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El Camino Real, Birmingham Splash Around to Stalemate

Swimming: Unbeaten boys' teams tie, 90-90, in West Valley League meet at Pierce College.


WOODLAND HILLS — The meet came down to the last event, and even then the boys' swim teams from Birmingham and El Camino Real highs were unable to settle things.

Each team remained unbeaten after a 90-90 tie in a West Valley League meet on Wednesday at Pierce College.

El Camino Real (5-0-1, 5-0-1 in league) won six of the first eight events, but Birmingham (4-0-1, 4-0-1) countered with victories in two of the three relays and with greater depth.

"Oh, my word," Birmingham Coach Stacy Palmer said. "This was excruciating. I should have a full head of gray hair by now."

Depth kept the Patriots from being sunk when El Camino Real won the 400-yard freestyle relay, the meet's final event.

Birmingham led, 84-82, going into the race. Brothers Brian and Brett Brown, and Andrew Warren and Mario Marshall won the race for El Camino Real with a time of 3:47.07, earning six points.

But El Camino Real also needed at least a third-place finish and three more points from one of their other relay teams, but could do no better than fourth place and two points.

Birmingham teams finished second and third, giving the Patriots six points and preserving the tie.

"We're happy to get the tie," said junior Matt Moghadam, a member of Birmingham's second-place 400 relay team. "We knew it was going to be close, and El Camino Real is an awesome team, so this was like a win for us."

The tie didn't excite El Camino Real nearly as much.

"We all gave our best," said Brian Brown, who also won the 200 individual medley and the 100 backstroke.

Marshall also won the 50 free and the 100 butterfly, and had a personal-best of 51.92 seconds in the anchor leg of the 400 free relay.

Birmingham captured the first event, the 200 medley relay, in 1:52.96 but the Conquistadores won the next six events for a 34-28 lead.

The Patriots scored 10 points in diving to none for El Camino Real, which had two participants but no scorers. That helped the Patriots reclaim the lead, 38-28.

The girls' meet was never close.

El Camino Real (6-0, 6-0) jumped to a 37-8 lead after four events to finish off Birmingham (0-5, 0-5) early in a 141-39 victory.

Erin Lacey and Sara Cremidas led the Conquistadores, who won every event.

Lacey won the 100 free (59.65) and 100 breaststroke (1:14.81). Cremidas captured the 200 free (2:11.10) and 500 free (5:43.90).

Naomi Kase notched the only second-place finishes for Birmingham, in the 500 free and the 100 breaststroke.

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