THE NEXT LEVEL: Blair bound for Olympic Trials

Former Santa Barbara High swimming star Lolo Blair has realized one of her childhood dreams after qualifying for the Olympic Trials in the 200-meter backstroke.

With the Olympic standard recently set at 2:17.99, her time of 2:17.37 at the Los Angeles Grand Prix this summer is good enough to send the USC sophomore to Omaha, NE, in the summer of 2012 for the trials.

“It’s been one of my goals since I was 8 yrs old,” said Blair. “I remember thinking at the time the cuts seemed impossibly fast. I’m really excited to have achieved this goal and I can’t wait to go faster.”

Blair is only 0.09 seconds away from achieving the 100 backstroke time standard of 1:03.99 and also has a chance to make the cut in the 400 freestyle.

CLEVELAND ROCKS: Chris Gocong, a 2002 Carpinteria High grad, started at linebacker for the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, recording six tackles in a 17-14 road loss against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Four of Gocong’s tackles were solo.

Also starting for the Browns was center Alex Mack, a former star lineman for San Marcos High and UC Berkeley. Mack was a first-round pick by Cleveland last year.
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COLORADO CONQUEST: The Notre Dame women’s volleyball team picked up its first three-match invitational sweep since 2005 over the weekend, finishing the Pioneer Classic with a sweep of host University of Denver.

Lefty Kristen Dealy, a junior out of Santa Barbara High, had nine kills with five digs and two blocks for the Irish, collecting 28 kills total in the tournament.

Freshman setter Sammie Brown out of Dos Pueblos dished out 34 assists with an ace and four digs in the title match.

PLOCH BLOCKS: Santa Barbara High grad Hunter Ploch benefitted from a blowout win by the No. 3 Stanford Cardinal men’s water polo team, collecting four saves in a 23-5 drubbing of the University of Redlands.

SHE CAN DIG IT: Katherine Keller has played in all six of Columbia’s women’s volleyball matches to start this season, and the former SBHS libero/setter has recorded a team-high 58 digs to go along with 10 assists. The Lions are currently 4-2.

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