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High Schools | BOYS' SWIMMER OF THE YEAR

Beal Repeats Strong Effort

June 11, 2004|Lauren Peterson | Times Staff Writer

Patti Beal recalls the days when her asthmatic, pigeon-toed son was growing up -- wearing a back brace to correct scoliosis -- and marvels at where Danny Beal is now.

The Goleta Dos Pueblos senior is headed to Stanford in the fall on a swimming scholarship after he competes in the Olympic trials July 7-14 in Long Beach.

"I'm a little bit surprised," his mother said. "We tried all the grassy sports. Baseball, soccer, we did all that. But they just weren't his gifts."

Patti Beal chuckles at her words. Danny Beal, The Times' two-time boys' swimmer of the year, laughs harder.

"I'm not the most graceful person on land," he said. "They'd always stick me at catcher because I couldn't run. And in soccer they always made me the goalie so I didn't have to run then, either. The running gag on the team is that I'm the most uncoordinated guy on the pool deck."

Put Beal in the water, though, and Olympic hopes float.

He has qualified for the trials in the 200-meter freestyle with a time of 1 minute 51.40 seconds, the 100-meter butterfly (55.30) and the 200-meter butterfly (2:02.20). He must finish among the top two to make the U.S. Olympic team, although he could qualify for relays if he finishes among the top six in the 200 freestyle, considered his best event.

"It's one of those things where I'm just kind of looking forward to seeing what happens," Beal said of the trials. "It's definitely going to be a privilege. The intensity of the training is something that I'm liking more and more. I'm looking forward to the rewards. I'm looking to see how much faster I can be."

He has already proven himself among the fastest high school swimmers in the Southland. Beal won the 200-yard freestyle and the 100-yard butterfly for the second year in a row while leading Dos Pueblos to its first team title at the Southern Section Division I championships last month at Belmont Plaza in Long Beach.

The top qualifier in his individual events, Beal won the 200 free in 1:36.89, a personal-best time by more than three seconds, and won the 100 butterfly in 48.39 seconds. With their victory, the Chargers, fourth-place finishers in the team standings last season, relegated defending champion Mission Viejo to second place.

"This high school season was all I could've asked for," Beal said. "We knew we could definitely run with a school like Mission Viejo."

Dos Pueblos handled everything, winning not only the Division I championship but also the Long Beach Wilson Invitational and the Westlake Village Westlake Relays, in large part because of Beal.

"When he walks on a pool deck, he has this confidence about him that's enough for everybody," Coach Chris Parrish said. "He's probably the most charismatic kid on the team."

Beal, a 6-feet-3 blond, has the look of a winner.

But Santa Barbara Swim Club Coach Ira Klein says the swimmer has only scratched the surface with his successes.

"I don't believe it will be realistic to think he'd make the Olympic team this year," Klein said. "I think his primary goal is to swim well, and if he can make a final, it would be a major step."

Because of the back brace that Beal wore 22 hours a day for 2 1/2 years to correct curvature of the spine, he practiced only one session a day from seventh grade to ninth grade.

"I really believe that in that time frame, his desire to do more really developed," Klein said. "He's working with a lot of natural talent, but he maximizes it."

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(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

THE TIMES' ALL-STAR BOYS' SWIM TEAM

FIRST TEAM

200 Medley Relay Servite

(Adam McCall, Sr.; Adam Hewko, Sr.; Scott Schauer, So.; Brent Hurley, Sr.). Followed up top preliminary time with victory in Division I final.

200 Freestyle Danny Beal, Dos Pueblos Sr.

Swimmer of the year won Division I championship for the second consecutive season.

200 Ind. Medley Peter Baer, Dana Hills Jr.

Won Division I title in 1:51.90 after a runner-up finish last season.

50 Freestyle Tyler Wilson, Sta. Barbara Sr.

Won Division I championship in a school-record time of 20.54 after placing third last season.

1-Meter Diving Dwight Dumais, Buena Jr.

Scored 602 1/4 points to run away with his second Division I championship in three seasons.

100 Butterfly Danny Beal, Dos Pueblos Sr.

Won title for second year in a row, improving on last year's winning time with

a school-record mark of 48.39.

100 Freestyle Tyler Wilson, Sta. Barbara Sr.

Won second consecutive Division I title in the event in 45.18 seconds, a school record.

500 Freestyle Scott Spansail, San Clem. Jr.

Won Division I title in 4:27.68, helping the Tritons to a fifth-place finish.

200 Free Relay Servite

(Brent Hurley, Sr.; Scott Schauer, So.; Adam Hewko, Sr.; Alex Mule, So.) Won Division I championship in 1:25.56.

100 Backstroke Daniel Novak, Foothill Sr.

Foreign-exchange student from Brazil won Division I title in 50.76 seconds.

100 Breaststroke Evan Hsiao, Irvine Sr.

Last year's runner-up won Division I title this time in personal-best 55.98 seconds.

400 Free Relay Dos Pueblos

(Danny Beal, Sr.; Spencer Ramsey, Jr.; Michael Bowen, Sr.; Kevin Kuga, So.) Won Division I title in school-record 3:06.76.

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SECOND TEAM

200 Medley Relay Damien (David Williams, Sr.; Tommy Stoughton, Sr.; Michael Carter, Jr.; Steven Donohoe, Jr.)

200 Freestyle John Foster, Villa Park Sr.

200 Ind. Medley Collin Gladys, Esperanza Fr.

50 Freestyle Matthew Sullivan, Palm Springs Sr.

1-Meter Diving Mike Wong, Cerritos So.

100 Butterfly Daniel Novak, Foothill Sr.

100 Freestyle Adam Rollins, Northwood Sr.

500 Freestyle Nick Divan, Mission Viejo Jr.

200 Free Relay San Pedro (Jeff Hart, Sr.; Ivan Perhat, Sr.; Jeff Martinez, Jr.; Cameron Nelson, Jr.)

100 Backstroke Brandon Pierson, El Toro Jr.

100 Breaststroke John Criste, Saugus Fr.

400 Free Relay Murrieta Valley (Michael Flanagan, Fr.; Justin Koeppen, Jr.; Buddy Olds, Sr.; Sean Boyle, Jr.)

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