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Granada Hills Finishes Off Chase for City Triple Crown

Swimming: Shapiro sisters help Highlanders set record in 200 medley relay and win third consecutive championship.


LONG BEACH — This is getting to be a bit of a habit for the Granada Hills High girls' swimming team.

For the second consecutive year, the Highlander 200-yard medley relay team of Stephanie Shapiro, Natalie Shapiro, Katherine Nielson and Sarah Clark broke the City Section record. And for the third consecutive year, Granada Hills won the girls' team title.

The Highlanders had 244 points Wednesday at Belmont Plaza, outdistancing runner-up Palisades by 62 1/2 points.

Stephanie and Natalie Shapiro, who have combined for seven individual events the past two years, added three more.

Natalie Shapiro won the 200 freestyle in 1:59.84 and Stephanie Shapiro added titles in the 200 individual medley in 2:11.86 and the 500 freestyle at 5:10.81.

The sisters combined with Clark and Nielson to go 1:54.51 in the 200. They nearly set another record in the 400 freestyle relay, timing 3:44.24 and coming within .58 of the mark set by El Camino Real in 1985.

Sabra Martini of El Camino Real, headed to UC Irvine, edged Fresno State-bound Natalie Shapiro in the 100 freestyle. Martini took the lead with 25 yards left and finished in 55.51 to beat Shapiro by .23 seconds, defending the title she won last year.

Martini won the 50 freestyle for the second consecutive year, timing 25.70, and helped the Conquistadores to third place.

Mitchell Hefter of Cleveland repeated in the boys' 50 and 100 freestyle. In the 50, he finished in 21.39, qualifying for Junior Nationals this summer and bettering his preliminary time by almost seven-tenths of a second.

"It went much better this time," Hefter said. "I could still go a little faster."

Hefter had one more shot in the leadoff leg of the 200 freestyle relay, finishing in 21.73, as the Cavaliers won in 1:36.73.

Hefter timed 47.30 to win the 100 freestyle by nearly three seconds, but was above the Junior National qualifying time by .01 second.

Venice repeated as boys' champion with 174 points, followed by El Camino Real at 131 and Birmingham with 130. Cleveland was fifth with 96.

Brian Brown of El Camino Real won the 100 backstroke (56.39) and 200 individual medley (2:02.19).

Taft's Blake Nord was upset by Adam Uehara of Venice in the 200 freestyle, but won the 100 butterfly.

Josh Williams of El Camino Real defended his title in the 100 breaststroke in 1:04.06.

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