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Just Like a Broken Record, Granada Hills Wins Again

Swimming: Breaking three relay marks, Highlanders claim fifth consecutive girls' title.

May 20, 1999|LAUREN PETERSON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

LONG BEACH — Granada Hills High began and ended the City Section girls' swimming championships with record-breaking relay races Wednesday at Belmont Plaza.

That helped the Highlanders win their fifth consecutive City title.

The Highlanders scored 320 points, 128 more than second-place El Camino Real with 192. Palisades finished third with 156 points.

The Highlanders dominated the meet from start to finish.

Nicolette Viray, Michelle Nielson, Sarah Clark and Jennifer Parmenter opened with a City-record time of 1:52.11 in the 200-yard medley relay, the first event. They broke their mark of 1:53.30, set in preliminaries last week.

"Our team's so talented," Nielson said. "I love being part of this team. We all push each other, we expect a lot from each other, and make each other want to swim.

"Everyone's worked together and kind of came into their own together."

The record-breaking time in the medley relay was followed by another in the 200 freestyle relay, where Amanda Kim, Nicole Shiflett, Claudette Viray and Nicolette Viray timed 1:42.01. That broke the Highlanders' mark of 1:43.47 set last year.

Kim, Nielson, Shiflett and Parmenter shattered another City record in the 400 freestyle relay in the last event of the day. They won in 3:35.98, 17.61 seconds faster than second-place finisher Palisades in 3:53.59.

The Highlanders set the previous record of 3:30.60 last week.

"We smashed it," said Parmenter, who swam the anchor leg. "I told the other girls that we wanted to smash that record so nobody could ever beat it, and we did it. I swam my heart out."

Parmenter, a USC-bound senior who missed making the 1996 U.S. Olympic team by one second in the 400-meter individual medley, repeated as the 500 freestyle champion in 5:06.60, more than 18 seconds faster than second-place Carolina Campos of Palisades. She won the 200 individual medley in 2:06.69.

She and Nielson, who is headed to Princeton next year, tied for second behind girls' swimmer of the meet Amy Jones of Cleveland.

Jones won the 50 freestyle in 24.05 and the 100 freestyle in a City-record 50.79. She helped the Cavaliers finish second in the 200 freestyle relay and fourth in the 400 freestyle relay.

Nielson defended her City titles in the 100 butterfly in 58.98 and the 100 backstroke in 58.72.

Junior Brian Brown of El Camino Real won City titles for the second year in a row in the 200 individual medley in 1:56.71 and the 100 backstroke in a City record 53.49.

"I had a lot of energy," Brown said after helping El Camino Real win the 200 medley relay and finish second in the 400 freestyle relay. "I was going as fast as I could the whole way."

Brown was selected boys' swimmer of the meet.

Taft's Dmitry Uchitel, defending City champion in the 50 freestyle, repeated in 22.10 seconds. He added the 100 freestyle title in 49.73.

"That was a surprise, a major surprise," Uchitel said of his victory in the 100.

"I was losing it on the [second-to-last] lap," he said. "But I saved a little bit, and gave it all. I'm really happy right now."

So was Venice, which won its fourth consecutive boys' title with 272 points.

Brown helped El Camino Real finish second with 147 points. Eagle Rock was third with 139.

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