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Crescenta Valley, Flintridge Prep eye CIF championships

Swimming: Falcons, Rebels boys focus on top prize in respective divisions, while Tologs look for top-10 finish.

May 08, 2013|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com
  • ARCHIVE PHOTO: Young Tae Seo and the rest of the Crescenta Valley High boys' swimming team hope to win the CIF Southern Section Division II championship again this season.
ARCHIVE PHOTO: Young Tae Seo and the rest of the Crescenta… (Tim Berger/Staff…)

While the Crescenta Valley High boys’ swimming team goes into the two-day CIF Southern Section Division II championship meet as the reigning champion, Falcons Coach Jan Sakonju sees his team in a much different light this year.

Last season, CV just held off Damien, 301-293, to capture the Division II championship and waiting not much further behind was Los Osos (203).

“I don’t think [Los Osos is] the main contender, they’re the favorite for sure,” said Sakonju, whose team has placed in the top three in Division II the last three years. “They’ve got to be the favorite and we’re the underdog, and we’re going to swim to the best of our ability and see what happens.”

Fresh off its first CIF title in 12 years, the Falcons will be led by Young Tae Seo and Harrison Thai, who are both determined to end their high school seasons in style in Division II, which hosts its prelims Friday at 9 a.m. and finals Saturday at 10 a.m.

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While CV looks for repeat success, the Flintridge Prep boys’ team hopes to transition from a team that didn’t have a swimmer in a championship or consolation final race in Division II to a championship contender in Division III, which begins today at 4 p.m. and concludes with a finals meet Thursday with a 5 p.m. start time.

“We’re really excited and it’s kind of a big step for us from making alternates last year and being maybe a real competitor this year in this division,” said Flintridge Prep Coach Ryan Goto, who credited new coaches like Ingrid Herskind for being “instrumental” in the program’s turnaround.

In Division I, a young Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy team is looking to build more momentum and move up the standings again.

“We’re going to do some damage at CIF,” Tologs Coach Steve Bergen said. “Really our goal at CIF is to be in the top 10, that’s what we’ve told ourselves all year long ... which we’d be really proud of in Division I.”

Seo and Thai are the top two seeds in the 200-yard individual medley with seed times of one minute, 49.77 seconds and 1:51.29, respectively. Thai is favored in the 100 backstroke (50.48) and Seo is also No. 2 in the 100 breaststroke (56.42).

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