CV surges to second

Swimming: Driven Falcons boys jump up five spots from ’09 CIF finish.

May 17, 2010|By Gabriel Rizk

LONG BEACH — With as large a contingent of swimmers qualified for the CIF Southern Section Division II swimming and diving championships as any school in attendance, the points were certainly out there to be had for the Crescenta Valley High boys’ swimming team on Saturday afternoon at Belmont Plaza pool in Long Beach.

But in order to be counted among the division’s heavyweights when all was settled, the Falcons knew it would take a championship-caliber effort.

And, while the most dominant program in the water on Saturday was unquestionably Oaks Christian, Crescenta Valley took its best shot and established a lofty foothold in the Division II hierarchy with a second-place finish, the program’s best since its last CIF title in 2000.


“The competitive spirit they had today, they’ve had the whole season, and watching them just rise up to the occasion and put their best efforts in, it was just inspiring,” Crescenta Valley Coach Jan Sakonju said. “Everybody put in a very strong day, I don’t think there were any regrets.”

With freshman Young Tae Seo’s win in the 200-yard individual medley as the highlight of the day, the Falcons amassed 191 points, second only to Oaks Christian’s insurmountable 278, and topped defending Division II-champion La Cañada, which tied for third with Thousand Oaks with 180 points.

“This is an almost perfect ending,” said Crescenta Valley senior Chris Veselich, who swam in all three relays. “It feels good to beat La Cañada because they stomped on us the last couple of years. It feels good to get second place.”

Going into the final individual event, the 100 breaststroke, the Falcons had 143 points, trailing Thousand Oaks by five and keeping a tentative six-point advantage over La Cañada.

Freshman Harrison Thai just missed winning his first CIF title by .19 seconds when he finished runner-up in the 100 breaststroke to Murrieta Valley’s Eric Van de Mortel in 58.29. But the 17 points he garnered were enough to put the Falcons in a comfortable position entering the final event, the 400 freestyle relay.

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