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
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
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
The relays were not contested in the league prelims.