Los Angeles Preps: Irvine

Four swimmers within 50 freestyle record

May, 10, 2012

Three swimmers are within a second of the CIF Southern Section Division I meet record in the girls 50-yard freestyle.

The leader of the trio is a freshman at Saugus High School, a relative newcomer to swimming who is headed to the U.S. Olympic Trials in June to compete in two events.

Abbey Weitzeil is the top seed in the 50 freestyle for the Southern Section Division I meet at Riverside City College. Her top time is 23.38 seconds.

The record is 22.75 seconds set by Courtney Cashion of Irvine High in 2004. Lynrea Baudino from Los Alamitos and Kaitlyn Albertoli from JSerra are within a second of Cashion’s record. La Canada’s Sarah Olson is the fourth seed in the 50 freestyle at 23.80 seconds.

Weitzeil, who is also qualified in the 100 freestyle for the Division I championships, is making quite a splash in the high school swim scene. She didn’t start swimming at the club level until she was in the seventh grade. She has competed at the national level for less than a year.

Her coach said Weitzeil is far from flawless in the 50 freestyle. But she is extremely talented and that helps her overcome a lot of mistakes.

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LA South and Orange County: Bishop Amat 40, Irvine 38

February, 19, 2011
IRVINE -- There are some divisions in the Southern Section girls' basketball playoffs that ought to be sure things. Brea vs. Long Beach Poly or Mater Dei in Division 1AA, Edison vs. Troy in 1A.

But swing down to Division 3A and it's as wide open as a Montana highway. That was clear Saturday, when third-seeded Bishop Amat scraped out a 40-38 victory over 14th-seeded Irvine.

The Lancers (23-6) are a stalwart of the section playoffs since 1999. But Irvine (15-13) very nearly won its biggest game in a decade. When the final two minutes decided the outcome, Irvine had three players foul out and another leave because of an ankle injury.

Fortunate? Yeah, Bishop Amat was fortunate.

"Somebody said there's no such thing as an ugly playoff win," Bishop Amat coach Richard Wiard said. "They lied. Survive and advance. Survive and advance."

It was an ugly game of survival, all right. Bishop Amat could have dominated, Irvine could have won easily. It could have been anyone's game in a division in which top-seeded Orange Lutheran has lost to second-seeded Bonita which has lost to third-seeded Bishop Amat.

In the end, Irvine's inability to convert its free throws may have been the decisive component. The Vaqueros had only five attempts through the first three quarters, but 10 in the fourth and made only four. They finished six of 15.

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Orange County: Five things from the weekend

October, 11, 2010
1. Maybe it takes a little investigation to find the real meat and potatoes, but JSerra's uber-convincing victory over Damien definitely makes one take pause. The reason? The 42-7 victory by JSerra is the exact same score that Damien had when it lost its other game this season – to highly touted Bishop Amat. If JSerra QB Jake Hall, RB Joey Kimpler and the rest of the offense – not to mention the defense – are posting Amat-type performances, then JSerra has transcended into the category of formidable. Bishop Amat led Damien at halftime, 35-0; JSerra led at halftime, 28-0, and also held a 35-0 lead. It provides added interest to the Lions' Trinity League opener against Servite, which figures to be far more revealing than beating another team by a comparable score.

2. Mission Viejo looked very good against Redlands East Valley. They have a lot of offensive weapons – Alex Bridgford, Dallas Kessman, Jahleel Pinner, Bryan Keller, Austin Reuland – and they are a load for any team facing its defense as well. But fair warning: Servite, even though it has been far more modest this season in its scoring, will get plenty of ideas from watching that game film against REV. And don't forget – Mission had more talent than the Friars last season, too, before losing that epic Pac-5 semifinal, 19-18. Mission might be the best team around, but as good as it looked, someone out there will test the Diablos before it's over.

3. Can you believe what's happened to Newport Harbor? Losing a running back to injury is part of football. Injuries happen. You hate to see it, but it's a fact of life. Buzzy Yokoyama, who now may be lost for the season, was a converted wide receiver who made the switch because Cedric Whitaker didn't return to the team for his senior season. Yokoyama was the county's second leading rusher. Now, gone. He has had to be replaced by Drew Diller. But then on Friday in a loss to Mira Costa, quarterback Austin Rios went down with a concussion. He may or may not be back next week (I'd bank on not). Tough as it is, a team can deal with an injury to a running back. But an injury to a running back and a quarterback? That's a disaster.

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