"Losing last year to Oaks Christian, [which] was such an outstanding team, there was no shame in that," Falcons boys' Coach Jan Sakonju said. "We were very happy to have runner-up, but of course, you always want to be the champion and so our guys have been pushing really hard since then to put themselves in a position where they could be the top team this year.
"If you look at the points based on the seedings, we're the favorite right now. It's an excellent position to be in. We have to do the best we can and not make any big mistakes."
With three top-seeded relays and a total of five individual events in which they boast the top seed, the Pacific League-champion Falcons would appear to have a great shot to bring nearly everyone back on Saturday and to possibly rack up enough points to win the program's first CIF title since 2000.
Junior Louis Wojciechowski is the top seed in the 200-yard freestyle and 100 butterfly and sophomore Harrison Thai is the top seed in the 200-individual medley and 100 backstroke, while sophomore Young Tae Seo, the reigning All-Area Boys' Swimmer of the Year, is seeded No. 1 in the 100 breaststroke. Seo is also the No. 2 seed in the 200 IM behind his teammate Thai, who was moved from the backstroke, which he swam last year at CIF, to the 200 IM.
"I had a meeting with all the guys that qualified because I believe in having input from everybody," Sakonju said. "Of course, I make the final decision, but I like to have input from everybody and we look at different strategies. We decided [to do] that, based on our competition. If we could have avoided putting them in the same events we would have.
"As far as the IM goes, that just logistically worked out the best for the points with a good shot of going No. 1 and No. 2 and taking those points in that event."