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Irvine Squads Combine to Win Foothill Meet


SANTA ANA — With Irvine posting record-breaking times, the Vaquero girls and boys combined to win the 24th Foothill Swim Games Saturday at Foothill High.

The Irvine girls finished first in the team competition with 272 1/2 points, the boys taking third with 181. Irvine finished with 478 1/2 total points. Capistrano Valley was second (283) and host Foothill was third (240).

In the girls' 100-yard breaststroke, it was almost a given that U.S. Olympic team member Amanda Beard would set a meet record in the event. But after Friday's preliminaries, where Santa Ana Valley's Amber Wines defeated Beard and broke her 1995 record with a 1-minute, 03.09-second finish, it appeared that Beard would have step it up a notch at the finals.

Beard already had come back to beat Wines in the 200 individual medley, in which Wines posted the fastest prelim time on Friday. Beard won in 2:06.37, with Wines finishing second in 2:09.38. But before the 100 breaststroke, Wines seemed determined to retain her record and beat Beard.

At the start of the 100 breaststroke, Wines came off the block first, taking a slight lead. And at the 50-yard mark, Wines was still ahead of Beard. However, Beard, who is known to come back in the second half of the race, turned it on in the last 25 yards to out-touch Wines in a record-setting time of 1:02.38.

Irvine senior Wendy O'Brien also was a two-event winner for the Vaqueros, winning the 50 and 100 freestyles in county-best times of 24.38 and 53.00.

In the 200 freestyle, Ari Gardner of San Clemente had little trouble winning in 1:54.65, the fastest time of the season in the event. Freshman Lara Reaves of El Toro won the 100 butterfly (1:00.01) and Carly Cox of Capistrano Valley bettered the season's fastest time in the 500 free by five seconds, winning in 5:04.76. Meghan Casillian of Huntington Beach won the 100 backstroke in 59.42.

In the relays, El Toro's Summir Case, Katie Simmons, Reaves and Katie Lowes combined to win the 200 IM relay (1:51.50). Defending champion Fountain Valley won the 200 free relay with Vinessa Tjoa, Kristine Tjoa, Kate Yoshinari and Grace Wang finishing in 1:43.78. And Irvine's 400 free relay team of Lana Kraus, Beard, Heidi Kraus and O'Brien took first in 3:43.09.

Irvine's other record came in the breaststroke. However, the record-setting swim by senior Steve Ronson came during Thursday preliminaries, in which he broke Olympian John Moffitt's 16-year-old mark of 57.85, with a time of 57.17 in the 100 breaststroke. Ronson missed his record time in the finals, winning in 57.39.

Ronson also won the 200 IM, dominating the field with a time of 1:52.79. And in the 200 freestyle relay, trailing Loyola and Marina, Ronson's 20.9 anchor split was the difference in the Vagueros' first-place finish of 1:30.49.

In the Mission Viejo Swimming Invitational:

Mission Viejo boys win--Bart Kiziercwski swam a time of 46.44 to win the 100 freestyle as host Mission Viejo won the boys' competition with a total of 555.5 points.

In the girls' meet, Mission Viejo finished a close second to Walnut Creek Las Lomas, 244.5-243. Dominique Rash and Karla Melendez finished first and second in the 100 backstroke and Jovanka Dimovska took first in the 100 butterfly in 1:00.71.

Edison's Kelly Brennan won the diving event with a score of 479.45.

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