Justina Kozan de Santa Margarita – Orange County Register
Swimmer Justina Kozan arrived at Santa Margarita High last year with high expectations following her success at Walnut High and with Mt. BREA Aquatics based on SAC.
The junior did not disappoint despite the challenges of the pandemic and her preparations for the US Olympic trials.
Kozan won two individual titles and ran on a winning pair of relays in the CIF South Section Division 1 Finals in late May to help the Eagles win the tag team title in their home pool. She has also led the county in four events and posted historically fast times.
For her efforts this spring, Kozan is the Register’s swimmer of the year.
âWhat Justina has done is incredible given what was going on this year with the COVID-19 training restrictions,â said Santa Margarita co-trainer Ron Blanc. “What is most incredible is how fast she swam with all of her strokes becoming choppy and not conical since Justina got ready for practice.”
USC entry and Mission Viejo star Nadadores were the first touchdowns in the 100 and 200 free yards in Division 1 competition, stopping the clock in 49.40 seconds and 1: 44.40, respectively.
Kozan won the 200 freestyle by nearly three seconds to become the county’s all-time number 3 in the half distance event.
She also clinched a clear victory in the 100 freestyle, hitting the first by almost a second with a performance that places her ninth in county history.
Kozan’s times in the 100 and 200 freestyle led the county and easily earned All-America status.
She also led the Eagles’ winning 200 freestyle relay with a 23.30 lead and anchored first place in the 400 freestyle relay at 49.71.
Kozan’s stellar CIF encounter followed his meteoric times in the Trinity League Finals at JSerra. She won the 200 individual medley with a school record of 1: 58.32 and the 100 butterfly in 53.23.
Kozan’s 200 IM time places her third in county history while her 100 butterfly places her fourth.
Times have also led the county and are said to have won Division 1 titles.
This month, Kozan focused on racing at the US Olympic Trials in Omaha, Neb. And while she didn’t qualify for the Tokyo Games, she added an important ingredient for her senior year.
âValuable experience gained from swimming with the best in the world,â tweeted the Santa Margarita swim and diving team.