BELMONT SHORES, Cal., May 12. FOUR times Michael Cavic dove into the waters of the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool eysterday afternoon, and four times he
emerged as a record-setter.
The Tustin High senior put on a Spitzian-like performance in the finals of the CIF Southern Section Div. III Championships, setting not just one, not just two, not just three but four — count 'em, FOUR — divisional records — two of which were also national high school standards.
In Thursday's prelims, Cavic put paid to Anthony Robinson's national prep record in the 50 free with his 19.77 200 free relay leadoff.
Then on Saturday he got serious.
He led off the Tillers' 200 free in the finals with a sizzling 19.69, breaking his two-day-old record.
Then in the 100 fly he blasted Dan Westcott's 47.83 standard with his 47.13, just .03 off the national independent-school record of 47.10 by former
University of Texas star Nate Dusing when he was a senior at Covington Catholic High in Kentucky five years ago.
Not known as a backstroker, Cavic nevertheless opted to try his hand at this event and won the 100 in a DIII record 47.55, just .05 off the national record of 47.50 by former Irvine Woodbridge star Derya Buyucunku from eight years ago at the CIF DI Championship here.
"That 100 back really blew me away," Cavic said afterwards. "I swam it just for fun — I maybe do a couple of hundred yards backstroke training daily
– so to go 47.5 is amazing. I don't deserve to go 47.5 so I'm very pleased."
He was also pleased to surpass what had been the national No. 1 time of 47.69 set Friday at the DI meet by Newport Harbor's Aaron Peirsol, who just happens to be the world record-holder/World Champion in the 200 meter backstroke.
"Yeah, that was pretty cool, beating Aaron's time. He's a great swimmer and a real role model. I'd love to race him in a big meet someday."
Cavic wasn't quite done, however (no rest for the wicked or weary?) He led off Tustin's 400 free relay in a meet-record 44.11, giving him for national No. 1s for his afternoon's work. The national-record belongs to former Cal star Ugur Taner, who went 43.73 when he was a senior in Washington state a decade ago.
Add in his two DII records he set as a sophomore (100 fly, 48.42 that ranked him second nationally two years ago; and his 46.56 100 free) and he closes his high school career with six CIF records. Not even the great Janet Evans or Natalie Coughlin ever accomplished such a feat — although Evans still
holds the girls' national 500 free record 13 years later and Coughlin has the 100 back standard.
Cavic's 44.11 also broke the all-division Southern Section 100 free record of 44.28 by a certain Mr. Ervin, set when he was a senior at Hart High three
Mr. Ervin now attends college at an institution of higher learning located somewhat to the north and slightly east of Belmont by about 500 miles, and
last year was double World Champion in the 50-100 meter free. The year before that at an Australian coastal community he won (actually tied for) the gold in the 50 meter free. He currently holds the NCAA/ American record in the 100 yard free (41.63) and is tied with former UCLA star Tom Jager for the American record in the 50 yard free (19.05)and that time is also the NCAA standard.
Cavic's exploits helped Tustin finish 10th. Winning the boys' division was Murietta Valley (231) with San Luis Obispo second (207) and Yucaipa third (160).
Needless to say, all his swims are automatic All-America cuts.
Led by froshwoman Alexandra Wiley, who doubled in the 200 IM (2:05.87) and 100 free (52.66), plus junior teammate Joy Tanizaki, who was quickest in the 100 breast (1:06.69), Pasadena Mayfield won the girls' title with 238 points. Runners-up were defending champs Whittier La Serna (226) while third was Camarillo (212) and Yucapia placed fourth (208).
La Serna got an outstanding performance from junior Morgan Hentzen, who scored golds in the 200-500 frees (1:51.41-4:50.01) and anchored the winning 200-400 free relay teams (1:40.40-3:35.96). Hentzen's times are auto All-America cuts and her school's winning 400 free clocking was the meet's sole girls' record.
In the 500, Hentzen was chased by her sister Whitney, a sophomore, who clocked 4:58.17 for the silver. In the 100 free, Wiley held off a late charge by Westridge's Katie Ioaza, who was second in 52.69.
* * * * *
In the Division II Championships, Riverside Poly — led by senior Jeri Moss' record in the 100 back (55.18, fifth nationally) won the title with 221
points to 201.5 for defending champ Crescenta Valey. Harvard-Westlake, Dara Torres' old alma mater (although when she was there it had not merged with
Harvard yet) was third (191.5) despite not qualifying a 400 free relay team.
Moss' time broke the year-old record of 55.46 by Maureen Farrell of Beverly Hills Alemany. Farrell was a mainstay of Coach Greg Troy's Florida Gators this past season and swam on U of F's victorious Southeatern Conference Championship team.
Moss also anchored Poly's winning 400 free relay team, and that win more than made up a 10.5-point deficit it had to Harvard-Westlake going into the race.
Harvard-Westlake got the meet off to a fast-start with its DII-record 1:49.51 200 medley relay time. The lone individual record was by Glendora sophomore Courtney Eads, who clocked 55.47 in the 100 fly to erase a
Her winning swim ranks her 11th nationally and is an All-America auto cut.
For those with short memories, Riverside Poly is the home of former world recored-holder (200 free) Cynthia Woodhead, one of America's greatest sprint freestylers in the late '70s and into the following decade.
Woodhead would likely have won the Olympic 200 free at Moscow had it not been for the U.S. boycott and did win a silver behind fellow American Mary Wayte at the Los Angeles Games four years hence. She also starred as a collegian at USC and subsequently helped coach the Trojan women in the mid '80s.
Shje still holds the national high-school record for
the 200 free (1:45.93) set when she was a senior at Mission Viejo 23 years ago. She transferred there to train under current USC coach Mark Schubert when he was at Mission in the late '70s.
On the boys' side, Hart senior Mike Linn's 20.85 50 and 45.59 100 free wins helped power the Indians to the team title. Hart scored 237 points, followed by Riverside Poly (176) and Fullerton Troy (175).
Linn also picked up golds as part of Hart's winning 200 medley-free relays.
– Bill Bell