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CV wins title

May 12, 2012|By Gabriel Rizk

RIVERSIDE — In pursuit of its first CIF championship since 2000, the Crescenta Valley High boys’ swimming team had to fight to hold off Damien until the bitter end.

How sweet it was, though, for the Falcons by the end of the epic, meet-deciding 400-yard freestyle relay battle that ended with anchor Young Tae Seo out-touching the Spartans’ Jason Haney by .42 seconds in a photo finish that saw both teams smash the existing meet record.

But there could be only one champion and after several tries and near misses — a runner-up finish in 2010 before last year’s slip to third — it was Crescenta Valley’s turn to hoist the plaque amid a splashy in-pool celebration following Saturday’s CIF Southern Section Division II Swimming and Diving Championships at Riverside Aquatics Center.

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“It’s one for the ages,” said Crescenta Valley Coach Jan Sakonju of the 301-293 win over Damien, which clinched his first-ever title. “This is a team that’s the most talented that our school’s ever had. It’s a team that I’ve been lucky enough to have the opportunity to coach and three of the best swimmers that our school’s ever had and that this division’s ever had.”

Crescenta Valley’s veteran trio of Seo, Harrison Thai and Louis Wojciechowski provided the lion’s share of points and collected a total of nine individual and relay titles between them.

Seo won the 500 freestyle in 4 minutes 28.95 seconds and the 100 breaststroke in a mark of 55.91 that was just .10 of a second off his own 2011 meet record. Thai was splendid in winning the 200-individual medley in 1:48.86 and the 100 backstroke in 50.31 and both swimmers teamed with Jake Ksendov and Antonio Camarillo to open the meet with a win in the 200-medley relay in 1:35.51.

“We’re just having fun, not even thinking of winning or losing,” Seo said after exiting the pool following his 500-freestyle win. “We’re just trying to enjoy the meet.”

Wojciechowski, a senior, experienced disappointing runner-up finishes in the 50 freestyle (20.88) and 100 freestyle (45.19), but gave himself plenty to smile about when he swam a blistering 44.32 split on the third leg of the 400-freestyle relay to help himself, Edward, Yi, Thai and Seo win the event in a meet-record 3:05.50.

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