High School Roundup: Swim teams sparkle at CIF finals

Laguna girls take second, boys finish third at CIF Southern Section Division 3 finals.

May 16, 2013|By Mike Sciacca

Kari Johnson said she couldn't have been more proud of her Laguna Beach High boys' and girls' swim teams after their performances last week at the CIF Southern Section Swimming and Diving Championships.

The Laguna girls' team made another strong push for the Division 3 title but came up just short of winning the crown.

The boys' team also was in the title hunt, and finished third in Division 3.

The Southern Section finals were held May 9 at Riverside City College.

The Laguna girls scored 191.5 team points, and finished only behind Crean Lutheran (250), which won its first Southern Section title. The Breakers didn't win any individual or relay event, but Lila Vera placed second in both the 100-yard butterfly (56.01) and 100 backstroke (58.58).


Vera's time in the 100 butterfly broke a school record that she had held, Johnson said.

The Breakers also finished second in the 200 freestyle relay (Makenzie Fischer, Lexi Del Toro, Sydney Saxe, Vera) at 1:41.02, and in the 400 free relay (3:40.88).

The Laguna girls have been a runner-up to a Southern Section title three times in the last five years.

"We were trying to win it this year, but I could not have asked for anything more from this group of girls," Johnson said. "They gave it their all and worked together as a team.

"I still believe a CIF title is within reach, it's just a matter of time."

The Laguna boys, second at CIF finals last year, scored 164 to take third place this year. The Breakers placed behind division winner Riverside North (272) and second-place Viewpoint (207).

The Breakers' Erik Juliusson won two individual events at finals. He took the 200 free in 1:40.68), and the 100 backstroke in 52.79. Both times lowered his school record in both events.

Johnson said Juliusson is the first male to win two individual events at a CIF final.

The 400 free relay team of Cameron Karkosa, Max Morgan, Cade Baldridge and Juliusson, finished second and hit a new school record time at 3:13.76.

"Erik is a phenomenal swimmer, athlete, and person," Johnson said of Juliusson. "He does whatever it takes to win his races. I can't wait to see him develop even further as a person and role model on our team.

"The boys did an excellent job at CIF. I could not be more proud of their performance as a team. We had a very young team this year, composed of mostly freshmen and sophomores, and I'm excited to see if we can pull out a victory next year."

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