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On the Beat Swim: Everyone left in her wake

Abby Weitzeil has been dominant in the Foothill League the past three seasons

Posted: May 13, 2014 8:55 p.m.
Updated: May 13, 2014 8:55 p.m.

It’s hard not to get wrapped up in watching Saugus swimmer Abbey Weitzeil go.

But let’s pause a second and look at what has been left in Weitzeil’s wake over the past three Foothill League seasons.

Standing on the pool deck last Thursday at the 2014 Foothill League finals swim meet, I was struck by something taking place behind Weitzeil in the 100-yard freestyle event — which Weitzeil won in a league record 49.11 seconds.

Hart swimmer Tamara Santoyo was busy swimming what can only be considered a great time, a 51.69 — good enough for a CIF-Southern Section Division I automatic qualifying time, but in the Foothill League it was only good for a second-place finish.

And that’s where you really see just how dominant Weitzeil has been in this league over the past three seasons.

The list of athletes who have missed out on individual titles because of Weitzeil’s greatness is staggering.

In 2012 it was Hart’s Emma Osowski who was forced to settle for two runner-up finishes.

Osowski’s 1:54.08 200-yard freestyle swim wasn’t enough for a title, nor was her 5:01.30 500 free.

Flash forward to 2013, and it was different name, but the same result for Hart.

Asia Antoniuk took on Weitzeil in the 200 free, but missed out on the title 1:48.54 to 1:49.96.

For comparison, in 2012, the last pre-Weitzeil Foothill League title meet, Antoniuk’s time would have won the league title by almost three seconds.

Antoniuk returned to the water in the 100-yard butterfly later in the meet, and despite a CIF auto time of 56.03 — which would have won the 2012 event by over a second — looked up to see Weitzeil’s name ahead of hers on the board.

The scariest part for the Foothill League is that Weitzeil is just a junior, and barring a major setback, should cruise to another two league titles next season.

Santoyo, Osowski and Antoniuk are all great swimmers in their own right, and that’s even more evidence of just how dominant Weitzeil is when she gets in the pool.

Congratulations Vikings: The wait for Valencia swim has been a long one, but its wait for a Foothill League title finally ended last week when both the boys and girls won championships at the league finals meet.

It was last winter when then head coach Mike Bechtholdt said, in an interview for The Signal’s Foothill League preview, that 2014 was the year he was waiting for.

That was the sentiment that inspired this paper’s headline for the 2013 girls preview — “One year reprieve?”

Bechtholdt is now the head coach at Westside Aquatics and had to leave his Valencia job behind. But first-year head coach Chris Stroh took up the mantel and brought Bechtholdt’s words to life.

As a result, the Vikings have earned a much deserved congratulations for their efforts.

Diving in: The CIF-Southern Section Division I Diving Championships took place Tuesday, and a number of Foothill League divers participated in the 1-meter diving event.

West Ranch’s Samantha Traina was the top girls finisher, scoring 424.25 points for a 10th-place finish.

Teammate Carly Sherwood-Souza, who won the Foothill League title last week, finished 16th with a 393.85.

Foothill League boys champion Carter Hardin of Valencia, was the top local boys finisher with his 11th-place finish (333.60).

Canyon’s Logan Ferris was 15th with a 306.60 and West Ranch’s Alexander Rojas was 23rd with a score of 125.90.


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