File photo for illustration
Written by Leisha Clendenen
For the third time this season in dual meets, the King boys swim team’s final score came down to the final event of the meet.
With Corona Centennial’s deck full of screaming fans, the boy’s team of Blake Dennis, Zac Thelwell, Samuel Xu and Ben Wolf missed out on the victory against Centennial’s 2017 state finalist relay by a mere .17 of a second, swimming in to a CIF automatic berth 3:13.84. The day’s events did not end there, as the team of Jaden Karger, Juan Ladinez, Raphael Madarang, and Ben Garcia swam to the third place spot, giving the Wolves the two points needed to tie the defending Big VIII League Champions.
Sharing in the excitement for the day, “It took me an hour to calm down after that last relay,” Dennis said. “I can’t believe it came down to the last relay again.”
The meet stayed close throughout the day, with King taking a four point advantage after a win in the 200 free relay. Both teams split the 100 backstroke with King taking the second, third and fifth places. In the last individual event of the day, Centennial narrowed its four point deficit to just two points with a first, fourth, and fifth place finish in the 100 breaststroke.
King was able to secure a tie with its second and third place finish in the last relay of the day.
But several scenarios could leave King holding the crown when it’s all over next week. If the boys are able to win the League Championships next Tuesday and Thursday and Centennial finishes second, the teams will share a League title. If Santiago can defeat Centennial and the Wolves still take first, King can earn the title outright. The last scenario of Santiago winning, King second and Centennial third would have all three teams sharing in League title honors.
The varsity girls defeated the Huskies 113-56, taking them into League finals next week undefeated, but with a tie against defending League Champions, Santiago.
Both the girls and boys JV squads earned victories, scoring 120-42 and 113-56, respectively.