Falcons seeking masterful finish

GLENDALE — Young Tae Seo stepped up and stole the spotlight at the CIF Masters Meet last season, winning a pair of individual events.

Seo will look for a similar effort when he participates in the meet this year, which will begin at 5 p.m. today at the William Woollett Jr. Aquatic Center in Irvine.

Seo, a sophomore on the Crescenta Valley High boys' swimming team, will attempt to repeat as the champion in the 200-yard individual medley, an event in which he's the top seed (1:48.38).

Seo, who also captured the 500 freestyle last year, will additionally compete in the 100 breaststroke and in a pair of relays for the Falcons, who finished third in the CIF Southern Section Division II finals Saturday in Long Beach. Seo won the 200 individual medley and the 100 breaststroke in record-breaking times of 1:48.38 and 55.81, respectively, on Saturday.

"Young Tae loves meets like this one," Crescenta Valley Coach Jan Sakonju said. "It's a meet that's open to all four [CIF] divisions and you are racing the best of the best.

"That can be inspiring."

The meet, previously held at Belmont Plaza pool in Long Beach since its inception in 2005, is a timed-finals format meet featuring a field of the top two performers per event from each division final in addition to the next fastest 16 swimmers per event across all divisions.

Crescenta Valley will be the lone local team on hand. Among those expected to compete for the Falcons are Louis Wojciechowski in the 200 freestyle, Harrison Thai in the individual medley and 100 backstroke and Josh Chi in the 100 freestyle.

Wojciechowski is the second seed (1:39.14) in the 200 freestyle behind Bloomington's Michael Haney (1:38). Thai is seeded third in the individual medley (1:51.07) and third in the backstroke (50.71). Chi will be the 13th seed in the 100 freestyle (47.20).

Wojciechowski capped his CIF finals by winning the butterfly in 49.72.

Crescenta Valley's 200 medley relay team, featuring Wojciechowski, Seo, Thai and Josh Chi or Andrew De Jong, will be the top seed (1:33.79). The 400 freestyle relay of Wojciechowski, Thai, Chi and Seo is the second seed (3:06.59), while the 200 freestyle relay quartet of Jacob Ksendov, Wojciechowski, Chi and De Jong is seeded 15th (1:28.59).

De Jong, Thai, Seo and Wojciechowski won the 200 medley relay race Saturday in a record-breaking time of 1 minute 33.79 seconds.

Sakonju said the Falcons will attempt to shatter some more records today.

"We have been very successful in the relays all season," Sakonju said. "They are very talented and fun to watch.

"They are looking at breaking some meet records."

Crescenta Valley girls' Coach Pete Loporchio said Iva Icheva was slated to compete in the 50 freestyle, but scratched.

Glendale boys' swimmer Mickey Mowry was also scheduled to participate in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke, but Glendale Coach Forest Holbrook said Mowry opted to scratch in both races.

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