Costella and Barber honored nationally

When it comes to academics and performance in the pool, Lauren Costella was the nation's best overall high school swimmer for 2002-2003.

Costella and Justin Barber, both Carson High graduates who swim for the Carson Tigersharks, were named to USA Swimming's Scholastic All-American team that honors the nation's top high school swimmers for their performance in the classroom and the pool.

Costella, a freshman at Stanford, tied for first as the top swimmer on last year's Academic All-American team. She earned the top spot by herself this year with 250 points.

For the boys, Barber, a freshman at Notre Dame, ranked 11th with 216.25 points. The top swimmer for the boys had 242.50 points.

"It just shows how strong of a family unit they have," Tigershark coach Jim Puleo said. "It really has nothing to do with the swim team. The fact that they're Academic All-Americans and that they ranked as high in the country really has to do with their families."

Costella was also named to USA Swimming's All-American team in the 1,500-meter freestyle even though her performance at the World University Games was not considered.

She won a bronze medal at the university games in 16:24.43, which would rank fourth in the country. Costella is a two-time national champion in the 1,500 free.


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