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Crescenta Valley's Young Tae Seo reflects on junior season

August 22, 2012
  • Crescenta Valley's Young Tae Seo is the Glendale News-Press' 2011-12 Boys' Athlete of the Year.
Crescenta Valley's Young Tae Seo is the Glendale… (Tim Berger/Staff…)

When Young Tae Seo recently took some time to sit down with Glendale News-Press sportswriter Gabriel Rizk for an interview, it was one of the few moments the Crescenta Valley High senior has spent away from a swimming pool over the course of the summer.

Always driven to improve and seldom prone to reflecting on his own numerous accomplishments, Seo trains with Spartan-like discipline and is always chasing a better time when he’s not chasing down wins in competition.

Over the years, Seo’s dedication and intensity has paid off handsomely. In his first two years at Crescenta Valley, the Falcons finished second and third in CIF Southern Section Division II and won Pacific League titles, while Seo himself hauled in a slew of individual championships in league, CIF finals and Masters meets.

This season was Seo’s finest yet, as he won two more CIF individual titles in the 500-yard freestyle and 100 breaststroke, but found the most satisfaction in leading the Falcons to their first CIF championship since 2001 with a win over Damien, 301-293. Seo literally brought the win home, as he out touched Damien’s Jason Haney on the anchor leg of the 400-freestyle relay to close out the meet and clinch the crown.

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He was voted the All-Area Boys’ Swimmer of the Year for the third straight year and qualified for several events at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Omaha, where he didn’t qualify for a final heat, but gained plenty of future motivation.

For his astounding accomplishments during the 2011-12 school year, which also included leading the Falcons to a 20th straight league title, Seo was voted the James H. Jenkins Boys’ Athlete of the Year by the sportswriters and editors of the Glendale News-Press.

The following are excerpts from the interview with Seo.

Gabriel Rizk: It sounds like it’s been a busy summer for you with Olympic Trials in July and lots of training. Did you ever get a break this summer?

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