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High Schools | BOYS' SWIMMER OF THE YEAR

Happy but Not Satisfied Cavic

Despite setting one national and three division records, the Tustin senior bemoans a near miss

June 18, 2002|DAN ARRITT | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Long after the final spectator had left the Southern Section Division III swimming finals last month, Michael Cavic was still doing laps in the Olympic-sized pool at Belmont Plaza in Long Beach.

Cavic, a senior at Tustin High, had just completed his high school career with an astonishing series of performances, but the celebration had to wait until his post-race warm-down routine was over.

"One of the biggest differences this year was I managed myself better at the [section finals]," Cavic said. "I took the time to get in a proper warm down after each race."

The result was a memorable performance that saw Cavic lower his one-day-old national high school record in the 50-yard freestyle (19.69) and set three more division records.

Cavic, The Times' boys' swimmer of the year, owns six division records, twice as many as the second most-decorated swimmer.

"I couldn't be happier with how it all finished," Cavic said.

He also set divisional records in the section finals in the 100 butterfly (47.13), the 100 backstroke (47.55) and the 100 freestyle (44.11), which he accomplished on the leadoff leg of the 400 freestyle relay.

Cavic still owns Division II records he set as a sophomore in the 100 butterfly (48.42) and 100 backstroke (49.40).

For all his success in the division finals, Cavic was disappointed about finishing .13 of a second short of becoming the first swimmer to break 47 seconds in the 100 butterfly in a high school meet. He just missed the national high school record by .03 seconds, which he attributed to taking an extra breath coming off the wall on his final turn.

Cavic shook off his disappointment by setting his national record in the 200 freestyle relay, then surpassed all expectations by winning the 100 backstroke in a time that was only .05 seconds off the eight-year-old national high school record.

Cavic was equally thrilled that he swam the event faster than Aaron Peirsol of Newport Harbor did the night before. Peirsol is the long- and short-course world-record holder in the 200-meter backstroke.

"I would have given up that race to have the 100 fly record, though," said Cavic, who will swim for California next year.

But Cavic wasn't finished.

He broke his fourth division record of the day on the opening leg of the 400 freestyle relay, the meet's final event.

Then he swam some more, before the celebration began.

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(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

THE TIMES' RANKINGS

A final look at the top 10 boys' swimming teams in the Southland:

BOYS

1. Newport Harbor - (SS-Div. I) Won its first Division I title behind Aaron Peirsol, Andrew Cole and Ryan Lean, who each won individual events and swam on two winning relay teams. (Previous ranking: No. 5)

2. Mission Viejo - (SS-Div. I) A disqualification in the 200 freestyle relay kept the Diablos from winning the Division I title for the 22nd time. (2)

3. Capistrano Valley - (SS-Div. I) Cougars finished third in Division I finals, taking second in both freestyle relays. (7)

4. San Clemente - (SS-Div. I) Tritons were the top dual-meet team this season, going undefeated in the South Coast League and placing fourth in Division I finals. (1)

5. Edison - (SS-Div. I) Another team that benefited from its depth during the regular season and had enough left over to finish fifth in Division I finals. (3)

6. Irvine - (SS-Div. I) The defending Division I champions finished sixth at the finals, placing three swimmers among the top six in the 100 breaststroke. (4)

7. Hart - (SS-Div. II) Mike Linn won the 50 and 100 freestyles and anchored the winning 200 freestyle relay to lead Indians to the Division II title. (NR)

8. Servite - (SS-Div. I) Adam Hewko single-handedly helped Friars finish seventh in Division I finals, winning 200 individual medley and 500 freestyle. (NR)

9. Santa Margarita - (SS-Div. I) Eagles placed eighth in Division I, led by Doug Ciolli's top-five finishes in the 50 and 100 freestyles. (6)

10. Dos Pueblos - (SS-Div. I) Sophomores Michael Bowen and Daniel Beal scored major points at Division I finals, helping Dos Pueblos finish ninth. (NR)

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