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CV breaks records, but has competition

Swimming: Falcons' big guns firing, but depth issues could make for close final.

May 14, 2011|By Gabriel Rizk, gabriel.rizk@latimes.com

GLENDALE — For the most part, the first phase of the Crescenta Valley High boys' swimming team's mission to capture the CIF Southern Section Division II championship went according to plan, as the Falcons dominated their major events in the division preliminaries at Belmont Plaza pool in Long Beach on Friday.

Needing top-eight finishes to advance to championship heats at today's finals at Belmont Plaza pool, all but one of Crescenta Valley's top seeded individuals and relays held true to form, coming out with wins, and in two cases, Division II records.

Sophomore Young Tae Seo established a new mark in the 100-yard breaststroke in 55.88 seconds and the Falcons' 200-medley relay team — Harrison Thai, Andrew De Jong, Seo and Louis Wojciechowski — set a record of 1:34.23 while beating runner-up Murietta Valley by more than two full seconds.

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"We're very happy about [the wins and broken records on Friday]," Crescenta Valley boys' Coach Jan Sakonju said. "We just want to make sure we can execute tomorrow and bring home a championship. It's going to be close, it's going to be crazy. The guys are going to have to put together their best performances."

Aside from their top guns, the Falcons' depth didn't provide as much support as hoped for in some other events and the failure of the Falcons' top-seeded 200-freestyle relay team to qualify for the championship heat may come back to bite them, as its 10th-place finish and corresponding consolation-heat berth will limit the amount of points the Falcons can expect to score in competing with top competitors El Segundo and Murietta Valley for the overall championship.

"We dropped some points in our relay, so that's going to make it very interesting," Sakonju said. "Murietta Valley had a very good day and so did El Segundo, El Segundo had a phenomenal day, actually.

"We've got these other teams right on our heels that are just as hungry as us, so it will be a fun meet."

Still, the Falcons are considered a slim favorite with seven total top seeds in the finals, including another win by Seo in the 200-individual medley in 1:50.65.

Seo finished just in front of teammate Harrison Thai, who will be the second seed with a time of 1:51.61. Thai was also the top qualifier in the 100 backstroke in 50.59. Glendale's Mickey Mowry also turned in an impressive swim in the 100 backstroke, taking third in 51.05.

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