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Half and half

Canyon and Saugus split Foothill League swim meet

Posted: April 1, 2009 1:20 a.m.
Updated: April 1, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Saugus' Alan Gately swims the breaststroke leg of the 200-medley relay Tuesday at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center. Saugus defeated Canyon.

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Going into Tuesday’s swim meet with Canyon, Saugus head coach Vicky Donnelly expected challenges on the girls’ side, and knew it would be a battle between the boys.

She was right.

With a score of 96-73, the Centurions boys pulled out the win at Santa Clarita Aquatic Center, while the Canyon girls came out on top 103-67.

“Saugus has a good bunch of boys,” said Cowboys head coach Steve Himes. “It is good to see the spread (of talent).”

A big reason for the success of the boys program is the leadership, said Donnelly, including captains Jimmy Karren, Luke Rowley and Pablo Romano, and senior Justin McCance.

“He takes a lot of pride and ownership in this team,” Donnelly said of McCance. “It is more than a team, it is a family for a lot of these kids.”

McCance edged out teammate Justin Peris in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5 minutes, 31.57 seconds and was the third leg of the 400-freestyle relay that also included Karren, Peris and Rowley that won with a 3:34.48.

Rowley also took home victories in the 50 freestyle (23.57) and 100 freestyle (52.79).

However, the Cowboys were not without their standout performances on the guys’ side.

Canyon’s Keaunui Harris won the 200-individual medley (2:04.07) and 100 backstroke (56.95), while Matthew Howard took the 100 butterfly (58.54) and 200 freestyle (1:53.67).

For the girls, Canyon’s Kearsten Livingstone took the 200 freestyle (1:58.45) and 50 freestyle (25.93), Kirsten Justice won the 200 IM (2:18.93) and 500 freestyle (5:24.12), and Allison Morales claimed the 100 freestyle (56.61) and 100 backstroke (1:06.66).

With many of his girls sick, Himes was pleased with how his team responded.

“The girls that were coming in at the back (in previous races) were able to do what they needed to do,” he said. “I love my team and I love my kids.”

Saugus’ Leeanna Walter won the 100 backstroke with a time of 1:11.64, good enough for the team’s first CIF consideration on the season.

“It’s really exciting,” Donnelly said. “The hard work is paying off.”

Other winners on the day included Canyon’s Milena Lopez (100 butterfly, 1:04.87), the girls 200-medley relay team of Chika Kondo, Lopez, Marissa Rodgers and Theresa Neuman (2:05.28), the girls 200-freestyle relay team of Livingstone, Justice, Lopez and Morales (1:47.59), the girls 400-freestyle relay team of Livingstone, Kondo, Justice and Morales (3:58.33), and the boys 200-freestyle relay team of Harris, Alex Kim, Nick Tran and Jacob Mijares (1:38.26).

For Saugus, the boys 200-medley relay team of Karren, Anders Heinstedt, McCance and Rowley won in 1:49.75, and Heinstedt won the 100 backstroke in 1:12.03.

As the two programs continue their efforts to establish and re-establish themselves, both Himes and Donnelly have a lot of good things to say about each other’s teams and the strides they have made.

“Steve has a done a lot of great things with that program,” Donnelly said. “He has a lot of great kids.”

pputignano@the-signal.com

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