STORY BY JULIAN LOPEZ
Wilson head coach Eric Berg was doing laps in the pool while his team was celebrating. It was yet another Moore League boys swim championship for the Bruins as they finished atop the standings with 478 points and were followed by Poly with 386 at Cabrillo High School on Friday.
The Bruins have now won 46 straight league championships, the longest record in state history.
“It was just such a team effort,” Berg said. “The whole objective is to obviously as a team win a championship and we always preach what each little component means.”
Junior Max Berg won the 100 and 200 freestyle races, sophomore Bran Samaniego won the 200 IM, sophomore Mazen Abouelela won the 500 free, and senior Garrett Harryman won the 100 breaststroke for the Bruins. The only negative on the day for the Bruins was in the 400 freestyle relay, the final event of the night, where they set a new meet record only to be DQ’d a couple minutes later after referees found that a swimmer had left his block early.
“The big dogs are always going to do what the big dogs do but its the all those key role players that fill in that nurture the idea that these championships don’t just happen with a couple of guys,” Berg said.
Despite finishing second to their rivals, the Jackrabbits had a really good meet as well as they won five races. Sophomore Casey Lait won the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke and the Jackrabbits won the 200 medley and 200 free relays.
The most remarkable race was the 50 freestyle. Not only did the Jackrabbit duo of sophomore Chris Correa and senior Sam Leonard tie for the win with a time of 21.98, but Leonard was only swimming at 75-80 percent after recovering from a broken leg and broken ankle.
The senior just got his cast removed three weeks ago and his first race back were the prelims on Wednesday before Friday’s final.
“I told him that I wouldn’t have done have the things that he just did in the last 72 hours,” Poly coach Eddie Kim said. “That kind of performance deserves a D1 scholarship from someone.”
Leonard has only been able to swim an hour per day according to Kim and endurance wise, “he isn’t where he used to be before the injury” Kim said. He also finished second in the 100 freestyle with a time of 47.92.
CIF prelims and finals are next Friday and Saturday at Riverside Aquatics Complex.