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Campbell is 4 for 4

May 12, 2012|By Gabriel Rizk

RIVERSIDE - Katy Campbell wasn’t about to let her three-year reign in the 500-yard freestyle end, even if she spent much of the race chasing her own crown.

The La Cañada High senior wouldn’t be denied and provided the most stirring local highlight of the CIF Southern Section Division I Swimming and Diving Championships at Riverside Aquatic Center on Saturday night by literally chasing down the title with a furious late rally.

With the feat, Campbell became only the fifth swimmer in Southern Section history to win the 500 freestyle four years in a row.

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“I’ve been nervous all day actually, I tried not to let it get to me, but I’m just a nervous kind of swimmer,” said Campbell who won the race in 4 minutes 42.83 seconds, the fourth-fastest mark in the nation this year. “I knew I wanted to win it, I knew that’s how I wanted to end my senior year, how I wanted to end my high school swimming winning all four years in a row. I was nervous, but I knew what I had to do and I knew I had to be confident stepping up into the block.”

Having never held a lead in the race, Campbell looked to be locked into second behind Woodbridge’s Daniela Georges, and even in danger of being overtaken by Megan Rankin of University, as the race neared its last four turns.

But Campbell turned to a surprising new gear of speed down the stretch, closing the gap and taking the lead entering the final lap. In the end, she beat Georges by 1.17.

“Me and my coach have been working on my back half all season, it just kind of seemed like the next thing to do,” said Campbell, who also placed third in the 200 freestyle in 1:48.69 to help the Spartans take 20thplace with 73 points. “All those girls are such amazing competitors, I knew that if I wanted to win, I would just have to go for it right there, so I did.”

La Canada’s boys’ team enjoyed a strong sixth-place finish with 178 points, led by Bradley Mattix and Brandon Nguyen.

Nguyen was fourth in the 200-individual medley in 1:51.40 and 11th in the 100 breaststroke and Mattix took eighth in the 100 butterfly in 51.64, but came back to take third in the 100 backstroke in a school-record 50.03.

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