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Young Tae Seo's late dash leads Crescenta Valley High boys' swimming team to tie with Hart

Swimming: Falcons get first- and third-place efforts in final event to finish in 85-85 deadlock.

April 19, 2013|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com

PASADENA — There’s something that brings out the best in Young Tae Seo when anchoring the 4x400-yard relay team for the Crescenta Valley High boys’ swimming program.

Seo knows what the prevailing factors are that have helped him gather impeccable credentials and a championship pedigree — quality preparation and calmness. Seo was up to the task again Friday during a nonleague home meet against rival Hart at Pasadena City College.

Knowing Crescenta Valley needed a first- and third-place finish in the 4x400 relay, Seo did his part by turning in another masterful performance as he swam the winning final lap to help Crescenta Valley pick up an 85-85 tie.

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“You know what you have to do and that’s staying calm and ready and all times,” said Seo, the reigning All-Area Boys’ Swimmer of the Year and Glendale News-Press Male Athlete of the Year. “You know you are going to be out of breath at the end of it, so you try your best and see what you can do.”

Hart held an 81-75 entering the final event.

Seo worked with Edward Yi, Eddie Gallebugh and Harrison Thai to finish in 3 minutes 11.93 second. Hart (4-0-1) took second in 3:12.50. Crescenta Valley’s second relay team of Stephen Woo, Jacob Ksendzov, Antonio Camarillo and Brian Dertli placed third (3:21.54).

A first- and second-place effort would have given the Falcons (6-1-1) the victory.

Crescenta Valley suffered a 105-65 defeat in the girls’ portion of the meet.

In the CIF Southern Section Division II championship in Riverside last season, Seo anchored the winning leg of the event to give the Falcons the title against Damien. On Friday, the Falcons were trailing in the relay leading up to Seo’s turn. The University of Florida-bound Seo worked diligently before using a burst of energy to catch and pass Hart’s Griffin Scott with about 15 yards to go.

“I told Harrison going into his turn to catch up as much as he could, but not fall behind too far,” Seo said. “I could see [Scott] starting to get tired at the midway point of our leg.

“On the last turn, I just felt like I had it.”

Seo’s effort drew praise from Crescenta Valley Coach Jan Sakonju.

“He’s writing his own story and leaving his legacy,” Sakonju said. “He proved again today what a phenomenal athlete he is.

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