PASADENA — For another year, the Flintridge Prep swim teams celebrated with a roaring leap into the pool at the Prep League finals at Pasadena Poly.
The Rebels boys’ and girls’ squads put together strong finishes to pull away from their league opponents on Wednesday, highlighted by a pair of individual and relay wins on the boys’ side and four individual and two relay victories on the girls’ side, to go along with a number of top-three finishes on both squads.
The Flintridge Prep boys clinched their sixth straight Prep League title and finished with 369 points, besting Buckley (309) and Pasadena Poly (198).
The Rebels girls claimed their second consecutive title after clinching their first championship last season in over a decade as they led with 332 points. Pasadena Poly (256) was second and Mayfield’s (215) placed third.
“I’m really proud of them for staying committed and staying in it through the highs and the lows, keeping the pressure on and fighting in every single race,” Flintridge Prep coach Ingrid Herskind said. “It would’ve been nice to win all three of their relays, but Buckley had that amazing freshman who had such a phenomenal meet and hats off to them. We couldn’t touch them in that relay, but also for the Poly girls. They just really put together an amazing middle relay.”
The Flintridge Prep boys’ team (4-0 in league) earned a pair of individual wins from senior Winston Chen. He took the 200-yard individual medley in a CIF consideration time of 1 minute, 38.80 seconds. and also claimed the 100 backstroke in a CIF-automatic time of 50.78.
Those victories coming after Chen struggled early in the relays.
“I just got it down and got it together,” Chen said. “I had an hour in between my events and I really got a hold of myself, so I brought it back in my last individual and my last relay to really help the team out.”
“I worked hard for it. I worked all year for it. I kind of deserved it. I think this is sort of a stepping stone just to see where I’m at. CIF is just around the corner. It’s the real deal. I’m going to go through the same process and trust it. Hopefully, CIF will be better.”
Chen also anchored wins in the boys’ 200 medley relay and the 400 freestyle relay. The senior combined with Matt Ng, Ryan Huntley and Oliver Brookbanks the 200 medley relay win in a CIF-automatic time of 1:38.80 and teamed up with Will Fosselman, Ben Brookbanks and Oliver Brookbanks for an automatic time of 3:16.25 in the 400 freestyle relay.
“It feels amazing,” Chen said. “For the senior boys, it’s four for four. We’ve won all four years of league since we started high school. We had a really great experience.
“I think all the boys worked hard. I remember when we were all freshmen and everyone was starting out swimming. Some of the kids did water polo and things like that, but everyone’s gotten a lot faster and everyone’s gotten more into it. Swimming has been really fun for all of them.”
The Rebels’ girls’ team (6-0) started the meet with three straight victories.
“Last year, for the girls, was so dynamic because we hadn’t won in 15 years, or something like that, so it’s just super exciting to win again,” Herskind said. “But after last year, we just snuck in, and it was such a fight. This year, we had some amazing swims and everybody pulled their weight.”
The Rebels’ 200 medley relay team of Charlotte Stipanov, Emily Jacobs, Makena Walkett and Emily Alamaeddine finished in a CIF-automatic time of 1:50.89.
Alameddine, a senior, followed up with a win in the 200 freestyle in a consideration time of 2:01.80 and freshman Devyn Walkett won the 200 individual medley in an automatic time of 2:09.17.
Stipanov, a freshman, had a CIF-automatic time with a first-place finish in the 100 backstroke in 1:00.70 and freshman Lucy Friedman punched in a consideration mark of 5:30.42 in the 500 freestyle.
The girls’ 400 freestyle relay of Walkett, Emily Jacobs, Alameddine and Walkett finished the race in an automatic time of 3:46.42.
“It’s always interesting to see how they can bounce back from that and I think we did a really nice job being able to bring home those last two relays and having huge time drops,” Herskind said.”
The CIF Southern Section Division III swimming and diving prelims are Monday with the diving competition slated at Riverside City College. The swimming prelims begin on Wednesday at 9 a.m. at the same venue.
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