BELMONT SHORES, CA., JAN. 26. COACH Dave Salo's powerhouse Irvine Novaquatics team was the big winner at the SoCal Swimming Senior "Q" Meet during the King Holiday Weekend.
The competition took place at the Belmont Plaza Olmpic Pool.
NOVA claimed all three team titles, women's (662 to 407 for Coach Brian Pajer's Irvine Aquazots); men (441.5-390 over Coach Bill Rose's Mission Viejo Nadadores) and the combined title over Arizona's Sun Devil Aquatics (1103.5-571).
Irvine was led on the men's side by World Champion (200 back) Aaron Peirsol, who won the 200 free (pr 1:37.75) and the 200 back (pr 1:43.50). His old pr
in the latter was 1:44.24 from this same meet last year.
Both of Peirsol's winning swims are SCS records. His 200 free win came at the expense of 27-year-old veteran Chad Carvin, a Sydney Olympian and former University of Arizona All-America/NCAA Champion who now trains at Mission Viejo.
Were Peirol in college this season — he's a senior at Newport Harbor High and will join Coach Eddie Reese's double-defending NCAA Division 1 champ Texas Longhorns next fall — he'd rank second nationally in the 200 back.
NOVA teammate Diana MacManus also won a pair of races, both backstgrokes, and in the 200 her winning swim — 1:57.98 — was not only a pr but a SCS 15-16 age-group record.
Another doubler was Santa Barbara Swim Club's Adrienne Binder, a 17-year-old who recorded wins in the 500 and 1000 frees (prs 4:44.68/9:37.87). That latter swim would also rank her second nationally were she at a DI
While Binder's swims were of a very high quality, the Ira Klein-coached protegee has a ways to go before she's ready to claim the SCS and/or NAG records in both races. Those are also the American/NCAA records held by Janet Evans, who swam them while at Stanford a dozen years ago (4:34.39-9:25+). Evans competed for Coach Bud McAlister's FAST team in Fullerton as an age grouper.
NOVA set a 17-18 SCS girls' record en route to the 400 medley relay title, with the team of Jeri Moss, Jennifer Cook, Flora Kong and Erin Volcan, the latter also a Venezuelan Olympian.
Another record-setter was Rose Bowl's Katie Kime, who broke the SCS record in the 11-12 200 breast with her
North Coast Aquatics' Mickey Murad was a tripler in the distances, taking the 500 (4:22.09), 1000 (8:58.12) and 1650 frees (15:19.15).
The SCS and NAG records in those events belong to former USC star Mike O'Brien, who trained with Peter Daland while in college and developed under current SC women's coach Mark Schubert while the duo were at Mission in the early '80s.
O'Brien, who won the 1984 Olympic gold medal in the 1500 free, went 4:13.06 to win the 1985 NCAA title, and also the 1650 in 14:41.43 — then both American records too. En route to his mile win he clocked 8:47+.
A tripler on the women's side was AFOX's 16-year-old Cait Connealy, who turned out to be an extremely rude visitor by showing her heels to the field in the 50-100 frees (23.39-50.48) and 100 fly (54.83). While not making any predictions, visions of Olympic gold are presumably dancing in Coach Bob Gillett's head — afterall, can you say Misty Hyman?
Some other swimmers who also had a successful weekend including Irvine's 17-year-old Michael Cavic, won won the 50-100 frees and 100 fly (20.20-44.72-48.28); AZOt's Japanese Olympian, Masami Tanaka, who won both
breaststrokes (1:01.01-2:11.34); AZOT's Nicole Mackey in the IMs (2:02.44-4:19.18); Clovis' 15-year-old Kristen Hastrip in the 200 fly (1:59.71); and Ford's Dave Rollins, who won the 100 back (51.80) and the 100
In the men's 400 IM Fullerton's 16-year-olds Luis Vayo (Fullerton) and Adam Hewko (NOVA) dueled for nearly the entire race before Vayo prevailed, 3:56.21-3:56.25. Both are swimmers to keep an eye in the years to come.
Sun Devil's Ashley Chandler, the national prep leader in the 500 free, won the 200 here (1:49.10) and was runner-up to Binder in the 500 (4:44.68-4:48.17). Teammate Kalyn Keller, who won the 800 free at last
summer's U.S. Nationals in Clovis, won the 1650 in 16:23.69. Runner-up was Hayley Peirsol, 16-year-old sister of Aaron, who clocked 16:31.67.
One other swimmer who showed promise was 17-year-old Tyler De Berry of Ford Aquatics of Tucson, who was runner-up in the 1000 free with his 9:13.41. He's the son of Tom DeBerry, who played professional basketball with the Phoenix Suns.
– Bill Bell