The562’s coverage of Long Beach Wilson Athletics is sponsored by Joel Bitonio, Class of 2009.
The Wilson girls’ swim team is eager to unseat Long Beach Poly from atop the Moore League this year, and if Friday’s dual meet between the teams was any indication, the Bruins have a very legitimate shot. The Jackrabbits are the six-time defending league champs, but Wilson was the victor Friday with a 91-79 victory.
Ultimately, the meet Friday won’t decide the title–that will happen April 29 at the Moore League Finals.
“I was really pleased that the girls rose to the occasion,” said Wilson coach Maggie Twinem. “They really came in here with a plan and they followed through. They get to experience this citoroy, and we haven’t won a dual meet with Poly in a long time. They were fighting for it and they finished hard.”
Twinem said she was thrilled her team got to experience its first real Wilson Poly meet since 2019.
“All these girls let out all the emotion of not having this experience the last three years,” said Twinem. “Getting to feel what it’s all about to be on a sports team and just let it all out. That’s why you saw the loudest cheering.”
The Bruins won six of the 11 events, as star swimmer Sammie Hamilton claimed titles in the 200 free, 500 free, and kicked off relay wins in the 200 free relay and 400 free relay. Maya O’Dea was having a busy day, winning the 50 free and 100 free and anchoring both relay wins as well. O’Dea ran off as soon as the race was over to catch a flight to participate in an Olympic Development Program water polo camp.
“Our motto this year is ‘fire in our belly,’” she said. “We came in here to win and we’re super excited that we did--we still have a lot of work to do before league finals. But this is the first part to winning league so it means a lot to us.”
The Jackrabbits won the 200 medley relay to open the day and got wins in the 200 IM and 100 backstroke from sophomore Sofia Brys, as well as event wins from freshman Maya Guevara and Nina Gonzalez.
“We’re going to step up our training and make sure that we’re ready to pick up more points,” said Brys. “We’re all really motivated--this was a close loss so we’re going to try and be ready for finals.”
200 Medley Relay: Poly (Brys, Hong, Puckett, Sumortin), 1:55.66
200 Free: Sammie Hamilton, Wilson, 1:56.39
200 IM: Sofia Brys, Poly, 2:17.15
50 Free: Maya O’Dea, Wilson, 0:25.83
100 Fly: Maya Guevara, Poly, 1:02.86
100 Free: Maya O’Dea, Wilson, 0:55.5
500 Free: Sammie Hamilton, Wilson, 5:11.11
200 Free Relay: Wilson (Hamilton, Grover, K. O’Dea, M. O’Dea), 1:41.53
100 Back: Sofia Brys, Poly, 1:01.24
100 Breast: Nina Gonzalez, Poly, 1:13.47
400 Free Relay: Wilson (Hamilton, Grover, Marr, M. O’Dea), 3:44.66