The young women of Santa Margarita High School keep on piling up the water-sport hardware, with the latest addition being their second straight CIF State Swimming & Diving Championship.

A week after dominating the CIF-Southern Section championships, the Eagles’ swim team recorded another impressive victory at the State Meet, held May 10-11 at the Clovis High School Olympic Swim Complex. Santa Margarita scored 230 points, well ahead of runner-up Torrey Pines’ 165.

Leading the way was junior Ella Ristic, who won the 100 and 200 Freestyle events, anchored the 200 Free Relay victory, and swam the opening leg of the winning 400 Free Relay effort whose time, 3:20.56, was just one second off meet record set last year by … Santa Margarita.

Fellow junior Anicka Delgado won the 50 Free, placed second in the 100 Butterfly, and swam on both winning relay teams. Also shining brightly were junior Mia Ristic, Ella’ sister and a member of the 200 Free Relay and third-place 200 Medley Relay teams, and freshman Lindsay Ervin, part of the 200 and 400 Free Relay teams and fourth in the 50 Free.

Other winning Eagles and the events in which they scored were senior Miranda Renner (400 Free Relay, 100 Breast), junior Katie Nugent (200 Medley Relay, 100 Breast), freshman Isabel Abrajan (200 Medley Relay, 100 Butterfly), junior Josette Odgers (200 Medley Relay) and junior Kayla Haigh (Diving).

Two other local Catholic high school swimmers acquitted themselves well. Mater Dei senior Stephanie Su earned 12 points with a seventh-place finish in the 500 Free, and St. Lucy’s sophomore Marly Lough earned eight points by placing in the 100 and 200 Free.

Boys: Loyola takes third

Propelled by a victory in the meet’s first event, Loyola High School posted a solid third-place finish in the Boy’s State Championships with 147 points, trailing only San Ramon Valley (177) and Oak Ridge (174).

The all-senior Cubs’ team of Mark McCrary, James Lee, Connor Lee and Emmett Pernecky won the 200 Medley Relay in a season-best 1:29.78. Connor Lee also won the 50 Free, was third in the 100 Butterfly, and swam with Pernecky, McCrary and freshman William Kim on the 400 Free Relay team that finished second to Oak Ridge’s meet-record victory.

McCrary was fifth in the 100 Back and placed in the 200 Medley; James Lee was sixth in the 100 Breast; and the team of Pernecky, seniors Nicholas Turrill and Andrew Sung, and sophomore Taz Kanjanakaset scored in the 200 Free Relay.

Santa Margarita placed 17th with 39 points, led by senior Nicholas Leavell (sixth in Diving), senior Noah Brune (fourth in the 500 Free), the 200 Free Relay team of seniors Brune, Jack Forsythe and Yurian Quinones and sophomore Lucas Morales-Ostergaard, and sophomore Alexander Ispas (12th in the 500 Free).

Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks scored 23 points, as senior Dominick Margarino was third in the 500 Free and 15th in the 200 Free, and sophomore Evan Yoo and junior Keane Alejandro were 14th and 15th in the 100 Breast. Crespi scored 16 points, all on junior Zac Van Zandt’s third-place finish in the 100 Free.

Damien collected 12 points. Junior Michael Babaian placed 14th in the 100 and 200 Free, senior Preston Planells was 15th in the 200 Medley, and both swam on the 400 Free Relay team with junior James Luci and sophomore Marcos Santos (15th).


Mike Nelson is the former editor of The Tidings (predecessor of Angelus News). 

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