California High School Champs: Murietta Valley Sweeps So. Cal. Div. III; Coronal del Mar Girls, Northwood Boys Win Div. II Titles

LONG BEACH, Calif., May 17. IT was a league matter — specifically the Pacific Coast League — in the finals of the CIF Southern Section Division II girls' swimming championships here Saturday.

The meet was held in the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool.

Teams from Orange County's PCL — Corona del Mar, Irvine Northwood and Irvine University — went one, two and three in the final standings, while Northwood took the championship on the boys' side.

It was the Corona del Mar Sea Kings' first girls' title, showing that the coastal powerhouse in girls' and boys' water polo knows a thing or two about competitive swimming too.

Coach Doug Volding's CDM ladies scored 238 points to Northwood's 192 and University's 185.5.

Freshman Stephanie Gabert set a meet record en route to gold in the 100 breast (1:03.36) and soph teammate Lexie Shue won the 500 free (pr 4:51.23) and also had a pr with a runner-up finish in the 200 IM (2:06.45). Corona del Mar's other win was in the 200 medley, 1:50.46 to Northwood's 1:50.90.

In boys' action, Northwood, a five-year-old school, won its first CIF Championshp by scoring 202 points to Irvine University's 179 and Upland's 159.

Northwood senior Adam Rollins won the 200 free (1:41.91) and was runner-up in the 100 free (46.35). The champs also scored golds via wins in the 200 medley (1:38.47) and 400 free relay (3:12.53) with Palm Springs next (3:13.41). The latter's Matthew Sullivan, a senior, was the meet's sole doubler, winning the sprints in 20.88 (50) and 46.09 (100).

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Division III saw Murietta Valley win its third consecutive boys' championship and also added its inaugural girls' title for good measure. The boys won by a 324-178 margin over La Serna while the girls scored 237. La Serna also finished second here with 199 points.

By virtue of its double wins, Murietta Valley becomes the sixth school to win both championships in the same division in the same year.

Junior Sean Boyle was the Nighthawks' "big gun" with solid 46.32-1:40.48 clockings to win the 100-200 frees. His team also swept all three relays, winning the 200 medley (1:41.84 to Palos Verdes' 1:42.17); the 200 free (1:28.43 with La Serna next in 1:32.03); and the 400 free (3:17.45) with Rio Mesa second.

The boys had 14 swimmers competing in the finals while the Murietta Valley ladies, athough scoring nary a win, had eight swimmers competing. Junior Kelly Cooper won the diving competition, giving her team 20 points towards its title.

Corona Santiago sophomore Courtney Kilkurts was the best performer of the meet with a pair of golds in the 200 IM (meet record 2:02.06) and the 100 breast (pr 1:03.57). Her individual medley time would have placed her second in the DI Championships behind Long Beach Wilson's Jessica Hardy's winning 2:01.98.

Hardy set a national high school-record in the 100 breast (1:00.41), making her the 14th-fastest performer of all-time.

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