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Qualifying for CIF is difficult task

Jim Riggio

The Burbank and Burroughs high swim teams have moved up this season,

and that might not be a good thing.

With the Foothill League schools competing in Division I in CIF


Southern Section postseason competition, earning qualifying times for

the premier division has been difficult for local athletes.

So difficult, in fact, not one Bulldog or Indian swimmer -- in any

event -- has met the time standard needed to qualify for the Division


I preliminaries

That dry spell continued Monday in the league preliminaries at


The swimmers will have one last chance to qualify for CIF at 3

p.m. Thursday in the finals at Burroughs.

“The difference between Division III, which is what we competed in

when I started here four years ago, to Division I is that I’d have

two relays already going to CIF,” Burroughs Coach David Cohen said.


“I’d have five events that we would have already qualified in.

“If you make it in Division I, you’re the best of the very best.”

Burbank junior Eric Davis has the best chance of any local swimmer

to advance to CIF competition. Davis had the Foothill League’s

fastest qualifying times in both the boys’ 100-yard freestyle (51.19

seconds) and the 200 freestyle (1:53.59).

However, neither mark is even good enough for a CIF consideration

time. Davis will need to go under 50 seconds in the 100 and under


1:52.0 in the 200 to be considered.

Davis’ Burbank teammate, Mike Nelson, also qualified for league

finals in two events. Nelson had the third-fastest qualifying time in

the 50 freestyle (24.08). He also had the fourth-fastest time in the

100 backstroke (1:02.32).

“Our 200 and 400 free relays are pretty close to making it,”

Nelson said of the relay squads he and Davis swim on. “I just depends

on how we do on Thursday.”

Burroughs’ Caitlin Howison was impressive in qualifying for the

finals in two individual events. Howison had the fourth-fastest time

in the girls’ 200 freestyle (2:11.76) and was fourth in the 500


Burroughs’ Matt Alberti qualified in two events, as he had the

fourth-fastest time in the boys’ 200 individual medley (2:13.32) and

was fifth in the 100 backstroke (1:02.50).

Burroughs’ Ian Ortega was strong and just one of two swimmers to

break 1:00 in the 100 butterfly, as he went 59.75 to have the

second-fastest qualifying time. Ortega was eighth in the 50 freestyle


Two local girls swam well in the 100 butterfly, as Burroughs’

Audrey Akcasu had the third-fastest qualifying time (1:07.80) and

Burbank’s Catalina Casas had the fourth-fastest time (1:09.75).

Akcasu also qualified in the 50 freestyle, as she was seventh

(27.58). Teammate Valeria Dutra had the sixth-fastest time (27.44) in

the event.

Burbank’s Stacy Hishinuna qualified for the finals in both the

girls’ 100 breaststroke and the 100 backstroke. Her 1:18.95 time in

the breaststroke was the seventh fastest and her backstroke time of

1:09.81 was fourth best.

Burbank’ Soo Ho Park is another double qualifier for the finals,

as he will compete in the 200 and 500 freestyle races. Park was fifth

in qualifying for the 500 (5:43.60) and eighth in the 200 (2:05.56).

Other league finals qualifiers include: Devon Hamilton of

Burroughs (eighth in boys’ 100 freestyle; 58.41); J.D. Caravantes of

Burroughs (seventh in boys’ 100 breaststroke; 1:11.43); Edgar

Gasparyan of Burbank (eighth in boys’ 100 breaststroke; 1:11.84);

Armen Assadourian of Burbank (eighth in boys’ 100 backstroke;

1:08.63) and Brisa Sandoval of Burbank (seventh in girls’ 500

freestyle; 6:07.54).

The relays were not contested in the league prelims.