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SWIMMING / CHRIS FOSTER

El Toro's Sandeno Takes the Cautious Approach

March 28, 2000|CHRIS FOSTER

Kaitlin Sandeno, a junior at El Toro High, approaches a summer in which there is much to be gained.

A spot on the U.S. Olympic swim team. A chance to go to Australia. Fulfillment of her seemingly boundless potential.

Stuff not to trifle with.

So she heads into this week's U.S. Swim Spring Senior Nationals a little cautious. She has already focused her preparation. She has not competed for the El Toro swim team, part of an agreement between her high school coach and her club coach. She always is wary of the nationals, which begin today and run through Saturday in Seattle.

A tender left shoulder may limit her events. She has qualified in nine events and hopes to swim in the 800-yard freestyle, 200 butterfly, 400 individual medley and either the 400 or 200 freestyle.

However, she may forgo the 800 freestyle and 200 butterfly because of her shoulder.

"Right now it's just a little tender," Sandeno said. "We just want to be on the safe side."

There is a lot to protect.

Sandeno is ranked sixth in the world in the 800 freestyle and seventh in the 400 IM. She is ranked third in the United States in both events.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday March 30, 2000 Orange County Edition Sports Part D Page 13 Sports Desk 2 inches; 42 words Type of Material: Correction
Swimming--The winning time by Irvine's Jeff Natalizio in the 100 backstroke at the junior nationals was incorrectly reported in Tuesday's Prep Extra. His time was 49.53 seconds, which was an Olympic trials qualifying time and the fastest time posted at all three junior national meets last weekend.

The senior nationals are a stepping stone toward the Olympic trials, which will be held in August.

"It's a good chance to see how you're doing and how the other swimmers are doing so far," Sandeno said.

Then it's back to high school swimming.

"I did the same thing last year, just focused on my club swimming until after seniors," Sandeno said. "It's the deal my club and high school coach have. Of course, now the seniors are here and my high school is saying, 'The Foothill Swim Games are coming,' and I go, 'OK.' "

Among the other Orange County high school swimmers competing in the senior nationals are Newport Harbor's Aaron Peirsol, Laguna Hills' Lindsey Buck, University's Jessica Hayes, Irvine's Gonney Shimura, Tustin's Michael Cavic and Mission Viejo's Oat Sethsotohorn, Juan Veloz and Scott Davison.

BAD START, FAST FINISH

Newport Harbor's Nicole Mackey got off on the wrong foot at the junior nationals in Anchorage last week. She was disqualified in the 200 butterfly final--her first race--Wednesday. She more than made up for it.

Mackey won the 100 backstroke and 500 freestyle on Friday. Her time of 55.72 in the backstroke qualified her for the Olympic trials.

She also finished second in the 200 freestyle Thursday with a time of 1:49.56, which qualified her for the senior nationals.

It was a week dominated by county swimmers.

Irvine's Jeff Natalizio won the 100 backstroke, qualifying for the Olympic trials with a time of 55.72. He was second in the 200 IM.

Mission Viejo's Davison won the 1,000 freestyle with a time of 9:46, which qualified him for the summer senior nationals.

Sethsotohorn won the 200 butterfly with a time of 1:49.35, which qualified him for the summer senior nationals. He was second in the 100 backstroke.

LOOKING AHEAD

Mission Viejo has a difficult week in boys' swimming. The Diablos, who have fallen out of the county coaches' poll, are at No. 6 Capistrano Valley on Tuesday and then compete in a tri-meet with Marina and No. 1 Irvine at Irvine on Friday.

In girls' competition on Wednesday, No. 3 Newport Harbor is at No. 2 Laguna Hills and No. 8 Foothill is at No. 10 Canyon.

*

If you have an item or idea for the prep swimming report, you can fax us at (714) 966-5663 or e-mail us at chris.foster@latimes.com

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