Darren Ward claimed he was tired Saturday night, but it didn't stop the Sonora sophomore from breaking two records in the Southern Section 3-A swimming championships at East Los Angeles College Saturday night.
In the boys' team competition, El Dorado, a bridesmaid last year, upended defending champion Loyola, 143 1/2-140 1/2.
In the girls' competition, junior Kim Rosso won two events to lead Sunny Hills to its first-ever swimming title, a convincing 127-92 edge over Long Beach Wilson.
Ward began his performance with a thrilling, come-from-behind victory in the 200-yard medley relay, outreaching Loyola's Mark Childs for the wall.
"I was behind about a body length when I went into the water," said Ward, who was joined on the team by Brad Silver, Damien Poore and Robbie Abundis. "I never took my eyes off him (Childs). That's all I was concentrating on."
Ward then shifted his attention to the 200 individual medley, where he bested San Marino's Kurt Kroesche, who is heading to Stanford in the fall. The two swimmers pushed each other to a division record, Ward touching in 1:51.21. The time bettered the old mark of 1:51.93 set by Matthew Nance of Servite in 1983.
About a half hour later, Ward broke his second record, sprinting 100 yards in 45.75, bettering the 46.06 of Hoover's Mike Baele in 1983.
"The relay tired me out," Ward said. "But I had a good start and a good finish and I made two good turns. That turned out to be enough to get a record."
El Dorado didn't have a winner, but the Golden Hawks had tremendous depth, finishing second in the 400 freestyle relay and third in the 200 individual medley relay. Coach Tom Milich, who collected the school's first title since the late 1970s, credited his entire team but singled out Mike Fairchild, who moved from 10th in the qualifying heat to eighth in the final. He collected five points for his effort.
"I thought we swam with guts tonight," Milich said. "And Fairchild made a big difference by moving up two places."
Assistant coach John Bowman was also enthusiastic.
"Last year, we were defensive," he said. "This year, we were up and swam excited. Everyone contributed. They were on a roll."
Rosso was also on a roll, winning the 200 freestyle in 1:50.20, and the 100 in 51.69. Last year, she won the 100. She expects even better things next year.
"We just wanted to win our league (Freeway), and when we did, coach (Jim Sprague) told us we had a chance to win it all," she said. "We swam well Wednesday and then even better tonight. I got a second in the relay tonight, too. Next year, I'm going for three."