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Crescenta Valley High girls, boys reign at Pacific League finals

BURBANK — In the final dual meet of the season, both the boys’ and girls’ swimming teams from Crescenta Valley High registered wins over rival Arcadia to claim at least a share of the Pacific League title. However, the rest of that crown, the 22nd consecutively for the boys and seventh for the girls, was still up for grabs in the Pacific League Finals contested at Burbank High on Thursday.

PHOTOS: 2014 Pacific League swim finals at Burbank High School

“I kept saying we already won league because we won the dual meets, but we’re competitive; we want to win,” Crescenta Valley boys’ Coach Jan Sakonju said.

The Falcons would not be denied their outright titles, with the boys edging out second-place Arcadia 497.5-480.5 and the girls cruising to a 521-379.5 win, once again over the second-place Apaches.

Crescenta Valley’s boys held a mere eight-point lead at the break and it remained close going into the final two events after the Apaches had gotten victories in the two previous individual events, meaning the 100-yard breaststroke would be key. Two Falcons rose to the challenge, with Hyun Sung Kim, who predicted the win before the swim, taking first in a time of 1 minute 2.16 seconds and Daniel Park coming in second.

“It was definitely huge,” Sakonju said of the breaststroke. “We talked about it, go out there and beat somebody, this goes back to the basis of swimming.”

The Falcons finished the job in the 400-yard freestyle relay with a resounding victory by the quartet of Eric Park, Ryan Moguel, Kim, and Edward Yi in 3:17.81.

It was Yi who took the team on his back early. The junior swam the third leg of the 200-yard medley relay, catching up with and then passing the Arcadia entrant. The Falcons then held, allowing Yi, along with Eric Park, Kim and Eddie Gallegugh, to win in a time of 1:40.11.

Yi came back in the next race to cruise to a nearly five-second victory in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:43.71. Burroughs’ Dexter Brown was second with a school-record time of 1:48.31. Moguel, a senior, took third with a personal-best time of 1:48.90.

Yi added a second individual Pacific League final win in the 100-yard butterfly. The junior led wire-to-wire to finish in a time of 51.72.

The Falcons’ other individual victory was by Gallegugh in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 22.23. The sophomore was also part of CV’s winning 200-yard freestyle relay. Gallegugh, Bradford Hales, Moguel and Daniel Park never trailed and won in a time of 1:31.29.

“It’s great. We didn’t have a lot of star people this year,” Moguel, a captain and senior, said. “It was a bunch of swimmers who worked together all season and did what they needed to do to perform.”

In contrast, the Crescenta Valley girls came out of the gate strong on the way to a dominant win. In the opening race, the 200 medley relay of Iva Icheva, Genevieve Gonzales, Tiffany Duarte and Heather MacDougall swam away with the win. The quartet won in a time of 1:53.69 to set a new Pacific League record, breaking the old mark that had stood since 2007.

CV followed that with a victory by Samantha Kohn in the 200 freestyle. Kohn’s winning time of 1:59.61 was just fast enough to nip top qualifier Mia Hepner of Pasadena by .05 seconds.

“The medley relay and Sam’s 200 set the tone and we just rode the wave,” CV girls’ Coach Brent Danna said.

Icheva and MacDougall added two individual wins each.

Icheva repeated as Pacific League champion in both the 50 freestyle, which she won in :25.27, and in the 100 backstroke, which the senior won in a time of 1:00.58.

“The goal was just to come out fast, beat the girl next to you and have fun,” Icheva said, “and we did it.”

MacDougall led a Falcons sweep of the three top spots in the 100 butterfly, as the sophomore won in 58 seconds. Gonzales was second in 1:05.78, just ahead of third-place Isabelle Seeto. MacDougall came back later to repeat as the winner of the the 100 breaststroke, putting up a time of 1:07.06.

The finals concluded withMacDougall, Alyssa Nguyen, Kohn and Icheva blowing away the field in the 400 free relay, winning in a time of 3:41.46. To get things started in the final event, MacDougall added her name to the Pacific League record book one more time with an opening 100 time of 51.27, which broke the mark of 52.49 that had stood since 1992.

“When you’ve got the horses the Rose Bowl [swim club] sends me, all you have to do is set up a meet and say ‘Go swim fast,’” Danna said.

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