YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Valley / Ventura County Sports | HIGH SCHOOL SWIMMING

Prichard Was In Own Little Waterworld


Ian Prichard could turn his head to either side to surface for air in the middle of either of his races at the Southern Section Division I swimming championships and see . . . no one.

Prichard, a Buena High senior, left the competition in his wake last weekend at Belmont Plaza at Long Beach.

Or so it seemed.

"The real race comes from me and my coaches," he said.

Prichard, though, is beginning to outdo even himself.

His victory in the 500-yard freestyle at the Southern Section meet in 4:19.34 broke a 1985 Division I record of 4:19.47 by former Olympian Dan Jorgensen of Mission Viejo.

Prichard also won the 200 freestyle in 1:38.87.

Not bad, considering Prichard suffered from tendinitis in his right shoulder for most of the season.

He was out of the water for nearly two months at the beginning of the year, and didn't return to regular workouts until April.

"It was in February that he was really struggling," said Rob Mirande, Prichard's coach with Buenaventura Swim Club in Ventura.

"We were very concerned for a while, but he was in such great shape otherwise that he didn't really lose that much because of it. And I think it showed."

Prichard, who won Channel League championships in the 500 and 200 three weeks ago, and defended Southern Section titles he won in both events last year, will show his stuff as a member of the U.S. National junior team and possibly the 2000 Olympic team.

He has been selected to an elite team of 18-and-under boys who will compete in Barcelona next month, and has qualified for the 1,500-, 400- and 200-meter races at the Olympic trials in Indianapolis in August.

"Realistically, I don't think I'll make it this year," said Prichard, who will attend Virginia on a swim scholarship.

"I'm thinking more of four years from now. But I want to go just for the experience. And I'm training really hard, just in case."

The work already is paying off, at least in Southern Section championships.


Well, David Johnson called it.

The fifth-year El Camino Real coach, whose boys' team finished second to Venice in the City Section championships for the fourth consecutive time, worried about a lack of depth going into the meet Wednesday.

Sure enough, El Camino Real's seven-member team did all it could but came up short.

"That's how it is every year," Johnson said. "We always get first places, but we don't have all the guys that Venice has, and we don't get the third, fourth and fifth-place finishes that give you points."

The Granada Hills boys were trying to win their first City title to go with the six in a row the school's girlshave won.

The boys wound up third despite a strong performance by sophomore Tyler Clark, who won the 200 individual medley and 500 free titles.

El Camino Real's girls finished second for the third consecutive year and fourth time in five years.

Elizabeth Inai won titles in the 200individual medley and 100 backstroke for the Conquistadores. She also was part of the winning 200 medley relay team and the 400 freestyle relay team that finished second.

Los Angeles Times Articles