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Laguna off to strong start

California Interscholastic FederationCancerQuiksilver Incorporated

Laguna Beach athletes fared well in Orange Coast League competition during the past week and two Breakers teams — boys' tennis and boys' volleyball — began CIF Southern Section playoff action on a positive note.

On Wednesday, the boys' tennis team slipped past Schurr of Montebello, 10-8, in a Division 4 first-round match at Laguna. The Breakers' top singles player, Teague Hamilton, swept his matches (6-1, 6-0, 6-0) and No. 2 Morgan Lebby won two of three (4-6, 6-4, 6-3). Austin Loomis and Oliver Nasiell, at No. 1 doubles, won two of three (5-7, 7-6, 6-1), as did the No. 2 team of Matt Meisberger/Jared Boetes (5-7, 7-5, 6-4).

The win advances the Breakers, the No. 2 seed in the division, to a 3 p.m. home match Friday against Mojave River League champion Oak Hills. The Bulldogs eliminated Victor Valley, 15-3, Wednesday.

The winner advances to Tuesday's quarterfinals.

Laguna, which went 8-0 during Orange Coast League play to repeat as league champion, also took top honors in singles play and finished second in doubles at the OCL finals May 3. The singles final pitted Laguna's top two players, Hamilton and Lebby, both juniors, against each other with Hamilton winning the title.

In doubles play, Casey Kimball and Andrew Koumas reached the final and finished runner-up to Costa Mesa's top team of Tam Le and Max Nguyen.

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Boys' Volleyball

In a first-round Division 2 boys' volleyball match Tuesday, host Laguna — the No. 3-seed in the division — swept Malibu, 25-18, 25-15, 25-16. Weston Barnes had 13 kills and six digs, Jack Winn six kills, eight digs and 22 assists, and Grifan Fair 14 assists for the Breakers.

Laguna played a second-round match Thursday against Santiago of Corona (Big VIII champion), but the score wasn't available at press time. The winner advances to Saturday's quarterfinal round. The division semifinals are Tuesday and finals May 19 at Cypress College.

The boys' volleyball program also held its 29th annual alumni match May 4 in a contest that ended in a draw. The alumni starting line-up of Leif Hanson, John Burns, Luke Morris, Lance Stewart, Chris Hoffman and Nick Aronoff took a 25-20 victory from the current Laguna varsity team in the opening set. The varsity team came back to win both the second and third sets (25-11, 29-27), but the alumni team scored a 15-8 win in the final set.

The program paid tribute to former player Mark Wells (Class of 1988), a first-team All-Pacific Coast League performer as a senior who died earlier this week after battling cancer. Stewart, who coached Wells during his prep days, gave a pregame talk that centered on Well's battle with the illness. Quiksilver donated special alumni shirts, which included a patch honoring Wells, for the event.

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Track and Field

Laguna's boys' team won a title and the girls' team was runner-up to Godinez May 3 at the Orange Coast League finals at Laguna's Guyer Field.

Below are the Laguna athletes and teams who won events at league finals:

Boys: 100 Meters (Nathan Lancaster, Soph., 11.66); 200 meters (Nathan Lancaster, 23.58); 400 meters (Tyler Nichols, Sr., 51.70); 110 meter hurdles (Spencer Anderson, Jr., 15.90); 300 meter hurdles (Christian Menes, Sr., 42.07); Long jump (Nicholas Bevilaqua, Sr., 20-feet-11); Triple jump (Nicholas Bevilaqua, 40-10); Discus throw (Ricky Delatorre, Sr., 136-3); 40 x 100 meter relay (Lancaster, Anderson, Nichols, Reece Barton, 45.29).

Girls: 800 meters (Janie Crawford, Fr., 2:25.08); 1,600 meters (Natasha Strickland, Sr., 5:16.48); 3,200 meters (Natasha Strickland, 11:51.25); 4 x 400 meter relay (Crawford, Natalie Kimball, Brielle Budroe, Marina Paul, 4:13.69).

Strickland capped a banner four-year league varsity career at the OCL finals by winning the 1,600 and 3,200 meters. Strickland has won both events at league finals in each of her four years. Earlier this year, the senior posted a 1,600 time of 5 minutes, 2.25 seconds — a school record — at the Orange County Championships. She broke a record that had been held by Cynthia Herriman (5:04).

"Natasha worked extremely hard and she really wanted the record," Laguna Coach Steve Lalim said. "Her hard work and her drive got her there. Weeks leading up to the record, she was running some really good workouts. I knew she was ready, but she just needed the right race with quality competition to break it. Everything fell into place at OC Championships. She ran smart, and she broke the record.

Laguna teams will compete Saturday a the CIF Southern Section Division 4 prelims at Carpinteria High. Field events start at 11 a.m. and running events start at noon.

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Swimming

Laguna continued its domination in the Orange Coast League by winning championships in both the boys' and girls' divisions May 3 at Costa Mesa High.

The Laguna girls won a league championship for the fifth straight years and the boys' team won for the fourth consecutive year.

Several Breakers won multiple events and repeated as individual and team champions,. Below is a listing of Laguna individuals and teams winners at league finals:

Girls: 200 medley relay (Lila Vera, Soph.; Lexi Del Toro, Jr.; Yoshi Andersen, Sr.; Melena Masson, Sr., 1:53.75, new meet record; Laguna also 2011 champion); 200 free (Makenzie Fischer, Fr., 2:02.99); 100 butterfly (Lila Vera, Soph., 57.97, repeat champion); 500 free (Melena Masson, Sr., 5:12.84, repeat champion); 100 backstroke (Lila Vera, Soph., 1:00.33, repeat champion); 400 yard free relay (Fischer, Andersen, Masson, Vera, 3:42.61, new meet record; Laguna also 2011 champion).

Boys: 200 medley relay (Erik Juliusson, Fr.; Caleb Scott, Jr.; Billy Wild, Sr.; Erik Henrikson, Sr., 1:39.71, new meet record; Laguna also 2011 champion); 50 free (Erik Henrikson, Sr., 22.55); 100 butterfly (Billy Wild, Sr., 51.98, new meet record, repeat champion); 500 free (Erik Juliusson, Fr., 4:47.38, new meet record); 200 yard free relay (Cade Baldridge, Fr.,; Tommy Renner, Sr.; Riley Thomas, Jr.; Erik Henrikson, Sr., 1:32.14; Laguna also 2011 champion); 100 backstroke (Erik Juliusson, Fr., 53.81, new meet record); 100 breaststroke (Billy Wild, Sr., 1:03.81, new meet record); 400 yard free relay (Wild, Samer Alkateb, Sr., Thomas, Juliusson, 3:22.28; Laguna also 2011 champion).

The CIF Southern Section prelims and continue Friday and the Division 1 and 2 finals are Saturday at the Riverside Aquatics Complex in Riverside.

michael.sciacca@latimes.com

Twitter: @MikeSciacca

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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