In a close race that saw fractions of a second separating the eight competitors, SMCHS swimming has its first Olympic athlete! Congratulations to Katie McLaughlin ’15, who qualified for her first Olympics by earning a spot on the women’s 800-meter freestyle relay. McLaughlin joins two-time Olympic gold medalist Amy Rodriguez ’05 (soccer) and Olympic gold medalist Klay Thompson ’08 (basketball) on the list of SMCHS Olympic athletes. The standout swimmer, who earned her ticket to the Olympics after recovering from a neck injury in 2016, earned Orange County swimming and athlete of the year honors at SMCHS before swimming for Cal.
"Katie has demonstrated incredible determination and resilience to achieve a goal she set forth for herself back at the 2004 Olympic Trials," said SM's Co-head Swimming and Diving Coach Ron Blanc, who has coached the girls program for 23 years and the boys program for 21 years coaching with his brother Rich. "She overcame injuries and accomplished something few have ever done -- to represent the United States in the Olympics as a member of Team USA."
Ten Eagles, both current students and alumni, have been competing for a spot on the USA Swimming Olympic Team at the Olympic trials in Omaha.
Teagan O'Dell ('25)
Humberto Najera ('23)
Justina Kozan ('22)
Noah Brune ('19)
Grant Shoults ('16)
Katie McLaughlin ('15)
Isabelle Odgers ('18)
Macky Hodges ('23)
Anicka Delgado ('20) Ecuador
Ella Ristic ('20) Bosnia
Follow updates from Omaha on twitter @SMCHSSwim from SMCHS Co-head Swimming and Diving Coach Ron Blanc who is there cheering our Eagles on!
Led by brothers Ron and Rich Blanc, Santa Margarita Catholic High School's Swimming and Diving program has enjoyed a rich history of success, including 21 consecutive league titles and seven consecutive (eight total) CIF-SS Division I team championships for the girls, and 13 league tiles and one CIF Division 1 title for the boys. This year, both the boys and girls programs were crowned CIF champions. The girls program has also achieved two state titles and has twice been named national champions. Learn more about SM’s swim program.