The Pacific League swim season kicked off for Glendale High and Crescenta Valley as the Nitros and the host Falcons took to the pool for both squads’ first dual meet of the league schedule.
Glendale, which was participating in its first meet of the season, drew a tough opponent in perennial powerhouse CV, which was victorious for both the boys’ and the girls’ races, 104-66 and 135-35, respectively.
“It was tough starting with CV because we knew going in it was going to be a tough one,” Glendale Coach Carol Driffill. “We just wanted to make sure we gave them some competition and didn’t embarrass ourselves, so that was a goal today and I think we achieved that.”
On the boys’ side, Glendale, which won the first three events of the meet, stayed competitive throughout the first half with Crescenta Valley, which has won at least a share of the last 23 Pacific League titles.
On the other side of the break, the Falcons (1-2 overall) picked up momentum and pulled away, including taking all three of the top spots in the 100 backstroke, led by Nick Hartoonian, who came in first at 1:00:70.
“What I liked was our guys responding to being pushed,” CV boys’ Coach Jan Sakonju said. “I think sometimes kids can get complacent and that is something as a coach you don’t want to happen. I was very proud they responded to the challenge Glendale issued.”
The standout for Glendale was two-time reigning All-Area Boys’ Swimmer of the Year Trenton Julian. The meet was especially important for Julian, who is coming off an injury this summer when he tore a muscle in his shoulder.
“[Today] felt pretty good. I’m coming off an injury, so I feel stronger than I thought I would,” Julian said. “I’ve been [back] in [the pool] for three weeks now and I’m feeling stronger and stronger.:”
On Wednesday, Julian swam in four events, winning three. The first was the meet’s opening swim, where he — along with Anothony Ovsepyan, Kieran Ferris and Liam Graham — combined to take first place in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1 minute 45.14 seconds over second-place CV at 1:46:10.
“I think the best was probably on the first relay. I did 50 breaststroke and hit 26. That was pretty good,” Julian, who committed to the University of California at Berkeley, said.
In Julian’s second event, he won the 100 freestyle, recording a time of 48:93. CV’s William Blake finished second and was the only other swimmer to break 50 seconds at 49:25. Next, Julian led off the 200 freestyle relay and handed off a respectable lead to the next leg, but the Nitros quartet could not hold it. It was the CV grouping of Andre Yarcan, Bennett Hesse, Joe Langley and Blake that took the win in a time of 1:54:16. Julian’s final event was a win in the 100 breaststroke with a mark of 1:00:17.
Hesse also swam to victory in the 50 freestyle in :24:65. Yarcan picked up a win in the 100 butterfly with a time of 56:34. Blake picked up his individual win in the 500 freestyle, posting a time of 5:05:30. Langley picked up a second win as part of the 400 freestyle relay (3:41:36), where he teamed up with Sevada Avanessian, Noah Kim and Nick Hartoonian to close out the meet.
On the girls’ side, the result was never in doubt. The Falcons, who are the nine-time reigning Pacific League champions, claimed first place in every race.
“We are so deep this year, top to bottom, freshman to senior,” CV Girls’ Coach Peter Kim said. “A good group of ladies putting the team first.”
In a testament to the depth of the CV squad, senior Genevieve Gonzales was the lone Falcon to claim individual victories in two events. The senior won the 200 freestyle in 2:10:81 before claiming the top spot in the 100 backstroke in 1:04:98.
Other individual winners for CV were Gabby Icheva in the 200 individual medley (2:12:51), Kimmy Park in the 100 butterfly (1:02:90) and Maddie Yi in the 500 freestyle (6:10:12).