (1:48.53 in the 200 medley, 1:35.43 in the 200 free, and 3:30.09 in the 400 free).
The Warriors jumped out to an early lead with a 1:48.53 win in the 200 medley relay, holding off a fast-charging University who came in second with 1:48.80. Irvine took third in 1:50.30. Woodbridge junior Kate Krolikowski (recently featured in WWAGS) was one of the big contributors to the Woodbridge effort with two individual wins and big relay performances. Krolikowski won the 200 free and 500 free with dominant swims, touching in 1:46.89 and 4:48.60, respectively. The former was a lifetime-best by 1.3 seconds, while the latter was her first sub-5:00 (in the USA Swimming database, that is). Outside of high school, Krolikowski swims mostly fly and IM, which, if she made the qualifying times at other high school meets this year, she might in fact choose to swim at CIF-SS Championships next weekend. Krolikowski also led off Woodbridge’s 400 free relay with a new meet record of 50.44.
Coming in behind Krolikowski in both the 200 and 500 freestyle events was Irvine sophomore Julia Wright, finishing third in the 200 (1:52.20) and second in the 500 (4:59.04). Amanda Hseih of Northwood took second in the 200 with 1:51.40.
Another two-event winner was University freshman Riley Lexvold; she claimed titles in the 200 IM (2:02.64) and 100 back (55.13). The Trojans picked up another gold in the 100 free: Princess Ferguson-Nguyen, who committed to swim at Kenyon next year, clocked a 51.69 to touch out Northwood’s Hseih (52.12) and Kaitlyn Tsou of Irvine (53.16).
Second and third in the IM were Woodbridge teammates Isis Choi (2:03.78) and Sydney Okubo (2:05.77). Choi, a Princeton commit, also placed second in the 100 breast with 1:04.81, coming to the wall just behind teammate Juliana Witting (1:04.56). Okubo, a sophomore, added points to the team effort with a runner-up finish in the 100 back (55.89). University’s Alondra Ortiz was third in the back with 59.53.
Corona del Mar’s Nicole Lin cracked 24 seconds to win the 50 free in 23.98 ahead of Woodbridge’s Whitney Chang (24.10) and Ferguson-Nguyen (24.22). Chang went on to win the 100 fly in 55.04. Irvine teammates Camille Ross and Kristine Nguyen came to the wall in a photo finish behind Chang; Ross edged Nguyen, 58.80 to 58.95, for second.
- Woodbridge 446
- Irvine 412
- University 363
- Northwood 350
- Corona del Mar 257
- Beckman 180