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CHS swimming faces tough competition in League finals

Under a threatening sky last Thursday hundreds of the best local swimmers gathered for the Palomares League finals at Mount San Antonio College’s Marie T Mills Aquatic Center.

From the start the competition was fierce. The line up included the defending champion Glendora girls team, and a very strong Diamond Bar team as well. However, Claremont brought some very talented swimmers who demonstrated spirit and determination even in races in which other schools fielded a clear favorite.

It did eventually rain, however, the swimmers were unlikely to pay much notice as event organizers kept a steady pace in order to finish the meet in a timely manner. The only break came about halfway through when the meet paused so each school could recognize their graduating seniors.

The Claremont girls 200-yard freestyle relay team bettered their own school record by a little more than an eighth of a second, good enough for a third place finish. The girls swam in the same order as their previous record-breaking effort with junior Katrina Strash leading off followed by freshman Mary Margrave, senior Samantha Duran, and freshman Sophie Jackson.

Ben Eagleton, who was one of the favorites, captured second place in the 50-yard freestyle final heat with Diamond Bar’s William Huang touching the wall a mere half second ahead. Eagleton will likely get a rematch, however, as both boys are juniors and will compete again next year.

Other notable results included Jackson’s third place in both the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard breaststroke. Her twin brother Toby Jackson also took third in the 100-yard butterfly. Duran also took a third place in the 100-yard backstroke.

Strash took fourth in the 50-yard freestyle and fifth in the 100-yard freestyle races.

Many Claremont swimmers posted times that were good enough to advance to the CIF meet.

As coach Courtney Eads noted last week, Eagleton made the consideration cut in the 50-yard freestyle for CIF and his second place performance should bolster a trip to the meet.

The team of Strash, Margrave, Duran and Jackson made the automatic CIF cut in the 200 and 400-yard relay races. Strash also got an automatic berth for the second place, finishing in the 50-yard freestyle during Palomares League prelims.

—Steven Felschundneff

steven@claremont-courier.com