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CV turns in 'disappointing' third place

Swimming: Seo, Wojciechowski win individual titles and relay wins another, but not enough to take team crown.

May 15, 2011|By Edgar Melik-Stepanyan, Special to the News-Press

LONG BEACH — One of their relays set a record in CIF Southern Section Division II.

One of their sophomores — Young Tae Seo — took home two individual titles and set a new benchmark in each event.

And one of their juniors — Louis Wojciechowski — captured a championship, and finished second in another race.

For a few members of the Crescenta Valley High boys' swimming team, Saturday's swimming and diving championships at the Belmont Plaza pool in Long Beach were unforgettable.


For some other members, it was forgettable.

Despite winning four races and finishing second in two others, the Falcons still couldn't capture the team title. El Segundo improved on its times and positions in five events from Friday's preliminaries to win the division title with 236 points. Murrieta Valley took second with 218 points and CV was third with 217 points.

"We're all really sad," said Andrew De Jong, a member of the Falcon 200-yard medley relay team — including Harrison Thai, Seo and Wojciechowski — that won the second event of the championships in a record-breaking time of 1 minute 33.79 seconds.

"This was the best chance we had. It's really disappointing. We're sad we lost, but at least it was to a really good team. They had nowhere to go but up."

Falcon Coach Jan Sakonju was part mentor and part mathematician Saturday.

With each event, Sakonju received updates about where his team stood, compared to El Segundo.

He was pleased early with his relay's performance.

"Everybody on that team is so super competitive," Sakonju said. "They are all motivated individuals. They all have that competitiveness where they want to be faster than anybody. They need to be left alone and do what they do. I needed to stay away from them. They didn't need me to be micro-manager."

Sakonju was an amazed spectator when he watched Seo.

Seo won the 200 individual medley and the 100 breaststroke in record-breaking times of 1:48.38 and 55.81, respectively.

"That's phenomenal," Sakonju said. "That's a legacy."

When asked what he attributed to the wins, Seo said, "my mentality, training and motivation."

Wojciechowski's goals included winning titles in the 200 freestyle and the 100 butterfly. He came away with one crown.

The top-seeded Wojciechowski finished second in the 200 freestyle in 1:39.14, losing to Ryan Makuta of El Segundo. A motivated Wojciechowski was not denied in the butterfly.

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