BURBANK — Burroughs High swimming Coach Danny Garcia and his first-year counterpart at Burbank, Chris Goldberg, agree about which school should be the powerhouse in the Pacific League this season.
“CV is just going to be untouchable,” Garcia said. “They are just so good that I don’t think anyone is going to come close to them in our league.”
Goldberg offered a similar outlook.
“They are going to be very tough,” he said about the Falcons. “They usually have excellent swimmers, and I think they’ll have another good group this season.”
The Indians and Bulldogs have their share of solid athletes, and they both expect to be competitive in the Pacific League.
Here is a closer look at the teams.
Goldberg takes over for longtime coach Adam Wright, who has been moved up to an administrative position at the school. With 110 swimmers in the program, Goldberg said he is excited about the season.
“We have a really good group and we’ve had a great turnout,” said Goldberg, who was an assistant under Wright. “We have something like 20 freshmen in the program. We should be really strong on the boys’ side.”
Helping lead the boys’ varsity team is a pair of returners, junior Alex Lambert and senior Nathan Jo. Lambert, a Junior Olympics swimmer, is a backstroker and sprinter, while Jo is a butterfly specialist.
Another key returner is senior Dimitar Tantchev, who will swim the breaststroke. New to the squad is Martin Ruskov, a senior transfer from Chicago who will swim the breaststroke along with the sprints.
On the girls’ side, Goldberg said he expects big things from senior April Hishinuma, a sprinter and backstroker.
“April will be trying to break her sister’s school record in the 50 freestyle,” Goldberg said about the mark held by Stacy Hishinuma.
Another solid returner is senior Jordan Card, who can swim sprints as well as other events.
New to the squad this season is senior transfer Bell Matchew, who can swim a variety of events, and freshman Amy Jarsted, a backstroker.
While Goldberg said he thinks the Bulldogs girls’ team should be competitive, he feels that the boys’ should be right behind Crescenta Valley.
“If we swim the way I think we can, there really should be no team other than CV that will be able to compete with us,” he said.
Garcia said he is pleased with the progression of his team, which has worked hard in the offseason.
“We are picking up right where we left off last season,” he said. “We have had night practices and the kids have been really putting in the work. I tell them that we don’t have hell week, we have hell season.”
Like Burbank, the Indians boys’ squad should have its share of depth.
Leading the pack is junior-national swimmer Chad Wilson, a senior, who can swim everything from butterfly to backstroke to sprint events.
“He is so versatile that we can really put Chad anywhere and know that he’s going to score points for us,” Garcia said.
Other solid athletes include senior Martin Ortega (200 and 500 freestyles and 200 individual medley), junior Chris Reithel (100 backstroke, 50 and 100 freestyles) and sophomores Carson Caldwell (50 and 100 freestyles) and Kevin Ueno (100 individual medley, butterfly).
For the Burbank girls’ team, it will be led by a crop of juniors. Savannah Simmons (sprints), Andrea Young (100 freestyle and 100 breaststroke) and Marie Yokers (relays) should give the team its share of points.
Freshman Cheyene Morrison could also give the team a boost.
“We are young on the girls’ side, so I’m looking for us to get better as the season goes on,” Garcia said.