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Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy's Kirsten Vose named All-Area Swimmer of the Year

Sacred Heart sophomore put her name up as one of program's all-time greats leading Tologs to Mission League title, CIF victories.

August 10, 2013|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com
  • Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy's Kirsten Vose is the 2013 All-Area Girls' Swimmer of the Year.
Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy's Kirsten Vose… (Cheryl A. Guerrero/Staff…)

It was five years ago when Kirsten Vose decided to take up swimming. She’d always been a “water person” and quickly took to racing.

Fast forward a few years and Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy swim Coach Steve Bergen was hearing rumors that a “special kid” was joining the team. That unique talent was Vose, who started her freshman year with the Tologs in 2012.

“I don’t know exactly why I love [swimming] so much, but there’s just something about it,” Vose said. “I guess just the racing is fun. … You can always be better than you were before; if you put in the effort, you will get better.”

Two years later, Vose has demonstrated her natural ability by carrying Sacred Heart to consecutive outright Mission League titles and a pair of individual wins in CIF Southern Section Division I events. Previously, the Tologs hadn’t posted a CIF win since 2010 or a sole league championship in five years.

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“I don’t think I anticipated her being as special as she is,” Bergen said, “but we were certainly lucky she came on board.”

It’s not hard to see why Vose has an advantage in the pool. She towers over almost everyone she faces, nearly standing 6-feet tall.

“She’s built perfectly for the breaststroke and as an elite-level swimmer,” Bergen said of the 15-year-old. “You watch Missy Franklin, you watch Katy Ledecky and some of these really just top-level swimmers and Kirsten’s built very similar to them.

“Originally, I think a lot of [Vose’s skill] was inherited talent, but I think her work ethic is catching up to her just natural ability.”

While Vose was the perfect example of a freshman phenom, there was never a hint of a sophomore slump. She won all but one race this year en route to four event titles at the Mission League Finals and a seventh-place team finish in Division I for Sacred Heart.

“We had the best CIF we’ve had as a team, it was a huge improvement from last year,” said Katie Altmayer, who set three new school records for the Tologs this year. “It’s one of the best CIF performances we’ve had in a long time.”

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