Falcons just too tough

BURBANK HIGH — After watching the Crescenta Valley High boys’ and girls’ swimming teams perform Thursday afternoon in a Pacific League dual meet, Burbank first-year Coach Chris Goldberg figured out how he’d like to pattern his teams for the future.

“We want to be like they are, and a meet like this is a good motivational tool,” Goldberg said after Crescenta Valley posted a 115-54 win in the boys’ portion of the meet and a 124-46 win in the girls’ meet at Burbank. “It’s good to have a type of meet like this because it’s a barometer to see where you are.”

While the Bulldogs have an eye toward the future, the Falcons showed why they presently have two strong teams geared toward winning league championships.

Crescenta Valley’s girls’ team turned to its core of freshmen — Iva Icheva, Heather Abrams, Shannon Hovanesian and Katie Lamar Bruno — to improve to 6-2, 5-0 in league. Icheva won a pair of individual events, while Abrams, Hovanesian and Lamar Bruno each won one race.


Icheva took the 50-yard freestyle race in a CIF automatic qualifying time of 24.82 seconds. She then captured the 100 freestyle in a CIF-qualifying time of 53.96.

Icheva worked with Sabrina Hatzer, McKenzie Hobby and Adrienne Ingalla to take the 200-medley relay in a CIF-consideration time of 1 minute 59.14 seconds. She grouped with Ingalla, Hatzer and Abrams to take first in the 200-freestyle relay with a CIF-consideration time of 1:45.72.

“We came out here looking for a breakthrough meet with some strong, competitive greatness,” Crescenta Valley girls’ Coach Pete Loporchio said. “We were able to take it to the next level.

“Iva took it to the next level with those two marks. When she came to us, we knew that she was talented. The sky is the limit for her. With all four freshmen, we have some great youth and they just come to swim.”


The Falcons received first-place finishes from Ingalla in the 200 freestyle (2:05.32) and the 500 freestyle (5:51.93). Abrams captured the 200-individual medley (2:28.42) for the Falcons, who saw Lamar Bruno take the 100 butterfly (1:06.04) and Hovanesian win the 100 breaststroke (1:18.69).

The Falcons closed out the meet with Hobby, Dakota Davy, Abrams and Nayiri Kechichian teaming up to win the 400-freestyle relay (4:03.65).

April Hishinuma won the lone event for Burbank (4-5, 2-3). Hishinuma took the 200 backstroke in 1:11.17.

“April does have her great swims,” Goldberg said. “She’s one of the best swimmers I’ve seen here, and she can swim well when needed to.

“We are in a rebuilding phase, but we have a lot of younger swimmers who are up and coming.”

In the boys’ competition, Crescenta Valley, which finished second in the CIF Southern Section Division II finals behind Oaks Christian last season, got some impressive results Thursday to improve to 9-0, 5-0.

Leading the way for Crescenta Valley, which competed without notables Harrison Thai, Young Tae Seo, Louis Wojciechowski and Josh Lo, was Josh Chi. Chi won the 50 freestyle with a CIF automatic qualifying time of 22.07. He then posted a CIF consideration time of 57.03 in taking the 100 backstroke.

Chi worked with Rusty Blakey, Antonio Camarillo and Andrew De Jong to take the 400-freestyle relay (3:23.95). Chi also worked with Camarillo, Blakey and Jake Ksendov to win the 200-freestyle relay (1:32.80).


“Josh has been chasing that CIF qualifying time in the 50 all year,” Crescenta Valley boys’ Coach Jan Sakonju said. “He’s always working at getting better.

“It’s always an exciting time of the year for us. [Thursday’s meet] helped us because we knew Burbank would be tough. The league prelims and finals will be held at Burbank, so this was like a dress rehearsal. It’s just good competition and a good pool.”

Crescenta Valley saw Bassel Takidin, Ksendov, De Jong and Blakey work together to take the 200-medley relay in a CIF consideration mark of 1:45.10.

Also earning first-place finishes for Crescenta Valley were Jason Suh in the 200 individual medley (2:12.34), Shiraz Arslanian in the 500 freestyle (5:26.31) and Ksendov in the 100 breaststroke (1:06.15).

Burbank (6-3, 3-2) received a pair of first-place efforts from Alex Lambert. Lambert took the 200 freestyle in 1:49.52 and the 100 freestyle (48.69).

Kevin Miller finished first in the 100 butterfly (58.45) for the Bulldogs.

“Alex is really good and I expect him to grow,” Goldberg said. “Next year, we expect him to be a force in league and he’ll have even more club training to help him out.”