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Spring notes: Santa Margarita swimming coaches receive national award

STAFF WRITER

SWIMMING

Santa Margarita’s Rich and Ron Blanc are still coaching the boys and girls swimming teams at a torrid pace, but they recently earned a lifetime achievement award of sorts.

The brothers received the Outstanding Service Award from the National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association (NISCA). They received the award in Indianapolis in late March.

“There were a few other people that also got the award but most of them had retired,” Ron Blanc said. “We felt like young chickens but it was quite an honor.”

Ron Blanc said he and his brother are the first coaches from California to claim the award since former Mission Viejo coach Mike Pelton in 1996.

The Blancs have guided Santa Margarita’s girls to four CIF-SS championships, including the past three Division 1 crowns. The Eagles’ boys and girls have captured a combined 27 league titles under the Blancs.

The NISCA awards coincided with the NCAA Division 1 men’s swimming and diving championships in Indianapolis. Ron Blanc said it was a thrill to watch former Santa Margarita star Grant Shoults race for Stanford in the 1,650-yard freestyle on the final day of the meet.

“It was one of my bucket list items to go to the NCAA Division 1 championships,” Ron said. “The crowd noise was unbelievable. It was deafening.”

- DAN ALBANO

BOYS VOLLEYBALL
After Saturday’s emotional sweep of rival Newport Harbor, the Corona del Mar boys volleyball team has another big match this week.

The new top-ranked Sea Kings will visit fourth-ranked Beckman in the first of two meetings to determine the Pacific Coast League title.

Last year, the teams met three times, including the SoCal Regional semifinal. CdM won all three matches, losing only one set.

- DAMIAN CALHOUN


BOYS LACROSSE
Just a couple of days after an overtime loss to Foothill, the Santa Margarita boys lacrosse team rebounded with a 12-6 victory over Wheat Ridge of Colorado.

Michael Walsh led the Eagles with four goals. Quentin Buchman had two goals and three assists. Jack Allender and Jack Fisher had two goals apiece.

The Eagles now turn their attention to the opening of Trinity League play this week. They open Tuesday night at Servite (5 p.m.) and also face Mater Dei (Thursday) and JSerra (Saturday).

- DAMIAN CALHOUN

GIRLS LACROSSE
Top-ranked Mater Dei opens the week Tuesday night at 5 p.m. against Foothill.

The Monarchs are averaging 16.8 goals a game. Grace Houser and Lauren Gonzales have scored 43 and 40 goals, respectively.

Foothill also has a game this week against Newport Harbor (Thursday).

- DAMIAN CALHOUN

WRESTLING
Trabuco Hills’ Trent Munoz and Servite’s Marcos Polanco earned all-American honors, wrestling for Team California at the USA Folkstyle Nationals in Iowa.

Munoz wrestled at the Cadet 138 pound division and finished eighth. Polanco wrestled at 126 pounds Cadet and finished second.

- DAMIAN CALHOUN

GOLF
Cameron Xiao
, Kyle Kinnane and Jack Rahon each posted a round in the 70s or better in all three rounds they played at The Golf Club at Terra Lago to help Servite win the team competition at the Champions Invitational on Saturday in Indio for the fifth time.

Kinnane opened with a 5-under-par 67 and added a 74 and 78 to finish with a 219 and tie for sixth in the individual competition. Xiao posted a 73, 77 and 77 during the 54-hole tournament for the Friars while Rahon added a 75, 73 and a 77.

San Clemente’s Alex Pak also fired a 67, his coming in the second round, and carded a 218 to finish fifth among individuals and help the Tritons place fourth in the tournament, which draws teams from California, Arizona, Nevada and Texas.

- DAMIAN DOTTORE


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Baseball:

Corona 0, El Toro 4 - 7th Inns - Completed

Lacrosse:

Santa Margarita 11, St. Margaret's 15 - 00:00 3rd Period - Completed

Baseball:

Fountain Valley 3, Huntington Beach 4 - 7th Inns - Completed

Soccer:

Huntington Beach 1, JSerra 2 - 00:00 2nd Half - Completed

Soccer:

Paramount 5, El Toro 1 - 44:59 2nd Half - Completed

Volleyball:

Canyon 0, El Toro 3 - 3rd Set - Completed

Baseball:

Foothill 8, Capistrano Valley Christian 3 - 7th Inns - Completed

Volleyball:

El Toro 3, Capistrano Valley 1 - 4th Set - Completed

Soccer:

Corona del Mar 0, Godinez 1 - 00:00 1st Half - Completed

Basketball:

Long Beach Poly 36, Troy 21 - 08:00 3rd QT - Completed