Falcons full-speed ahead

LA CRESCENTA — No one has been able to stop the Crescenta Valley High boys' and girls' swimming teams in the first half of Pacific League competition this season.

With the CIF postseason fast approaching on the horizon, the Falcons would like nothing more than to keep that momentum flowing in the second half of league. They certainly showed no signs of slowing down on Thursday, besting visiting Glendale, 135-34, on the girls' side and 125-46 on the boys', while winning every event.

"It's a crucial time to get ready for the end of the season because we have to figure out who needs to get the extra yardage, who we're going to be tapering for league and who we're going to be tapering for CIF," said Falcons boys' Coach Jan Sakonju, whose team, a strong contender in CIF Southern Section Division II, is undefeated on the season at 7-0, in addition to being 3-0 in league. "It's a good spot for these guys and they're competing with each other, as well, in these races and Glendale's got several really good swimmers that put up some good races for us."

Sakonju's top performers were Josh Chi and Harrison Thai, while the girls' team (5-2, 3-0 in league) was led by big days from Iva Icheva, Sabrina Hatzer and Mackenzie Hobby.

Thai started out the day by teaming with Josh Lo, Shiraz Arslanian and Jason Suh to win the 200-yard medley relay in 1 minute 45.47 seconds. He then swam to wins in the 100 butterfly (52.37) and the 100 backstroke (53.38) before ending his day with a win in the 400-freestyle relay along with Lo, Suh and Andrew Lockwood in 3:33.78.

Chi won the 200 freestyle in 1:51.42 and 100 freestyle in 50.26 and was also on the Falcons' 200-freestyle relay squad along with Antonio Camarillo, Logan Dilbeck and Andrew De Jong, which won in 1:36.58.

Louis Wojciechowski won the 200 individual medley in 2:02.88, Camarillo was a winner in the 50 freestyle in 24.12, Lockwood won the 500 freestyle in 5:28.89 and Lo took the 100 breaststroke in 1:03.00.

Icheva continued her breakout freshman campaign with three total wins on Thursday, starting with the 200-medely relay, which she, Hatzer, Hobby and Adrienne Ingalla won in 2:00.87.

Icheva returned to win the 50 freestyle in 25.30 and the 100 butterfly in a CIF-qualifying time of 1:02.73, bringing her season total of individual events qualified for up to four.

"She's quite a talent, very focused," Falcons girls' co-Coach Pete Loporchio said. "She brings a really good competitive aspect to us."

Hobby turned in wins in the 200 freestyle in 2:16.23 and the 500 freestyle in 5:46.31, while Hatzer was victorious in the 200-individual medley in 2:31.29 and the 100 breaststroke in 1:14.26.

Other Falcons wins came from Ingalla in the 100 freestyle (57.60) and Stacy Lee in the 100 backstroke (1:09.06). Hatzer, Heather Abrams, Rachel Krebsbach and Zosha Wiktor won the 200-freestyle relay and Dakota Davy, Hobby, Abrams and Ingalla won the 400-freestyle relay in 4:33.28.

Top runner-up performances for the Nitros (0-3 in league for both boys and girls) came from Mickey Mowry in the 100 backstroke (55.86) and 100 butterfly (52.95), Madi Corpuz in the 200-individual medley (2:31.81) and Cole Veloz in the 500 freestyle (5:30.50).

"We've made some pretty steady progress throughout the year and that's been our goal," Glendale boys' and girls' Coach Forest Holbrook said of his squads. "We're happy with how we competed against Crescenta Valley and we're excited with how our young swimmers did as well today."

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