The battle between two of the premier Los Padres League swim teams at the Lompoc Aquatic Center ended up being a split – as the coaches anticipated.
The Nipomo Titan boys team ousted Cabrillo 104-76, while the Cabrillo girls staved off an equally talented Titans team by the score of 98-72 on Thursday.
Titans head coach Cody King said he expected the Conquistadores to come out fast once they touched the pool. So one strategy he implemented was placing some of his swimmers in other events they weren’t accustomed to – which still led to big results.
“Cabrillo had some fast swimmers early in the meet, but it was fun seeing some kids do events that they normally don’t do,” King said after the swim dual. “We saw some of the talents we don’t always see in most meets. It’s always fun with watching them try new events.
“There was enthusiasm and they were surprised by their results. A new event is always a big jump from the last time they did this.”
There were some exhilarating down-to-the-wire finishes in the nearly three-hour long meet at the indoor facility.
One race featured Nipomo's Garrett Sellers pull away from Cabrillo's dominant swimmer Luke Benchek in the 100-yard backstroke.
But then the Conqs’ other distinguished swimmer, Josh Rowe, took part in an intense three-way battle in the 100-yard breaststroke – edging everyone with his time of 1 minute, 07.02 seconds and drawing loud cheers and high fives from his fellow swimmers.
Cabrillo boys head coach Jeff Dacus found himself as one excited spectator of that event.
“That was a great race,” Dacus said. “Neck-and-neck, three guys and it could’ve gone either way. But he pulled through and he out-touched him, it was great.”
Other winners for Nipomo included Asa Marsalek in the 500 freestyle and the NHS relay teams comprising of Marsalek, Aaron Friedrich, Peyton Kiunke and Austin Aquirre. Wyatt Marsalek and Blake Simpson also had winning roles with one of the Titan relay teams (200 free relay).
Caleb Todd once again warmed the hearts of the spectators and both swim teams. The NHS junior got a chance to swim a solo race that drew loud applause that resonated throughout the venue. Todd suffers from achondroplasia dwarfism and hydrocephalus.
On the girls’ side, CHS head coach Scott Alvarez saw a speedy challenge that he expected out of the Titans.
“They have four club swimmers I can’t beat,” Alvarez said smiling. “But we won two events and one relay event. It shows that a team with backup swimmers with a team effort wins so I’m real proud of our team.”
Nicole Zarinan and Kaiya Ogan were among two solo swim winners for Cabrillo. One thing Alvarez admires is that his 17-time LPL champions are getting challenged by their LPL brethren, including Nipomo.
“It’s good. Lompoc has challenged us this year. So did Templeton and Santa Ynez. So this is a very competitive year with everyone on the girls’ side,” Alvarez said. “Nipomo, though, has the top notch kids and everyone else is second nature. I think this year is very competitive for all the girls’ teams.”
And King believes his Titan teams have the ball rolling where it needs to be – as the LPL finals now draw near.
“I think we have the momentum we need heading into the finals. I think they’re pumped from last year with going up and being the second place finisher in CIF. They’re talking about going beyond that,” King said.
Cabrillo seeking new girls water polo leader
Scott Larson has stepped down as the CHS girls water polo head coach, CHS athletic director Dan Troup said during the meet.
Larson had spent two seasons running the show during the winter sports season – guiding CHS to back-to-back playoff appearances.
Troup adds that CHS is still seeking new coaches for varsity girls cross country and varsity girls tennis as well as girls junior varsity head coach. All interested applicants are encouraged to contact Dan Troup at (805) 742-2903 or email@example.com. Previous coaching experience at the high school level is preferred but not required, Troup says.
Cabrillo 14 Morro Bay 4
The Conqs are now 6-7 on the season and aiming to finish the regular season strong after knocking off the Pirates on Thursday – while facing strong winds at MBHS.
Head coach David Riley said two CHS players caught him by surprise with their performances against the Pirates.
“I was really impressed with the improvement Dylan Hogan and Zach Porter have made over the last few weeks,” Riley said. “They went 3-0 (with a forfeit due to an injury to their No. 2) and are playing well. They have turned on a switch lately.”
Riley adds Alex Fernandez and Jacob Maglinte battled abck from early set losses to Morro Bay’s No. 2 unit, while Cedric Kwon and Anton Bohtig swept their sets despite facing the winds.