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Who else but Hart swim?

Indians win boys and girls Foothill League titles again

Posted: May 2, 2013 10:31 p.m.
Updated: May 2, 2013 10:31 p.m.
Hart's Griffin Scott prepares to dive into the water in the boys 100-yard butterfly on Thursday at the Santa Clarita Aquatics Center. Hart's Griffin Scott prepares to dive into the water in the boys 100-yard butterfly on Thursday at the Santa Clarita Aquatics Center.
Hart's Griffin Scott prepares to dive into the water in the boys 100-yard butterfly on Thursday at the Santa Clarita Aquatics Center.

Video by Jon Stein

History repeated itself once again on Thursday afternoon at the Santa Clarita Aquatics Center.

The anticipated showdown between the Hart Indians and Valencia Vikings boys at the Foothill League Finals meet was close, but in the end, Hart walked away champions.

The Hart varsity boys won 475.5 to Valencia’s 457 to win its 18th straight Foothill League title.

West Ranch was third with 332, Saugus fourth with 259, Canyon fifth with 164.5 and Golden Valley rounded out the standings with a 110.

In girls, the Indians won more decisively, posting a 549 to Valencia’s 449 to take their 32nd title in 33 years.

“It had to come from within,” said Hart head coach Steve Neale. “There’s no mathematical equation or strategy. It was just emotion. We had to ride that wave of emotion.”

Saugus was third with 325, West Ranch fourth with 241, Canyon fifth with 165 and Golden Valley sixth with an 80.

The Vikings’ boys still had a chance, albeit a long one, heading into the day’s final event.

Valencia needed to win the boys 400-free relay with the Indians finishing no better than third.

But Hart had no intention of letting up.

Griffin Scott swam the anchor leg, out-touching Saugus’ Justin Lee at the finish to set a new Foothill League record with a time of 3 minutes, 10.13 seconds. Hart’s team also included Matt Johnson, Austin Barreiro and Kevin Moore.

“I thought it killed me because I was a little long (on the final reach),” Scott said. “But I guess it was the perfect stroke.”

The stroke, and the win, sent the Hart team to the deck, where Neale was tossed into the pool to celebrate yet another Foothill League title.

“Because it’s harder than it’s ever been before, it means more than it ever has before,” Neale said.

The day started off great for Hart, which set a league record by winning the 200-yard medley relay in 1:36.95 and had junior Matt Johnson set another record in the 200 free with a time of 1:42.36.

Johnson doubled on the day, winning again in the 500 free, and was part of both record-breaking relay teams.

The Vikings, on the other hand, suffered an early setback, with an early disqualification.

“The DQ was big. Without the DQ we lose by only eight points and if Saugus comes up with that last relay we either win or lose by a half-point,” said Valencia head coach Mike Bechtholdt.

The Vikings were led by Kevin Dai, who doubled in the 200 IM and 100 backstroke. Valencia’s Jack Kerchner won the 50 free, Saugus’ Jonathan Morsch took home the 100 free title and West Ranch’s Josh Lin won the 100 breaststroke.

The Vikings won the 200 free relay in a Foothill League record time of 1:27.61, with Hart winning the 200 medley and 400 free relays.

Kerchner, Tyler Tran, Brian Buxton and Dai made up the Vikings record-setting relay team.

"Our kids rallied and they adapted to (the DQ) really well," Bechtholdt said. "You can't get too upset when gets go best times."

There was less drama in the girls meet, with Hart pulling away.

Sophomore Tamara Santoyo, who missed last year’s Foothill League final, set a record in the 100 free (51.58) and added a win in the 50 free.

The Indians’ Ally Schultz, who underwent emergency appendectomy surgery last week, was back in the water and won the 500 free in 5:06.03.

"I really wanted to swim," she said. "It was my first league finals, I wanted t win the 500 my freshman year."

Schultz says she was originally told she would have to sit out for up to two weeks before the diagnosis was altered. What would she have done if she wasn't cleared to swim on Thursday?

"I don't know. I probably would have swam (anyway)," Schultz joked.

Last season’s Girls Swimmer of the Meet Abbey Weitzeil continued to impress, winning both the 200 free and 100 free to up her career record to 4-0 in individual league finals events.

“It’d be nice to go 8-for-8,” said Weitzeil, who will head to the CIF-Southern Section Division I prelims May 9 at the Riverside Aquatics Complex hoping to replicate last season’s two-title showing.

Hart won all four relays during the girls meet, with the Indians Mik Ranslem winning the 200 individual medley,

Valencia’s Sophie Fiscella winning the 100 backstroke and West Ranch’s Courtney Chrzas winning the 100 breaststroke.

So once again, the Hart swim dynasty lives on, with the rest of the Foothill League forced to wait until next year to dethrown the Indians.

"I told the kids they've got work to do in the offseason," Bechtholdt said. "Next season starts (Friday)."

An earlier version of the story incorrectly reported the result of a race in which Valencia's Kyle Frankhuizen participated. His disqualification was later overturned.


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