The Southern Section’s CIF swimming and diving championships got underway at Riverside Community College Thursday afternoon with a come-from-behind victory for the Laguna boys in the 200 medley relay. Four hours later in the cool evening air, they capped their best overall post-season performance with a runner up finish behind Alhambra’s Mark Keppel High 311 to 264.
Freestyler Erik Hendrikson pumped his fist in celebration after swimming the final 50 yards of the opening event in a blistering 21.31. He and fellow senior Billy Wild combined to cover the final 100 yards in 44.63, erasing a one second lead held at the half way point by Mark Keppel. Laguna’s time of 1:37.82 topped the record set last week at league finals by nearly two seconds.
The evening was punctuated by solid performances across the board, including Wild’s 100 butterfly win in a school best 51.66, beating the 51.98 he set at league finals
Freshman Erik Juliusson took second in the 100 backstroke with a time of 51.84 and third in the 500 freestyle in 4:43.59. Both times shattered week-old school records he set at league finals.
The girls 400 freestyle relay team of seniors Yoshi Anderson and Melena Masson, freshman Makenzie Fischer and sophomore Lila Vera finished their evening with a solid second place performance. Just after that, the boys 400 free team of Wild, junior Riley Thomas, freshman Cade Baldridge and Juliusson finished third in the evening’s final event in a school record time of 3:17.67, carving a healthy three seconds off the ’05 mark.
Thomas, Baldridge, senior Tommy Renner and Hendrikson just missed another school relay record when they took second in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:29.57, just .27 off the ’05 mark.
Had Laguna’s top-ranked 200 freestyle relay team not been disqualified for an early start in prelims, they would certainly have earned enough points in finals to give the girls there second straight runner up finish and third in the past four years. Even so, the girls turned in a solid third place finish, just four points behind runner up La Serna 254 to 250.
Vera finished second in both the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke with times of 57.63 and 58.89 respectively to anchor the girls team. Senior Melena Masson took second in the 200 and fourth in the 500 freestyle with times of 1:57.28 and 5:15.75.
The meet opened with the girls 200 medley team of sophomore Vera, junior Lexi Del Toro, Anderson, and Masson finishing third in 1:52.93, just before the boys record setting 200 medley win.
For complete results, go to http://faculty.polytechnic.org/cifss