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Prep swimming: Bragging rights taken

Hart displays dominance in SCV Invitational

Posted: April 1, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: April 1, 2012 1:55 a.m.

At the inaugural Santa Clarita Valley Invitational, the Hart High swim team continued to bolster its status as the valley’s top program, as it took first place in the team standings in both boys and girls competition.

The event, held at the Santa Clarita Aquatics Center, featured swimmers from 13 schools in the girls category and 11 schools in boys.

In addition to the six Foothill League schools, Littlerock, Lancaster, Vasquez, Trinity Classical Academy, Desert Christian and Paraclete highs were represented.

The Hart girls posted a score of 470, besting second place Saugus’ 355.

Hart’s boys team won with a 549, with Valencia coming in second at 372.

“It’s always utmost to win local bragging rights,” said Hart head coach Steve Neale. “That’s a goal, and it’s a successful meet. There was so much organizational things going on, and our parents and boosters from every single school did a superb job.”

In the pool, though, the highlight came not from a Hart swimmer, but from Saugus freshman Abbey Weitzeil, who’s 100-yard freestyle time of 50.91 seconds just missed the All District record time of 50.69 set by Hart’s Lindsay Gassner in 1993.

Last week, Weitzeil set the Foothill League record in the event at a dual meet with Canyon, finishing in 51.02.

Weitzeil was also a force in the 400-free relay, in which she was able to pull ahead of Hart from her anchor position to secure victory in 3 minutes, 37.48 seconds to beat 3:37.83.

“Seeing (Weitzel) was like a freight train on the relays,” Neale said. “That was special.”

“That was our goal (to open up an lead early), we didn’t have enough real estate,” he said. “She is an incredible swimmer, and it’s an awesome thing to watch.”

But the day belonged to the Indians, who once again showed off their superior depth.

In one of the most exciting races of the day, Hart’s Nicole Antoniuk and Emma Osowski took first and third, respectively, in the 500 freestyle.

Antoniuk’s 5:04.54 just edged Saugus’ Katy Sonksen (5:05.54) and Osowski (5:05.88), as all three finished with CIF-Southern Section Division I consideration times.

In boys swimming, the event ended on an interesting note, with the Indians pairing brothers senior Chris Cogswell and freshman Cole Cogswell, and brothers senior Mitch Johnson and sophomore Matt Johnson on the A relay team in the 400-free relay.

The brother act won the event with a time of 3:17.41, defeating Valencia’s Jessie Kim, Nelson Guzman, Tyler Tran and Matthew Stulp (3:24.85).

But for all its individual highlights, the event further showed the Indians are the team to beat in the Foothill League.

“(Saugus) will push us, that’s for sure,” Neale said. “Valencia’s really good also, and what it does, actually it kind of makes stars out of our depth chart. The Nos. 3 or 4 (swimmers) really become the heros. We know our ones and twos and their ones and twos will push each other, and so the real heros will be the ones further down on the depth chart. The ones that will make finals that we don’t know about. Those will be huge points.”

And so far, depth looks to be in Hart’s favor.



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