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Foothill re-write

Three records fall in Tuesday’s league preliminaries

Posted: May 5, 2009 9:30 p.m.
Updated: May 6, 2009 4:55 a.m.
Hart’s Maggie Hanson, Jordan Danny and Nick Korth each broke league records at the Foothill League preliminary swimming meet held at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center.

“It makes a statement,” said Hart head coach Steve Neale. “I think the Foothill League is going to be known as the fastest league in Southern California.”

This season, the league was elevated to Division I, and will take on state powerhouses from Orange County in the CIF-Southern Section meet.

Hanson is one such athlete that will attempt to shrug off the Division I elites, and she started things off right with her record-breaking win in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1 minute, 54.94 seconds.

The time broke the previous record of 1:55.08 held by Saugus’ Heather Boylan since 1997.

Danny followed up Hanson’s performance in kind with a 2:04.75 in the 200 individual medley, breaking her own record from 2008.

Their wins secured two of Hart’s 24 spots in Thursday’s final meet on the girls side, eight more than its closest competitor — Valencia.

Canyon wound up with 14 spots, West Ranch and Saugus each have four and Golden Valley has two.

Danny went on to post a top qualifying time in the 100 breaststroke, a mere 1.14 off her 2008 record-setting pace.

Canyon’s Kearsten Livingstone was the top qualifier in the 100 butterfly (57.90), Hart’s Nicole Antoniuk took the 500 freestyle (5:11.59), and teammate Chelsea Griffiths won the 100 backstroke (59.37).

Golden Valley’s Michelle Duraj topped the 50 freestyle (24.39) and 100 freestyle (53.80).

On the boys’ side, Korth ended the day with a 57.26 in the 100 breaststroke, breaking Saugus’ John Criste’s record of 57.55 set in 2004.

However, Hart will face steep competition in the final meet, particularly from Valencia, which posted 23 finals qualifiers, to the Indians’ 22.

“We swam the best we’ve ever swam,” said Valencia head coach Mike Bechtoldt.

The Vikings got top qualifying times from Bob Hwang in the 200 IM (1:59.15) and 100 butterfly (51.94) and Bryan Kitchener in the 50 freestyle (22.25).

It looked like Hwang had a chance to break the record of 1:55.29 in the 200 IM, but he got tied up in the lane divider during the backstroke leg of the race.

Canyon’s Keaunui Harris also had a stellar day, qualifying at the top in the 100 freestyle (47.90) and 100 backstroke (54.22).

“What these kids did today was awesome,” said Canyon head coach Steve Himes. “Overall, just a good, good day.”

The Cowboys will have five spots in the finals, while West Ranch will have eight and Saugus six.

Hart’s Konrad Antoniuk was the top qualifier in the 200 freestyle (1:48.30) and 500 freestyle (4:43.89).

“We have such a good front half (of the meet),” Bechtoldt said. “If we have a lead after the 500 (freestyle), we have to win two relays. They aren’t used to being down. This is new territory for Hart.”

According to both Neale and Bechtoldt, whoever comes out with the win on Thursday will be the 2009 Foothill League champion, despite Hart’s dual-meet title.

“It is like the NCAA,” Bechtoldt said. “It doesn’t matter how many wins you have during the regular season, it’s how you do in the finals.”


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