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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | SPRING SPORTS NOTEBOOK

Siembieda and Kohut Get Carded

May 21, 1999| From Staff Reports

Always check your score card before signing it.

Seniors J.T. Kohut of Westlake High and Jeff Siembieda of Hart learned that lesson the hard way in recent golf tournaments.

The UCLA-bound Kohut shot a 71 in the Southern Section Northern Regional team tournament at River Ridge Golf Club in Oxnard on May 10, but was credited with a 72 after his card added up to that score.

Siembieda shot a 78 in the Northern Regional individual tournament at La Cumbre Country Club in Santa Barbara on Monday, but was disqualified after his score card added up to 77.

The disqualification was particularly costly to Siembieda because a 78 would have made him one of eight players to take part in a sudden-death playoff for the final four qualifying spots in the Southern Section championships at Canyon Country Club in Palm Springs on Thursday.

"I told him that he should have known better than that," Coach Dave Costley of Westlake said of Kohut. "You always check your score card to make sure it adds up."

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Senior Ryan Wyman of Hart was a notable nonqualifier in the Northern Regional individiual tournament on Monday, but he'll play for the individual title in the CIF-Southern California Golf Assn. championships at the SCGA Members' Club in Murrieta on June 8 because Hart qualified for the team competition.

"I'm not sure how motivated he was [at the regional] because of that," Coach Dennis Ford said of the Long Beach State-bound Wyman.

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For Michelle Nielson of Granada Hills High, winning a pair of City Section swimming titles was the cure for whatever was ailing her.

After suffering from fatigue, colds and flu-like symptoms for several months, Nielson showed Wednesday that she is beginning to return to form.

In the City championships at Belmont Plaza in Long Beach, Nielson successfully defended her titles in the 100-yard butterfly and 100 backstroke.

The section record-holder in each event, Nielson clocked 58.98 in the butterfly and 58.72 in the backstroke. Those times were off her best marks of 58.42 and 58.00, respectively, but they were fast enough to lift her spirits.

"For the past eight or nine months, I just never went without being sick for more than a couple of weeks," she said. "Doctors didn't know if it was the flu or mono[nucleosis], or what. But I trained through it all, and just lately, finally, I've been starting to feel better.

"I really wanted to break my records. But I'm happy, especially considering the way I've felt the past few months."

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El Camino Real swimmers jumped in celebration after giving the City championships a jump start with a rousing victory in the first event.

The Conquistadores, runners-up in boys' competition to Venice and to Granada Hills in the girls' meet for the second consecutive season, won the boys' 200 medley relay in 1:43.73, bringing teammates to their feet and drawing an ovation from the crowd.

El Camino Real's Mike Colella clocked a team-leading 23.12 on the freestyle anchor leg to beat Venice's James Torres to the wall. The Conquistadores' relay team also included Brian Brown on the backstroke leg, his younger brother, Brett Brown, on the breaststroke leg, and Mario Marshall on the butterfly leg.

"We love it," Brian Brown said after the race. "You've got four guys all pulling for each other and celebrating."

The victory gave El Camino Real and Brian Brown an emotional boost. He went on to win City titles in the 200 individual medley and the 100 backstroke, setting a section record with a personal-best 53.49 in the backstroke. He broke the previous City record of 53.74 set in 1976.

Brown earned the boys' swimmer of the meet award--given to the individual point leader--for the second consecutive season.

Staff writers John Ortega and Lauren Peterson contributed to this notebook.

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