So ends career on record note

LONG BEACH — Yumi So couldn’t quite grasp the record she was really after at Tuesday’s CIF Southern Section Masters Meet — the national high school mark in the 100-yard breaststroke — but in the fashion that has come to define the Crescenta Valley High senior over her high school career, she didn’t leave without a record of some sort and a title.

Like the majority of other entrants in Tuesday’s Masters Meet, an interdivisional meet that directly followed Saturday’s division finals, So wasn’t able to drop time from her Division II 100 butterfly win.

Her time of 53.08 seconds was still a Masters Meet record and good for her second Masters title, but was .05 second higher than her Division II record time on Saturday and short of Misty Hyman’s 1996 national mark of 52.41.

“I could really say I gave it my best and I didn’t make it,” said So, the reigning All-Area Girls’ Swimmer of the Year. “Today was just not the day for me to beat it.”

So returned later to finish second in the 100 backstroke in 54.83 behind junior Mary Hanson of Division IV Immanuel Christian, again off her seed time 54.21 from her Division II title win Saturday.

“It’s hard to drop time at the Masters Meet because you’ve been tapering a lot of these guys for so long,” Crescenta Valley girls’ Coach Robert Miller said. “You try to tell her, ‘Good job,’ but she knows her goal. She’s internalizing a lot.”

Her win in the 100 butterfly capped a stellar high school career for So, as well as a season in which she won Pacific League, Division II and Masters titles in the event, while setting records at each level.

“I was pretty regretful last year, I was focusing on Olympic Trials and I didn’t go [to the Masters Meet],” So said. “I think I had a good season. [I’m happy] as long as I have my name written somewhere.”

Crescenta Valley senior Sharif Alaoui medaled in two events on the boys’ side, just making the cut with an eighth-place finish in 1:42.47 in the 200 freestyle and sharing seventh place in the 100 freestyle in 47.19 with Spencer Wolkind of Division I Tesoro.

“It feels all right, especially after CIF final,” Alaoui said. “Everyone’s tired after CIF, but to go pretty close to what I went at CIF finals is still good.”

Alaoui, Andrew De Jong, Tristan Winterhalter and Chris Veselich closed the meet with a fourth-place finish in the 400-freestyle relay in 3:10.27, a slight drop from the Division II finals and the closest the team had come all year to breaking the school record of 3:09.24.

“A lot of us are seeing cross-eyed getting out of the pool because we didn’t breathe a lot, but I don’t think we could have done any better,” said Winterhalter, a senior, who took 23rd in the 50 freestyle in 22.26. “It was great. I like to end it on that note.”

De Jong took 21st in the 200-individual medley in 1:59.99.

Glendale High’s Katalina Sher placed 18th in the 200 freestyle in 1:55.79 and came back to take 23rd in the 100 freestyle (54.63).

Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy was 16th in the 200-medley relay behind Briana Swinney, Madeline Talt, Emily Carideo and Alex Marquez, while Alaoui, Winterhalter, De Jong and Josh Chi were 18th in the 200-medley relay (1:42.01).


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