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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | HIGH SCHOOL SWIMMING

Alemany's Farrell Is Showing She Belongs in Elite Company

April 07, 2001|LAUREN PETERSON

Maureen Farrell already was among the top girls' swimmers in the region entering this season.

Last week, she proved she ranks among the best in the nation.

Farrell, a 17-year-old senior at Alemany High who won Southern Section Division II titles in the 100-yard backstroke and 50-yard freestyle last season, raced to fourth place in the 200-meter backstroke and fifth in the 100-meter backstroke at the Phillips 66 Spring U.S. National Championships in Austin, Texas.

Swimming for Valencia-based Canyons Aquatics, Farrell clocked 2:15.50 in the 200 on Sunday after posting a 100 time of 1:02.77 three days earlier. Both times are career bests.

Farrell qualified in both events for the U.S. team that will compete in the World University Games from Aug. 22-Sept. 1 in Beijing.

Farrell qualified in the 100 because freshman Diana MacManus of Irvine, fourth-place finisher at nationals, is too young to compete in the World University Games.

"It's like a whole new level of competition," Farrell said. "There were some fast, fast people at this meet. This is beyond what I thought I could ever do."

In two weeks, Farrell will begin training at the U.S. Olympic Development Center in Colorado with the rest of the World University Games team.

"I think I'm ready for a change," she said. "I'm ready to step up to the next level."

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Many of the region's best swimmers will converge at Rancho Simi Community Park in Simi Valley today for the Royal Invitational, annually the biggest regular-season meet in the area.

The meet features 957 competitors from 36 schools in Ventura County and the San Fernando, Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys.

Among the favorites in boys' and girls' team competitions, as usual, is Crescenta Valley.

The Falcon boys have won seven consecutive team titles. The Crescenta Valley girls won last year and in 1998, and finished third in 1999.

The girls' team was originally scheduled to compete in the CIF Relays today at Belmont Plaza in Long Beach but pulled out to defend its Royal Invitational title.

The boys' sprints will feature James Jenkins of Crescenta Valley, defending Division II champion in the 50- and 100-yard freestyles, and Mike Linn of Hart and Danny Behrens of Crespi.

A strong 200 individual medley field includes top-seeded Peter McVey of Quartz Hill, who has a regional season-best time of 1:58.41; David Deloria of Hart, Brett Brown of El Camino Real and Tyler Clark of Granada Hills.

Sophomore Matthew Jensen of Chaminade is top-seeded in the 100 butterfly at 52.0 and 500 freestyle at 4:41.0. The 500 also features Daniel Parlato of Crespi, William Ban of Crescenta Valley and Kent Klawer of Hart.

Justin McClure of Royal is top-seeded in the 200 freestyle at 1:43.70 and 100 backstroke at 53.60, and will swim the opening (backstroke) leg for the 200 medley relay team and anchor the 400 freestyle relay.

The 200 freestyle will be among the best girls' races, featuring freshman Brett Shiflett of Oaks Christian, defending champion Alexis Sheridan of Crescenta Valley, Erin Craft of Oxnard, Jessica Ban of Crescenta Valley and Sarah Bultema of Westlake.

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Several schools enter the Royal Invitational with points earned in last weekend's Royal Diving Invitational.

Jarad Adkins of Rio Mesa won the boys' competition with 461.30 points, giving the Spartans 40 points.

Joe Jamison of Royal placed second with 422.30 points for 17 team points, and Nathan Burdine of Camarillo was third at 367.4 for 16 points.

Steve Grivno of Crescenta Valley finished in fourth place, with Daniel Fekete sixth and Mike Hoy eighth to give the Falcons 34 points.

Tiffany Linder of Viewpoint won the girls' competition.

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