If the South Coast Relays last weekend are a sign of things to come, just hand the Southern Section trophies to the boys' and girls' swim teams from Irvine.
Each team completed a clean sweep of all 14 events at Saddleback College, and the girls broke three meet records in the process. The squads are both favored to win their respective Division I titles, giving the girls' six in a row and for the boys, back-to-back championships.
In team scoring, the Vaquero boys defeated second-place and fifth-ranked Mission Viejo, 126-58, while the girls topped No. 3 San Clemente, 108-88.
Newport Harbor, the No. 2 team in both boys and girls, didn't compete in the meet, but the Sailors' girls' coach, Ken LaMont, said he wasn't surprised by the Vaqueros' dominance.
"They are exactly where I expected them to be--way ahead of everyone," LaMont said. "When I talk to my team this year, I tell them our goal is to finish in the top two in league and CIF."
What may be bad news for Newport Harbor's Carly Geehr is good news for the Foothill Swim Games.
The prestigious county meet ran into a scheduling snafu this season. Its March 29-31 event run conflicts with the U.S. Spring Nationals, which are March 27-April 1 and figure to draw many of the county's better swimmers to Austin, Tex.
However, Geehr, a junior, who has struggled with injuries and illness the past two seasons, has decided to stay home and compete in the Foothill games.
Geehr, who swims for the Irvine Novaquatics, recovered from a torn rotator cuff last season to earn Times' all-county first-team honors in the 400-freestyle relay and was a second-team selection in the 200 and 500 freestyle. Now, with a possible relapse of mononucleosis that she suffered as a freshman, her club coach, Dave Salo, has asked Geehr to take a break. Salo said after Geehr returned from meets in China and Australia during the fall, she showed signs of a relapse.
"I've asked her to back off a little," Salo said. "I want her to hold back on national meets and just concentrate on high school and training. We just don't want her to overdo it."
Several top-10 teams will meet this week: The fifth-ranked girls from Santa Margarita will swim at No. 4 Laguna Hills at 3 today. And Capistrano Valley will have at Corona del Mar at 3 p.m. Wednesday. The Cougars girls are ninth in the preseason rankings and the boys' are seventh.
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