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SWIMMING

O.C. Swimmers Lead Southwest Championships

March 13, 2001|MELANIE NEFF

Orange County high school swimmers put on some record-breaking performances last weekend at the Southwest Conference Spring Championships at the Belmont Plaza pool in Long Beach.

El Toro's Kaitlin Sandeno, the Olympic bronze medalist in the 800 freestyle, took almost three seconds off her preliminary time in the 200 butterfly and shattered a 20-year-old Southern California Swimming record in the 17-18 age group. She won the race in 1 minute 57.62 seconds, more than two seconds faster than Mayumi Yokayama's record set in 1981.

Sandeno also just missed eclipsing two records set by Janet Evans in 1990. She was 10 seconds off Evans' time in the 1,650 free style, winning in 15:49.27. And in the 400 individual medley she missed the record by less than two seconds. Evans' record is 4:07.59, Sandeno finished in 4:09.54, eight seconds better than her preliminary time. In the 500 freestyle she finished second to Japanese swimmer Sachiko Yamada (4:39.07). Sandeno touched in 4:39.09.

In the 200 backstroke Canyon's Erin Volcan set a new mark in the 17-18 age group, winning in 1:58.72. Her time bested Kyoko Yokuchi's record of 1:59.83 set last season.

Olympic silver medalist Aaron Peirsol of Newport Harbor lowered the 17-18 age-group record in the 100 backstroke, previously held by Philippe Demers, who set it in 1997. Peirsol touched in 48.47, just clipping Demers' time of 49.01.

Peirsol also won the 200 backstroke in 1:46.37, taking more than two seconds off his preliminary time, and he won the 200 butterfly in 1:50.03.

Tustin's Michael Cavic eclipsed his own 15-16 age group record in the 100 butterfly. He finished in 47.10, more than a second faster than his previous record of 48.42.

A team of Irvine Novaquatics lowered the 400 medley relay record in the girls' 15-16 age group with a time of 3:48.89. In fact, Jessica Cruzat (Rosary), Carly Geehr (Newport Harbor), Flora Kong (Irvine) and Courtney Cashion (Irvine) not only took almost three seconds off Buena Ventura swim club's 1995 record (3:51.04), but their time also bested the national record. However, because Kong is not a United States citizen, the time is not eligible for consideration.

HAIR TODAY, GONE TOMORROW

On the USA Swimming website, Peirsol isn't getting a lot of respect, or at least his hair isn't.In a website poll that asks "What would you most like to have?" the Newport Harbor swimmer's hair has received only 5.3% of the 130 votes recorded as of Monday morning.

What did Peirsol's curly locks lose out to? Anthony Ervin's speed leads the way with 26.9%, followed by Misty Hyman's tenacity (15.3%), Gary Hall's charisma (10.7), Dara Torres' looks (10%), Chris Thompson's endurance (8.4%), Jenny Thompson's strength (7.6%), Tom Dolan's multi-stroke abilities (7.6%) and Dr. Ron Karnaugh's intelligence (6.9%).

LOOKING AHEAD

The No. 3 boys' team from Villa Park has a tough week ahead. The Spartans will take on fifth-ranked Santa Margarita at 3 today at Saddleback College and will host seventh-ranked Edison on Thursday.

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

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

SWIMMING TOP 10

Orange County Coaches' Poll

GIRLS

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Pos. School League 1. Irvine Sea View 2. Newport Harbor Sea View 3. San Clemente South Coast 4. Laguna Hills Sea View 5. Santa Margarita Serra 6. Foothill Century 7. Canyon Century 8. Esperanza Sunset 9. El Toro South Coast 10. Capistrano Valley South Coast

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BOYS

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Pos. School League 1. Irvine Sea View 2. Newport Harbor Sea View 3. Villa Park Century 4. Mission Viejo South Coast 5. Santa Margarita Serra 6. Capistrano Valley South Coast 7. Edison Sunset 8. Dana Hills South Coast 9. Fountain Valley Sunset 10. El Toro South Coast

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