The Long Beach Poly girls’ swim team made history on Thursday evening at Cabrillo High, as the Jackrabbits won their fifth consecutive Moore League championship. Prior to the Jackrabbits’ current streak, they’d never won more than two straight league titles. This year’s league finals featured lots of great racing but not much drama in the team standings, with Poly winning eight of the evening’s 11 events and defeating Wilson 580-526 in the team standings.
“It was a long time coming,” said longtime Poly coach Kalani Caldwell. “Last year I think would have been a slam dunk. So this year, it’s sweeter. They worked harder, they pushed through.”
Caldwell said that as things were seeded going into the league prelims, she had Wilson scored to beat Poly by 19 points, a fact she shared with her team.
“They were fired up, they followed it up today with amazing swims,” said Caldwell.
Caldwell also said she couldn’t remember a time that Poly won eight events in one meet.
“Lots of events and then to go 1-2-3 in the 50 freestyle, that’s unheard of because of how strong Wilson always is in the freestyle events,” she said.
The Jackrabbits got big performances from Trinity Salcedo, Michaela Sumortin, Kate Cassiano, Georgia Buffington, and Sofia Brys, all of whom won multiple individual and relay events. Salcedo had the best night of all with two individual wins (100 fly, 200 IM) as well as a leg in the Jackrabbits’ 200 medley relay.
“This was a really, really big day, for all of us on the team,” said Salcedo. “Wow. I don’t even have words to describe how great it feels to be a part of something like this. We’ve been working so hard, and it’s been so hard with the pandemic as well.”
The Wilson Bruin most responsible for disrupting the green and gold string of success was star freshman Sammie Hamilton, who easily won both the 200 and 500 free, and who anchored the Wilson win in the 400 free relay to close the evening.
The Moore League will return to action Friday evening with the boys’ finals slated to start at Cabrillo at 5 p.m.
Moore League 2021 Champions
200 Medley Relay: Poly (Brys, Cassiano, Salcedo, Sumortin) 1:51.62
200 Free: Sammie Hamilton (Wilson) 1:54.58
200 Individual Medley: Trinity Salcedo (Poly) 2:14.41
50 Free: Michaela Sumortin (Poly) 24.79
100 Fly: Trinity Salcedo (Poly) 59.01
100 Free: Georgia Buffington (Poly) 54.26
500 Free: Sammie Hamilton (Wilson) 5:04.32
200 Free Relay: Poly (Buffington, Garcia, Hong, Sumortin) 1:39.68
100 Back: Sofia Brys (Poly) 1:01.15
100 Breaststroke: Kate Cassiano (Poly) 1:09.58
400 Free Relay: Wilson (Grover, O’Dea, Marr, Hamilton) 3:39.39