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Valley/Ventura County Sports

Granada Hills Relays Loud Message to City Section Foes at Strong Royal Invitational

Swimming: Highlanders win the girls' division in the 31-school meet and powerful Crescenta Valley claims sixth consecutive boys' title.


SIMI VALLEY — The old saying that you can't win if you don't play isn't lost on the Granada Hills High girls' swim team.

Fueled by two relay victories, the Highlanders claimed the girls' team title on Saturday in their first appearance at the Royal Invitational at Rancho Simi Community Park in Simi Valley.

The Royal Invitational, in its 19th year, proved it is the region's premier regular-season meet by attracting nearly 1,100 swimmers from 31 schools.

The meet took nine hours to complete.

Granada Hills, the only City Section team in the meet, scored 184 points to finish ahead of Ventura, which finished with 176.

Crescenta Valley, the champion last year, placed third with 150 points.

The Highlanders earned 35% of their points by winning the 200 medley relay and 200 freestyle relay. Their only other first-place finish was Sarah Clark's in the 100 breaststroke in 1:09.96.

Granada Hills finished in the top three in eight of 11 events.

Amanda Kim claimed two of the Highlanders' three second-place finishes in the freestyle sprints.

It was hardly a surprise in the boys' division.

Crescenta Valley won its sixth consecutive title with 275.5 points, followed by Southern Section Division II rival Hart, which had 247 and Rio Mesa at 166.

The Falcons picked up 40 points in the 100 butterfly by claiming three of the top four places.

Kenny Carpenter, Crescenta Valley's only senior, cruised to first place in 51.66, 2.93 seconds ahead of teammate William Ban.

"[Carpenter] helps motivate the other guys so the tradition keeps going," said Coach Pete Loporchio of Crescenta Valley. "They feed off each other."

Hart, which defeated Crescenta Valley in a dual meet earlier this month, claimed the most first-place finishes with six, including two high-scoring relays.

But the Indians, swimming without backstroke and 200 medley specialist John Terwilliger, who was on a recruiting trip to UC Davis, couldn't close the gap in the final events.

Still, Crescenta Valley and Hart dominated, combining to win 10 of 11 events.

The most competitive races were the freestyle sprints between senior Anthony Ervin of Hart and sophomore James Jenkins of Crescenta Valley.

Ervin, who won both events, didn't expect the 50 freestyle to be so competitive.

"[Jenkins] was ahead of me, so I had to go faster," Ervin said. "But I took him. I couldn't lose, the guy is my stiffest competition in Division II."

Coach Steve Neale of Hart wasn't surprised by Ervin's late surge.

"Anthony is just a competitor when he gets in the water," Neale said. "He's in there to win. He puts his head down and swims."

Ervin's time of 21.02 in the 50 was 0.39 faster than Jenkins.

Ervin's 45.93 in the 100 set a meet record, eclipsing the mark he set last season by 0.34 seconds.

Ervin, who is headed to California on scholarship, pushed Jenkins to career bests in both events--21.41 in the 50 and 47.74 in the 100.

"He's not beating Anthony, but he's closing the gap," Loporchio said.

Ryan Parmenter of Hart won the 200 freestyle in 1:42.94 and the 200 individual medley in 1:56.23 without really pressing.

"Today was more of a fun kind of thing," Parmenter said.

Ervin and Harvard-bound Parmenter swam legs on two winning relay teams, the 200 medley (1:41.62) and 200 freestyle (1:28.49).

Mike Derse of Valencia won the 100 breaststroke in 1:03.42.

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