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Prep swimming: ’Cats, Cents split meet

Exciting races part of wins by West Ranch boys, Saugus girls

Posted: April 26, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: April 26, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Saugus’ Abbey Weitzeil wins the 100-yard butterfly against West Ranch on Wednesday at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center. The Saugus girls won 109-61, and the Wildcat boys won 92-78.

For a little more than three minutes, the overall score didn’t matter much.

Everyone’s attention was on Saugus swimmer Jonathan Morsch and West Ranch’s Philip Wong, as the two were neck and neck down the final 25 yards of the boys 400-free relay on Wednesday at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center.

Morsch out-touched Wong by 0.03 seconds to earn the victory in 3 minutes, 22.10 seconds, but it wasn’t enough to change the final result as the West Ranch boys won the meet 92-78 to improve to 3-3 overall and 3-2 Foothill League.

It was a mirror image of the girls 400 relay in which the Wildcats’ Taylor Poliseno overcame a 2.31-second deficit on the anchor leg to lead the Wildcats’ team of Courtney Chrzas, Ann Yoo-Abbott, Brittney Peterson and Poliseno to the win in 3:47.91.

Again, the most exciting race of the day didn’t affect the results, though, as the Saugus girls won the meet 109-61.

“That last relay, that’s what I love about swimming,” said Saugus head coach Vicky Donnelly.

The Saugus girls (7-1, 4-1) won eight of 11 events on the day, and overcame a Poliseno victory in the 200 free (1:56.28) by placing second, third and fourth to outscore the Wildcats in the event.

Kristin Threw doubled for Saugus, winning the 100 free (55.08) and 100 backstroke (1:03.80), and freshman Abbey Weitzeil doubled in the 50 free with a CIF-Southern Section automatic qualifying time of 23.38 and the 100 butterfly (59.78).

Weitzeil was also moved out of her usual anchor position on the 400 free, instead swimming anchor in both the 200-medley relay and the 200-free relay, both of which her team won.

“Today we did the medley and the 200 free, and it cost us in the end (in losing the 400),” said Donnelly, who explained the team was aiming for CIF qualifying times in the medley relay and 200 free.

Saugus hit consideration times in both events.

West Ranch hit consideration times with wins in the 100 breaststroke from Chrzas (1:07.81), the 400-free relay and Poliseno’s victory in the 200 free.

In boys, West Ranch took seven of the 11 events, including Philip Wong’s double in the 200 individual medley (2:08.43) and 50 free (23.31).

Ironically, it was Saugus’ depth — a word not often uttered about its boys team — that kept the Centurions (4-4, 2-3) in the meet. But in the end, they couldn’t overcome West Ranch’s top swimmers, despite the final relay result.

“I couldn’t have been any closer,” said West Ranch head coach Aaron Worby of the final race. “Luckily we didn’t need it to win. Our boys gave it their all (today).”

The Wildcats received CIF consideration times from Josh Linn in the 100 breaststroke and the 400-free relay team of Derek Chang, Austin Choi, Hutten and Wong (3:22.13).

Now, both teams will turn their attention to Tuesday’s Foothill League prelims when the six schools will compete with hopes of getting their swimmers into Thursday’s league finals.


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