SCV takes home 4 CIF swim titles

Saugus High's Tanner Olson won the 100-yard breaststroke at CIF-Southern Section Division 1 finals on Saturday in Riverside. Photo courtesy of Sabrina Michael

RIVERSIDE —There’s a phrase that Saugus High swim coach Jim Klipfel is particular to, and he employed it again Saturday night in Riverside: There’s no defense in swimming.

The expression played out during the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 swim finals at Riverside Aquatics Complex, where scorching fast swims by Foothill Leaguers didn’t always lead to CIF titles.

The Centurion boys broke the Division 1 meet record in the 400-yard freestyle relay. But Loyola broke it too, and in a slightly faster time.

The Valencia girls broke two all-time Foothill League relay records and took home three individual titles, but Santa Margarita scored 461 points to run away with the team crown.

The Vikings finished third with 206 points, buoyed by Nikol Popov’s titles in the 200 individual medley and the 100 breaststroke and Julia Wolf’s crown in the 50 free.

The Saugus boys finished fourth as a team, highlighted by Tanner Olson’s CIF title in the 100 breaststroke, where he lowered the D1 meet record he set Thursday during prelims to 53.18 seconds.

“What else can you ask when people bring all their talents and no one, including yourself, has a right to ask more,” Klipfel said. “That’s where it’s at.”

Valencia’s Nikol Popov took first place in the 200-yard individual medley and 100 breaststroke at the CIF-SS Division 1 finals in Riverside. Photo courtesy of Sabrina Michael.

Olson, Tim Lim, Zander Minano and Justin Morsch nearly completed a comeback in the 400 free relay as Minano pulled the Cents even in the third leg and Olson anchored.

Loyola won by .12.

The same four Centurions swam a 1:22.72 in the 200 free relay to break the all-time Foothill record and finish second behind Loyola, which set a new D1 record (1:22.13).

The Valencia girls 200 free relay — Popov, Wolf, Sonaly Wintermute and Kaila Wong — broke the all-time Foothill record by swimming a 1:34.07. Still, Santa Margarita won by nearly two seconds.

“Santa Margarita just has an incredible team,” Wolf said. “But all our girls tried their best. I’m so proud of all of them. I’m so proud of what we did as a team, and third in CIF is definitely not something to be disappointed about.”

Wolf won the 50 free in 22.97. Popov won the 200 IM in 1:59.52 and the 100 breast in 1:00.58.

They were the fourth and fifth individual CIF titles of her career.

“It was so much fun,” Popov said of returning to CIF after skipping last season to train for U.S. Olympic trials. “I love this meet. It’s always a great energy on the pool deck. … It was good to win some events for Valencia. It’s kind of sad because it’s senior year and my last one, but it’s good.”

Wolf, Popov, Wintermute and Wong took fourth in the 200 medley relay with a 1:44.10, good for a new all-time Foothill record.

Hart’s Adam Osowski finished third in the 200 free and fifth in the 500 free.

For the second straight year, Minano finished second in the 50 free.

Olson finished third in the 200 IM before repeating in the 100 breaststroke.

West Ranch freshman Reagan Nibarger took eighth in the girls 50 free and ninth in the 100 free. Canyon’s Alexa Skorus Neely was fifth in the 200 IM.

For full results, click here.

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