SHERMAN OAKS — After being forced to share the Mission League team championship with Harvard-Westlake thanks to a dual-meet tie against the Wolverines on April 17, the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy swimming team set out to prove it was still the team to beat at Thursday’s league finals.
And after capturing two relay victories, one individual event and earning a bevy of top-three finishes at the Sherman Oaks/Van Nuys pool, the Tologs did just that, as well as getting in a final tuneup before next week’s CIF Prelims.
“We wanted to race [Harvard-Westlake] and just prove that we can do better because they are a good team,” said junior Alex Marquez, who took third in the 50-yard freestyle in 25.67 seconds. “They are fast and really strong. It’s always good to go against the best.”
Relays have been the Tologs’ bread and butter all season long and Thursday was no different.
The quartet of Brianna Swinney, Beth Strub, Andrea Kropp and Marquez opened the meet with a blistering 1:51.99 swim to win the 200 medley relay, eclipsing the meet record in the process.
“That was our best this season and it’s close to last year’s CIF time so we are right on that,” Marquez said.
After Rachael McDonald, Tricia Dobson, Shaylyn Stanley and Strub took third in the 200 freestyle relay, the Tologs were able to regain their winning form in the meet’s final event.
Madeline Talt joined Kropp, Marquez and Swinney, who finished third in the 100 backstroke (1:00.90), for the 400 free relay and the Tologs cruised to a nearly six-second victory in 3:44.19, defending their title from last season.
“All three relays did really good,” Sacred Heart Coach Gary Appel said. “The medley relay came down and dropped their time. They swam really good and that set the tone of the meet.”
Using the momentum from the medley win, the sophomore Kropp was able to rout the field in the 100 breaststroke. She took home the title for the second consecutive season with a 1:05.98.
“Andrea did a great job, dropped a couple seconds off her time,” Appel said.
Kropp was forced to settle for second in the 200 individual medley (2:08.26), as Chaminade standout sophomore Megan Hawthorne took home the crown (2:04.10).
Later in the meet, Hawthorne was able to deny another Tologs victory, this time in the 500 free, as Talt finished second (5:16.51) and Strub garnered third place (5:17.38).
Strub came .10 seconds away from defending her title in the 200 free (1:59.29), but was just edged out by Harvard-Westlake’s Katrina Zandberg (1:59.19).
The Tologs’ success wasn’t contained to just swimming, as two divers shined at the diving finals on Wednesday.
Brittany Salas took home the league crown and Emily Boyd finished third, and the pair is hoping to give the Tologs the extra boost they need heading into CIF, where the Tologs took second last year.
“We are just getting ready for CIF,” Marquez said. “A lot of us went our best times for the season. I think we did awesome.”
On the boys’ side, Loyola seniors Andrew Muller and Spencer Banks, both Glendale residents, turned in fine performances.
Muller captured the 200 free (1:44.03), took second in the 100 butterfly (51.40) and was part of the Cubs’ winning 200 medley relay team (1:39.40) and 400 free relay squad (3:13.98). All four were All-American times.
Banks swam to a second-place finish in the 100 breast (1:03.02).