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Davidoff Leads Palisades to Victory

May 29, 2003|Dan Arritt | Times Staff Writer

It was an extraordinary feat, even for the Palisades' girls' swim team. The Dolphins won their third consecutive City Section title Wednesday at USC, but there was another victory many were raving about.

It came in the girls' 100-yard freestyle, where junior Cara Davidoff finished first in 52.31 seconds, fast enough to earn automatic All-American honors in the event.

Palisades Coach Merle Duckett estimated it has been at least seven years since a Palisades swimmer has earned that distinction in any event. He doesn't expect her climb to end there.

"She has a good chance to qualify for the Olympic trials," Duckett said.

Davidoff also won the 50 freestyle in 24.13 and anchored the 200 freestyle relay team to victory in 1:45.29. The Dolphins totaled 277 points, Reseda Cleveland was second with 240 and Woodland Hills El Camino Real was third with 182.

The Dolphins also received key points from seniors Laura Johnson, Shira Frankel and Caitlin Owens. Even with Davidoff returning next season, Duckett admitted it could be difficult extending the team's streak.

"The party is over after this year," said Duckett. "We're losing a lot of dedicated swimmers."

Palisades also won the boys' title for the second consecutive season. The Dolphins scored 253 points to San Pedro's 189 and Cleveland's 138.

Sean McDevitt contributed to the Dolphins' only two victories. He won the 50 freestyle in 22.33 and swam anchor on the winning 200 freestyle relay (1:34.14). McDevitt also finished second to San Pedro's Ivan Perhat in the 100 freestyle, the best race of the day. Palisades scored big points in the 500 freestyle as well, placing three in the top six.

Steven Park of Granada Hills came up short in his bid to break the section records in the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke. He won the individual medley in 1:55.99, just off the year-old record of 1:55.18, and the breaststroke in 59.78, slightly off the 23-year-old mark of 58.22.

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