Vikings send most swimmers to finals after Foothill League prelims

Swimmers dive off the blocks at the Foothill League Prelims held at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center in Canyon Country. Cory Rubin/ The Signal

Foothill League swim prelims got underway at the Santa Clarita Aquatics Center on Tuesday with all six schools having the same goal in mind.

“Today is to get as many people to come back on Thursday,” said Hart head coach Steve Neale. “If we are ready for it and someone else isn’t ready for it, then they have to watch. We have always swum really focused prelims to get people in there for finals on Thursday.”

Valencia sent a whopping 44 swimmers, Hart was second with 35 and West Ranch a close third with 27 while Canyon sends nine, Saugus eight and Golden Valley rounds out the final four swimmers.

Hart’s Ellie Horst had the top qualifying time in the girls 200-yard freestyle with a time of one minute, 53.80 seconds and while Saugus’ Justin Morsch took the boys top time in 1:42.06.

Valencia sends four girls swimmers to the 200-yard individual medley as Izabella Adame, Julia Unas, Kylie Chua and Angie Wu all finished within the top six.

Ted Hwang and Cade Brower of West Ranch finished first and third in the boys 200-yard individual medley with times of 1:53.72 and 1.55.69.

Golden Valley sends sophomore Kevin Nguyen, who qualified with a time of 29.36 for eighth place.

The Wildcats’ Reagan Nibarger came away with two top times in the girls 50-yard freestyle (23.75) and 100-yard freestyle (51.65).

“I have to work on the last 50,” Nibarger said about the 100-yard freestyle. “Because everyone always dies, so if I could get ahead of that, I’ll be fine.”

Hart’s Dawson Waage had the top qualifying time in the boys 50-yard freestyle (20.84) but took second place in the 100-yard freestyle to Saugus’ Justin Morsch (45.65) by less than a second.

Waage and Morsch both got an automatic CIF-Southern Section time in the 100-yard freestyle.

The Indians girls dominated the 100-yard butterfly as Genesis Lewis, Colette Masino, Hannah Siegel and Taylor Toledo all qualified for finals.

Adame set a new meet record in the race with a time of 54.77.

“I feel really accomplished because I’ve been working so hard to break the record and I heard the Vikings cheering for me so I knew I was going to break it,” Adame said. “I was very excited.”

Canyon’s Kevin Childs finished with the top time in the 100-yard butterfly (49.79) his finished earned him an Auto CIF State.

Saugus’ girls swimmers Viviana Raker, Aubree Stepan and Brookelynn Wesselhoff qualified for the 500-yard freestyle, 100-yard backstroke and 100-yard breaststroke, respectively.

Foothill League finals will be held at the SCAC and begin at 1:30 p.m on Thursday.

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