BURBANK HIGH — The league finals marked the end of Burbank and Burroughs highs' swimming teams' first regular season in the Pacific League, one both programs' coaches hailed as a success.
"We've had a great year," said Burbank Coach Adam Wright, whose boys' team finished third Thursday with 313 points, while the girls' team finished in fifth place with 121 points.
"Based on dual meets, we knew Crescenta Valley and Arcadia were really the teams to beat. And looking at how deep they are, especially on the boys' side, we knew we were fighting for third place. So we said, 'all right, let's get some individual victories.' "
The Bulldogs boys' team tallied victories in four events, including an impressive win in the day's final event, the 400-yard freestyle relay.
Greg Fields, David Nelson, Marc Anunta and Aram Simonian won the race in 3 minutes, 18.71 seconds — an automatic CIF Southern Section Division II qualifying time — to beat out teams from meet winner Crescenta Valley (486.50) and runner-up Arcadia (479.50), both of which shared the league title.
Simonian also won the 200 individual medley in 2:00.88 and Anunta tied for first place in the 50 freestyle with a time of 22.89.
Burbank also won the 200 freestyle relay in an automatic time of 1:30.95 behind the quartet of Gavin Darcey, Sarkis Zargaryan, Ernest Ha and Kyle Vickery.
"Winning the 200 and the 400 was kind of our plan, and the guys stepped up and just put on a show in those events," Wright said.
Burroughs made a top-four showing Thursday, with a fourth-place finish in the girls portion of the meet with 144 points. League-champion Arcadia took first with 518 points.
The highest individual finisher for the Indians girls was freshman Mikela Velasquez, who placed third in the 50 freestyle in 29.19.
The Bulldogs also placed fifth in the boys' competition behind a fine effort in the 50 freestyle by Jarrod Przebieda (22.89), who tied with Anunta.
"It went very well," said Burroughs Coach Carlos Ponce of the league transition. "Coming from the Foothill League, where you have the top-tier swim schools, to a league where there are some schools that are top tier, and some schools that are at your level, it makes your kids fell better."
"It gives them that extra edge and that confidence."