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Valencia High senior Nikol Popov said Thursday at the AT&T Winter Nationals in Atlanta that she was glad to be through the long-course swimming season and into short-course competition.

“It’s good to get some good swims in and kind of just be relaxed. It’s my senior year — so just have fun,” Popov, who recently signed with the University of Tennessee, told Swimming World Magazine.

The mindset worked in Thursday morning’s prelims where Popov swam a personal-best time of 1 minute, 58.30 seconds in the 200-yard individual medley to earn the No. 3 seed in the night’s final.

She finished eighth in the “A” final with a 1:59.21.

Popov, who didn’t swim for Valencia last season as she prepared for the Olympic trials, said earlier this year she plans to swim for Valencia as a senior.

She’ll be joined by fellow Viking standouts Julia Wolf and University of Alabama-bound Kaila Wong, both of whom swam in Atlanta on Thursday.

All three Vikings were part of Canyons Aquatic Club’s women’s 400 medley relay, which took fifth in the event’s final.

Canyons’ swimmer Isabella Arcila was part of the relay, too.

Individually, she took third in the “A” final of the women’s 50 freestyle (22.40).

Wolf took fifth in the “C” final of the 50 free (23.18).

Saugus High’s Tanner Olson took fourth in the “B” final of the men’s 200 IM (1:48.34). Fellow Centurion Zander Minano took third in the “B” final of the men’s 50 freestyle.

He and Olson were also part of Canyons’ 400 medley relay, which took ninth.

Canyons swimmer Nate Biondi and Hart High’s Adam Osowski were also on the relay.

 

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Mason Nesbitt
Mason Nesbitt is The Santa Clarita Valley Signal's Sports Editor.
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