Mira Costa’s Alexandra Crisera concluded her decorated swim career with two more gold medals at the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 finals held at the Riverside Aquatic Complex in Riverside last Saturday. She won a total of three medals.

"CIF championships is always one of my favorite meets,” Crisera said. “The energy on the deck and in the pool is amazing and it is so fun to compete for my school.  Although I did not swim quite as fast as I would have liked, I am happy with the results and it was nice to end my CIF career with two individual golds.”

The Mira Costa boys’ team finished with one of its best finishes ever with a third place and the girls were 12th.

"Overall Mira Costa had another successful season,” said Mira Costa boys and girls swimming head coach Ali Isham. “We had nine new Mira Costa records, several new Bay League records and 11 All-American times, six of which are auto cuts. The boys finished 3rd overall at CIF, which is the highest placement ever for the team.”

Crisera won the 50 freestyle in 22.93 seconds over Emma Davidson, senior, of Yorba Linda, who finished in 23.21.

“The 50 free is such a quick race, there is no room for error and that is one thing that makes the event exciting,” Crisera said. “During prelims in my 50 free, I misjudged the wall at the turn but was happy to see that, despite the turn, I was still below 23 seconds.”

“In finals, the race was much tighter and although I didn't look for the swimmers on either side, I knew they were close.  I knew before the race that I would need to be ahead because Davidson (who placed second) is much taller than me and has a longer reach to the wall.  Fortunately, I was able to hold her off at the end.”

She went on to win another gold in the 100 backstroke, her premier event, which she set a new Division 2 record last year with a 52.87. She won in 53.49 this year.

Carli Baldwin, senior, from Great Oak was second in 55.58.

“My goal during the 100 backstroke prelims race was to put up a time that was fast enough to go into finals as the top seed.  It was a pretty good race but I had a hard time getting my stroke tempo up to where it needed to be.  My finals race was about the same but I was pleased to be consistent and to win."

“Was slightly off of her CIF record in the 100 back from last year and just off of her personal best time in the 50 as well,” Isham said.

She added another medal with her team in the 200 free relay.

“She never lost an individual race this entire season,” Isham said. “She helped her 200 free relay team of Leigh Lyter, Grace Barnhill and Riley Farrell snag a third place finish.”

While Crisera gave the girls a big lift, the boys team was better.

Kai Bathurst, senior, who is going to swim for Indiana next year led the way with his victory in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:36.32. He beat Owen Grimaldi, sophomore, of Thousand Oaks, who finished second in 1:38.64.

“Overall, I was pleased with my performance at CIF,” Bathurst said. “After coming in a close second last year in the 200 free, it was to win this year.”

“My highlight of the meet was winning the 200 free relay for the second year in a row,” he added. “With half of our relay team being new this year, it shows a lot about the depth and future of Mira Costa swimming.”

He was second in the 500 free.  Both times were All-American automatic cuts. 

In addition, he also anchored the 200 free relay (along with Colin Le, Roger Brown and Sean Keegan and defended their win last year) and came from behind in a very exciting race to win the event. 

Colin Le was fifth in the 50 free with a time of 21.15.

“The boys team really stood out from the other teams in the area and had a dominant performance at CIF,” Isham said. “I'm mostly happy the kids had a fun and successful season and were able to get some new best times.”

Redondo Union High girls’ team also had a very successful day with a ninth place.

They were led by freshman Emma Koehler who was sixth in the 200 IM and eighth in the 100 breast stroke as an individual.

She and her teammates with eighth in the 200 medley relay.  The others on the relay were Erin Swift (freshman), Kennedy French (freshman) and Kiana Hamada (senior).

"My first CIF was an absolute blast.  I was right on my best times. My medley relay also did very well. As a freshman at Redondo Union, I am honored to swim at such a huge meet and beyond grateful for the amazing support and spirit from my fellow teammates and coaches."

Contact this reporter at mhixon@tbrnews.com or on Twitter @michaeljhixon.com.

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