Falcons a swimming success

This is the seventh of eight editions in which the News-Press looks back at the area's 2010-11 seasons, school by school, before looking ahead at the year to come.

There were Pacific League titles and playoff berths aplenty during the 2010-11 athletic season for Crescenta Valley High.

Navigated by All-Area Player of the Year Pavle Atanackovic, the boys' soccer team had its most successful season in program history.

The girls' soccer and girls' cross-country teams maintained their spots atop the Pacific League, while the softball team reaffirmed its place in first.

But the biggest highlights came in the pool, whether it was the Alan Dearman-led boys' water polo team, the girls' water polo squad captained by All-Area Player of the Year Kim Fraisse or the dominance of the boys' swimming squad that was once more keyed by the triumphs of Young Tae Seo.

Here are the highs and lows from the fall to the spring with everything in between.

Sept. 21, 2010 — Spurred by Leah Gagliardi's 15 kills and 11 digs, the Falcons' girls' volleyball team opens up Pacific League play with a 25-22, 25-21, 25-18 win over Glendale.

Sept. 22, 2010 — It's a somber day for the Crescenta Valley High football family, as Gordon "Gordy" Warnock passes away at 79.

A member of the local coaching fraternity for more than 40 years, Warnock coached the Falcons' football team to its only CIF championship in 1973 and had been inducted into the school's hall of fame earlier in the year.

"We were together for 40 years," said Crescenta Valley assistant Dennis Gossard, who became an assistant under Warnock in 1970. "He was a class individual and his No. 1 concern was always the kids. … We will miss him. The coaching profession will miss him."

Sept. 23, 2010 — The Crescenta Valley boys' water polo team rolls to a 11-4 win over El Segundo. Alan Dearman and Andrew De Jong each score three goals for the Falcons. The win improves CV's record to 6-2 and keeps the team on top of the CIF Southern Section Division V polls.

Sept. 24, 2010 — With heavy hearts, the football team takes to the field just two days after the death of assistant and former Falcons head coach Gordy Warnock. Rallying from 10 points down in the final eight minutes of the game, CV defeats rival La Cañada, 38-34, at Moyse Field.

Mauro Lee leads the charge with three touchdowns and 231 yards rushing, but Warnock's memory fuels the team.

"The community, the team, and the school meant so much to my dad," said Gordy's son, Scott. "It's just satisfying to see that returned this game."

Sept. 28, 2010 — Behind three goals from Dearman and a splendid effort in the cage from goalkeeper Rane Colvin, Crescenta Valley shows why it is at the top of the division with a convincing 9-5 victory over La Serna, the second-ranked team in the Division V polls.

The Falcons hold La Serna to three goals in the final three quarters, forcing La Serna to settle for long-distance shots. Colvin finishes with nine saves, six in the second half. Louis Wojciechowski scores three goals for Crescenta Valley.

Sept. 30, 2010 — Jocelyn Chia, a freshman, leads the girls' golf team to a third-place finish in its fourth Pacific League Meet. Chia finishes with a two-over-par 38. The Falcons tie for third with Burroughs with a 228 team score, behind first place Arcadia (193) and second-place San Marino (222).

Oct. 2, 2010 — Claudia Pham wins the Division I race at the annual Kenny Staub Invitational, propelling the Falcons to a team victory at the invite. Anneke Kakebeen takes third in the race, not far behind Pham's first-place mark. Cali King, Erika Johnson and Brooke Moultrie round out the top five.

In boys' cross-country action, Mike Duncan takes 11th and the team finishes ninth.

Oct. 5, 2010 — The boys' water polo team had all but defeated Burroughs by the second quarter, up by 10, in the Pacific League opener. Dearman scores three goals and Josh Chi and Wojciechowski add two apiece to pace the Falcons to a 15-8 win.

Oct. 8, 2010 — The football team scores at will from the start against Hoover in Pacific League action, building a 33-point halftime lead thanks in part to Mark Sereno's two touchdown runs. The Falcons finish off Hoover, 62-28, to get off to a 2-0 league start and go 4-1 overall. It's hardly a sign of things to come, however, as the Falcons lose their last five games of the season.

Oct. 14, 2010 — Hoover only scores once against the boys' water polo team, as the Falcons roll to a 13-1 win. The Tornadoes score their only goal in the first quarter. Dearman notches four goals and an assist in the game. Colvin racks up seven steals, five saves and an assist. Robby Ruzicka and Andrew DeJong score three and two goals, respectively, for the Falcons.

Oct. 19, 2010 — Hat tricks from Jack Snyder, Ruzicka and Wojciechowski lead the Falcons to a 14-8 win over Glendale. Snyder scores five goals in the game and Colvin collects 13 saves. The game is close until the Falcons put together a 7-2 run in the second half.

Oct. 22, 2010 — Chia manages to qualify for the CIF Individual Tournament with a two-round score of 158 for a third-place finish at the Pacific League's individual final.

"I could have done better, but I still did OK," said Chia, who was one of seven golfers to move on. "I was able to get some more experience and that will help me for next year."

The Falcons finish the season 9-13 for a fourth-place league finish. Crescenta Valley's Coach Lee Pope was impressed with his freshman.

"She was right there with everybody else," Pope said. "I'm jazzed that she's moving on. She showed remarkable poise for a freshman."

Oct. 26, 2010 — The boys' water polo team isn't exactly sharp, but it doesn't stop the Falcons from defeating Walnut, 9-6. The offense lags but Colvin steps up, blocking 12 shots. Snyder and Wojciechowski each score four goals in the contest.

Nov. 1, 2010 — Chia works her way through the CIF Southern Section Northern Individual Regional to advance in the individual tournament. She finishes with a 10-over-par 81 to tie for 23rd and be one of 45 athletes to move on.

Nov. 2, 2010 — The Falcons boys' water polo teams scores eight unanswered goals to defeat Burbank, 16-7, in CV's opening-round game of the Pacific League Boys' Water Polo Tournament. The win puts Crescenta Valley in the championship against Glendale. Snyder has five goals in the game.

Nov. 4, 2010 — Colvin rises to the challenge, collecting 14 saves in an 11-7 Crescenta Valley win over Glendale in the Pacific League Boys' Water Polo Tournament championship game. Dearman and Ruzicka each score three goals to lead CV (21-4, 8-0 in league) to its third straight league crown.

In a nailbiting race to the finish, the girls' cross-country team defeats Arcadia, 31-32, to earn a share of its eighth straight Pacific League title. Claudia Pham leads the Falcons with a second-place finish, but the Falcons' top six runners equate in the final, as No. 6 finisher Ali Johnson comes in 11th, a spot ahead of Arcadia's No. 5 runner which sealed the one-point win. Freshman Erika Johnson also comes up big, taking fifth overall and second for the Falcons, just in front of Anneke Kakebeen and Brooke Moultrie.

The boys' cross-country team takes third at the league finals and third overall in the season standings. Mike Duncan leads the way with an 11th-place finish.

Nov. 8, 2010 — Chia survives a three-player playoff for the final two spots to advance in the CIF Individual Final and Women's Southern California Gold Assn. Qualifying Tournament. She finishes with a 15-over-par 87 and is one of 37 golfers to move on.

Nov. 9, 2010 — Coach Steven Umemoto's girls' volleyball team is ousted in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division 2-A playoffs by Palm Springs, 25-11, 25-19, 25-12.

Said Umemoto: "I don't think we've faced that kind of team this year. I think we were a little shocked by how fast their offense was."

Standout Leah Gagliardi tallies 11 digs in her final match as a Falcon. CV finishes its season at 14-14 after going 8-6 in league for fourth place.

Nov. 10, 2010 — Five goals from Dearman and three from Wojciechowski highlight a dominant, 18-1, win over Los Altos in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division V playoffs. Colvin blocks 11 shots in three quarters of work.

"They understand that they need to keep it going [like the regular season]," Crescenta Valley Coach Jan Sakonju said. "The No. 1 priority for us is to be able to focus on our own game and look at the tendencies of our opponents. We've been able to rely on our assets, which is our goal tending, hole/set and counter-attacking."

Chia's impressive postseason run ends right before the state championship. The freshman cards a seven-over-par 79 to finish in a tie for 49th place at the WSCGA Foundation tournament. The top-six finishers make the cut for state.

"The other players and coaches were telling me that I did real good for a freshman," Chia said. "That makes me feel good."

"She had a good day and it was a good bounce back for her," Pope said. "She had to play so hard just to get here. She's battle-tested from playing in a lot of junior tournaments and what she did [Wednesday] can only help her. I'm looking forward to her getting back here."

Nov. 12, 2010 — The football team's season comes to an unceremonious end at 4-6 and 2-5 in league with a loss to rival Arcadia, 35-17, on the road in the Falcons' season finale. Still there were highlights, as kicker Pavle Atanackovic, an eventual All-CIF pick, boots a 32-yard field goal and standout guard Bryan Luna scores a touchdown.

The playoffs continue to be an easy assignment for the boys' water polo team, as CV defeats Palm Springs, 15-6, in the Division V quarterfinals. Dearman scores four goals in the first period and finishes the game with five, along with Snyder. Crescenta Valley also racks up 15 steals.

"Our mentality is that defense win championships," Dearman said. "We wanted to show it's going to be hard to score on us no matter who it is."

Nov. 13, 2010 — A season after having its season end at the CIF prelims, the girls' cross-country team passes its preliminary test, finishing third in its heat to advance to the CIF finals. Claudia Pham leads the way with a fourth-place effort.

The boys' cross-country team doesn't fare as well as the girls with a seventh-place finish in its heat, effectively ending its season.

Nov. 17, 2010 — Pasadena Poly is too much for boys' water polo team to overcome in the CIF Southern Section Division V semifinals. The Panthers defeat the Falcons, 6-2. CV has a chance at a comeback when Ruzicka and Dearman score consecutive goals within a one-minute span near the end of the third period, cutting the Falcons' deficit in half. Crescenta Valley doesn't score again, though, as the Panthers' defense clamps down.

"We failed to execute exactly what we wanted to do," Sakonju said. "In a semifinal game like this when the pressure is on, sometimes weird things happen."

It is the second season in a row that Crescenta Valley falls in the semifinals. The Falcons finish the season with a 25-5 overall record.

Nov. 20, 2010 — The girls' cross-country team, led by Claudia Pham's 13th-place finish in the Division I race, comes up short in its bid to reach state with a ninth-place finish at the CIF Southern Section Division I championship at Mt. SAC.

Nov. 30, 2010 — The boys' soccer team means business in its season opener against St. Francis. Pavle Atanackovic — who would go on to net the 2011 All-Area Boys' Soccer Player of the Year, All-CIF first team and league MVP honors — scores three goals in the 3-1 Falcons win. He scores two of his goals in the second half, turning a 1-0 lead into a comfortable advantage.

Dec. 2, 2010 — The girls' water polo team opens the season with a 25-3, victory over La Cañada. The Falcons showcase their balance, as 12 players score for CV. Sabrina Hatzer, Stephanie Loporchio, Claire Nolan, Daniella Khatchetourian and Karina Alvarez all net a hat trick for Crescenta Valley.

It's an even more impressive performance because the Falcons play without the services of Kim Fraisse, who was out with a sore shoulder. Fraisse goes on to be named the All-Area Girls' Water Polo Player of the Year for the second straight season.

Plenty of missed chances for both sides end in a scoreless draw for the Crescenta Valley and La Cañada boys' soccer teams. The Falcons' best two chances come consecutively seven minutes into the second half. The first chance comes when the Spartans' goaltender punches a shot out to Falcons midfielder Vahe Nalbandian. Nalbandian shoots the ball off the right sidebar and the rebound bounces out to teammate Alex Berger who fires the ball just off the top post and out of play.

• Dec. 10, 2010 — Two of the Falcons' stars, Atanackovic and Berger, lead the boys' soccer team to a 5-1 win over Burbank in its Pacific League opener. Atanackovic scores four goals and Berger has four assists in the game.

• Dec. 11, 2010 — Fraisse scores in sudden-death overtime against South Pasadena to deliver Crescenta Valley the Los Altos Girls' Water Polo Tournament title with a 11-10 win. Fraisse scores a team-high four goals against South Pasadena. Adrienne Ingalla and Shannon Hovanesian each have two goals against the Tigers.

• Dec. 14, 2010 — The girls' water polo team continues a perfect start to the season with a 14-1 victory over San Marino to improve its record to 7-0. Breanna Lawton and Stefanie Loporchio each score three times for Crescenta Valley. Kristina Molder has two steals and two assists in the game.

• Dec. 15, 2010 — The Crescenta Valley and South Pasadena girls' water polo teams stir up a brewing rivalry with another down-to-the-wire battle. The result is about the same as it was three days earlier, as the Falcons defeat the Tigers, 9-8. Fraisse scores on a mid-range shot with 44 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, her second goal of the game, to break a tie and deliver the Falcons their eighth straight win to begin the season. Hovanesian also has two goals in the match.

The Tigers stuck to the Falcons the entire match, from a 1-1 score at the end of the first quarter, to a 4-4 deadlock at halftime. CV has a little separation, up 6-5, going into the fourth quarter before South Pasadena tied it up once again inside the final minute.

"It's always fun to play [South Pasadena]," Crescenta Valley Coach Pete Loporchio said. "It's a good, intense, friendly rivalry."

Dec. 21, 2010 — The girls' water polo team picks up a dominating, 19-3, win against Alemany. Rachel Krebsbach and Karina Alvarez finish with three goals to help the Falcons improve to 12-2 on the year. Fraisse has a match-high four goals.

Jan. 4 — The boys' soccer team shuts out Hoover for a 3-0 win. Erick Trejo and Nalbandian each score in the first two minutes of the game to put the contest out of question. Atanackovic scores the final goal of the game in the second half.

Jan. 7 — The boys' soccer team rebounds after falling behind Muir, which occupies first place in the Pacific League, early. Crescenta Valley can't make up any ground, though, as the game ends in a 2-2 tie. The tie is a feat for CV to finish even, as both its goals come in the last 10 minutes, after the Mustangs take a 2-0 lead in the 58th minute. Salar Hajimirsadeghi and Berger are responsible for both of the Falcons' goals in the game.

Backed by 20 points from both Davis Dragovich and Christian Misi, the boys' basketball team fends off Burbank, 69-66, in a Pacific League game that goes down to the wire in double overtime.

Jan. 12 — The Pacific League opener is no easy task for the girls' water polo squad. The Falcons narrowly escape Pasadena with an 8-7 win. Cho leads the Falcons with two goals, including the go-ahead tally with 5:36 remaining in the fourth quarter, and Stefanie Loporchio's insurance goal with 2:45 to go proves to be huge when the Bulldogs score with 1:14 to cut the lead to one. It is the only goal CV surrenders in the fourth quarter, as the team's defense and Alegra Hueso's goal tending (14 saves) is stifling.

Jan. 14 — The boys' soccer team nearly pulls out a win against Glendale after playing a man down in the final 48 minutes of the game, after Nalbandian draws a red card. The disadvantage catches up to the Falcons, as the Nitros score with little more than a minute remaining. Hajimirsadeghi notches Crescenta Valley's lone goal off a free kick in the 56th minute.

Jan. 18 — A back-and-forth battle ends in the girls' water polo team's favor, as the Falcons defeat Glendale, 11-7, to take full control of first place in the Pacific League. The Falcons score the last four goals of the match and hold the Nitros scoreless in the final 10 minutes to take the win. Fraisse has four goals in the contest and Cho has three.

The girls' soccer team upends archrival Arcadia, 1-0, as Katie Callister scores the only goal of the match in the 14th-minute and a defense keyed by Mallory Carcich and Dani Busta earns a shutout.

Jan. 26 — Atanackovic nets a hat trick and assist in Crescenta Valley's 4-1 win over Burroughs. The victory keeps the Falcons on a seven-game winning streak.

Jan. 28 — The boys' soccer team struggles against Hoover, which gives the Falcons all they can handle before the Tornadoes lose, 1-0. The Falcons' win comes down to an Atanackovic goal in the first half.

Feb. 1 — Behind 16 points from Samira Seraji, the girls' basketball team defeats Pasadena, 52-49, in an overtime Pacific League thriller. It's hardly a sign of things to come, though, as the Falcons would lose their next three league games and last four overall.

The boys' soccer team moves a step closer to repeating as Pacific League champion, as Atanackovic leads the Falcons to a 2-0 win, scoring both of his team's goals. The Falcons' defensive unit of Reilly Solis, Matthew Bracht, Matt Schmutzer and Chris Fierro limit Muir to five shots. Goalkeeper Nick Ruiz finishes with four saves.

Feb. 2 — An old rivalry proves to be little test for the girls' water polo team, as it rolls over Arcadia, 16-4, in the Pacific League regular-season finale. Eleven players notch a goal for Crescenta Valley and Stefanie Loporchio leads the way with a game-high four goals, including two steals and an assist. Fraisse has two goals and two steals. CV accumulates a total of 21 steals.

The Falcons improve to 22-3, 6-0 in league, and continue a 14 league match winning streak.

Feb. 8 — Burbank gives Crescenta Valley a scare in the semifinals of the Pacific League Girls' Water Polo Tournament, with the Pacific League title on the line for the Falcons. CV pulls out a narrow, 10-9, victory to capture its second straight league championship.

Christine Cho scores the Falcons' final goal of the match on a deep perimeter shot with 2:23 left in the fourth quarter to provide a crucial two-goal lead, 10-8. Janna Ayvazyan's goal with 52 seconds left brings Burbank within 10-9 to set up a dramatic final pair of possessions to close the game. A shot from Crescenta Valley's Breanna Lawton with 18 seconds left is blocked in the Falcons' final possession. CV's defense holds the Bulldogs without a shot on their final possession.

The win secures the league crown for Crescenta Valley (24-3, 7-0 in league), which has accumulated enough points for the championship even if it falls to Pasadena in the tournament finale.

Atanackovic helps deliver the boys' soccer team's second straight Pacific League championship with a hat trick in Crescenta Valley's 3-0 win over Glendale. Crescenta Valley improves to 12-2-5, 10-0-3 in league. Atanackovic scores his team-best 30th goal of the season.

"This time around, we just focused on us every single game," Crescenta Valley Coach Kiel McClung said. "Winning the league for the first time is the best. This one was great, too."

Goals by Sarah Worden, Sierra Rhoads and Jordan Royer lead to a 3-0 girls' soccer win over Glendale, which clinches the Falcons' third consecutive league title. The Falcons would finish 10-1-3 in league.

Feb. 10 — Crescenta Valley finishes 2011 Pacific League play with an undefeated 8-0 mark after defeating Pasadena, 9-6, in the Pacific League Girls' Water Polo Tournament finale. Fraisse's five goals, including three in the fourth quarter, lead the Falcons (25-3). Hatzer also has two goals.

"They rose to the occasion," Loporchio said. "I think it's a credit to the seniors. Kim stepped up big time."

Berger, Atanackovic and Ray Abghary each score in the boys' soccer team's 3-0 win over Arcadia in its Pacific League finale. The win delivers the Falcons an undefeated league season, as the team goes 13-2-5, 11-0-3 in league.

"Everyone realized that the goal would be to win every game in the second half of league after going 4-0-3 in the first half," McClung said. "It's hard to go 7-0 [in the second half of league], given how unpredictable this league is. We beat a lot of good teams in league and I'm proud that we were able to go undefeated."

Cole Currie takes an inbounds pass with seven seconds left and heaves up a last-second three-pointer to give the boys' basketball team a 69-68 home win over archrival Arcadia in the teams' Pacific League finale. CV finishes league play in second at 12-2, as Currie has 14 points and Christian Misi adds 21.

Feb. 16 — The first round of the CIF Southern Section Division V playoffs is little test for the girls' water polo team. The Falcons pour it on with a 16-6 win over Yucaipa.

"We came out really confident that we would play really well," said Ingalla, who paces Crescenta Valley, along with Cho, with four goals apiece.

Feb. 17 — The girls' basketball team's season comes to a close with a 48-36 loss to Marlborough in the CIF Southern Section Division I-A first round. The loss comes despite 16 points and seven rebounds from freshman Ella Stepanian. The Falcons conclude their season at 13-14 and 6-8 in league, good enough for a fourth-place tie and an at-large playoff berth.

Feb. 18 — The girls' water polo team showcases its defensive prowess in an 8-5 win Walnut in the CIF Southern Section Division V quarterfinals. The Falcons receive four goals from Fraisse and allow one goal in the fourth quarter. The victory sends Crescenta Valley to the semifinals for the first time since 2002.

"I've got the proverbial monkey off my back," Loporchio said.

Berger nets a sudden-death goal for Crescenta Valley in the soccer team's first round CIF Southern Section Division IV game against Diamond Bar. The goal advances the Falcons in the playoffs with a 3-2 win and erases any bad memories from last year when CV was eliminated in its playoff opener.

The Brahmas get on the board first in the 26th minute. Then with the half winding down, Crescenta Valley's Michael Shanazarians scores on a free kick from 12 yards out. Berger and the Falcons capitalize on a corner kick opportunity, as Atanackovic boots it in to give CV a 2-1 advantage in the 57th minute. The Brahmas score with just under six minutes remaining.

Berger's game-winning goal comes with 4:30 remaining in the first half of overtime. It comes off another corner kick, but Berger twists in the net without anyone else knocking it in.

"There's always that space on the near post," Berger said. "I was just hoping for a deflection, so one of the other guys could rebound and put it in."

The girls' soccer team is upset in the opening round of the CIF Southern Section Division II playoffs by Martin Luther King, 2-1. The Falcons take an early 1-0 lead when Bri Ismale scores off a Katie Callister assist, but the Falcons can't hold.

"I can't complain about the effort," said first-year Coach Jorden Schulz, whose team went 12-5-4 on the year. "We got a little unlucky and they drove harder at the end. They had a chance and they took it."

Feb. 23 — Crescenta Valley comes within a goal of advancing to the CIF Southern Section Division V finals, falling to Temescal Canyon, 10-9, in the semifinals. Temescal Canyon takes its biggest lead of the game, 7-2, early in the third quarter, but the Falcons battle back.

"We just thought about it during halftime and we were like, we have to come back, and go as hard as we can and not give up," said Fraisse, who finishes with six goals. "We did our best and coming back up that much was very good for us."

After scoring on a man-advantage to bring Crescenta Valley back within four, Fraisse draws an ejection and a five-meter shot with 3:12 left in the third. She is blocked, but Fraisse relentlessly pursues the rebound, out hustling a pair of Titans to secure the ball and draw another ejection and five-meter in the process.

She buries that one to give the Falcons their first shot of momentum of the second half. The push continues in the fourth quarter when the Falcons' defense keeps the Titans scoreless for more than four minutes. Cho beats Medeiros with a shot into the upper left corner with 1:49 left for the Falcons' third unanswered goal, keeping hope alive for Crescenta Valley. The dramatic comeback is kept at bay moments later when Temescal Canyon scores a late, clinching goal.

Shahnazarians scores a goal with 16 minutes left in the boys' soccer team's second-round CIF Southern Section Division IV match. Shahnazarians' goal was the only of the game as the Falcons win, 1-0.

Shahnazarians controls a rebound and lines a low shot past North Torrance goalkeeper.

"I read the play and the rebound came to me," Shahnazarians said. "I was kind of surprised and I was lucky that it got to me because I thought they were going to clear the ball out of their end.

"North Torrance has a very strong team and it was a tough battle that we won."

Feb. 25 — The boys' soccer team makes its deepest playoff run in program history, but can't advance to the finals, as the Falcons fall to El Rancho, 3-1. Nothing goes CV's way in the loss, as rain creates a slick field and leads to a Crescenta Valley own goal. The Falcons also play down a man for more than half of the contest after a red card.

"Luck just wasn't on our side this time," McClung said. "We had some things go against us."

CV's own goal puts El Rancho up, 2-0. The Falcons come back a minute later when Berger crosses a pass to Atanackovic, who beats El Rancho's goalie.

Any momentum for Crescenta Valley (15-3-5) is erased when Hajimirsadeghi receives a red card for knocking down an El Rancho player near the end of the first half. El Rancho closes out the scoring with a goal in the 65th minute.

March 14 — The boys' golf team's youth prevails in a 209-212 nonleague victory against St. Francis. The Falcons (3-1) receive two-over-par 38s from freshman Paul Park and sophomore Adrian Chia to edge the Golden Knights.

The Falcons receive a 41 from Aaron Peskett, a 45 from John Lee and a 47 from Nick Blackburn.

"We took a step in the right direction," Pehar said. "We always expect St. Francis to be strong. For us to score a 209, that's a great step."

What had the makings of a stellar season ends abruptly, as the seventh-seeded boys' basketball team is upset in the first round of the Division I-A playoffs by Quartz Hill, 49-46, to ends its season at 20-8.

Christian Misi has 12 points and 10 rebounds, but, for the most part, the Falcons are held down by Quartz Hill's zone defense.

"This, all around, was probably the worst I've seen this team play in 28 games," Falcons Coach Shawn Zargarian said. "Unfortunately, we picked the worst time of the year to come out with a worst game."

April 6 — After Troy Mulcahey, the eventual All-Area Baseball Player of the Year, pitches six scoreless innings, Elliott Surrey provides two spotless innings of relief and the game-winning hit to score Tyler Pollak for a 1-0 win against West Torrance in the championship game of the Babe Herman Tournament.

Surrey is named the tournament MVP.

April 8 — The girls' track and field team competes in the Arcadia Invitational. Anneke Kakebeen turns on the jets in the final leg of the Seeded 4x1,600 Relay to help Crescenta Valley finish fifth in 21 minutes 49.55 seconds in the second-to-last event of the night.

"I thought we ran a good race, it's our best [4x1,600] we've run this year," Crescenta Valley Coach Mark Evans said of the team that also included Claudia Pham, Diane Lombardi and Cali King. "They came out with medals, so they're excited."

Crescenta Valley was around the eighth-to-10th-place range for much of the race before Kakebeen made a strong move down the stretch.

April 9 — The girls' track and field team picks back up in the Arcadia Invitational with the boys. On the girls side, Cali King, Tiernan Hebron, Diane Lombardi and Anneke Kakebeen place 12th in the Women's Distance Medley in 12 minutes 46.68 seconds.

Andrew Roide of boys' squad places eight in the high jump with a leap of 6 feet 6 inches.

April 12 — Despite a doubles sweep from Jeremy Cho and Tim Chong, the boys' tennis team is swept by Burbank, 10-8, in a Pacific League match. It's symbolic of an overall frustrating year for the Falcons' boys' squad, which finishes 4-13 overall and 2-10 in league.

April 21 — The boys' and girls' swim teams come out on top in a Pacific League Meet against Burbank. The boys win 115-54 and the girls roll 124-46 to improve to 9-0, 5-0 in league and 6-2, 5-0 in league, respectively.

For the girls, Iva Icheva wins the 50-yard freestyle race in a CIF automatic qualifying time of 24.82 seconds and the 100 freestyle in a CIF-qualifying time of 53.96. She also works with Sabrina Hatzer, McKenzie Hobby and Adrienne Ingalla to take the 200-medley relay in a CIF-consideration time of 1 minute 59.14 seconds. She grouped with Ingalla, Hatzer and Heather Abrams to take first in the 200-freestyle relay with a CIF-consideration time of 1:45.72.

The Falcons receive first-place finishes from Ingalla in the 200 freestyle (2:05.32) and the 500 freestyle (5:51.93). Abrams captures the 200-individual medley (2:28.42) and Lamar Bruno takes the 100 butterfly (1:06.04) and Shannon Hovanesian wins the 100 breaststroke (1:18.69).

The Falcons closed out the meet with Hobby, Dakota Davy, Abrams and Nayiri Kechichian teaming up to win the 400-freestyle relay (4:03.65).

For the boys, Josh Chi wins the 50 freestyle with a CIF automatic qualifying time of 22.07. He then posts a CIF consideration time of 57.03 in taking the 100 backstroke. He also teams with Rusty Blakey, Antonio Camarillo and Andrew De Jong to take the 400-freestyle relay (3:23.95). Chi also worked with Camarillo, Blakey and Jake Ksendov to win the 200-freestyle relay (1:32.80).

Crescenta Valley saw Bassel Takidin, Ksendov, De Jong and Blakey work together to take the 200-medley relay in a CIF consideration mark of 1:45.10.

Also earning first-place finishes for Crescenta Valley were Jason Suh in the 200 individual medley (2:12.34), Shiraz Arslanian in the 500 freestyle (5:26.31) and Ksendov in the 100 breaststroke (1:06.15).

April 22 — The boys' and girls' track and field teams both win in the final Pacific League dual meet of the year against Hoover to head into the league tournament undefeated. The boys and girls coast by the Tornadoes 109-27 and 108-27, respectively, to improve to 6-0 overall.

In the boys' win, Crescenta Valley is led by double-winners Mike Duncan and Levi Walker. Duncan takes the 800 meters in 2 minutes 01.00 seconds and the 3,200 in 10:03, while Walker provides wins in the long jump (19 feet 5.28 inches) and the triple jump (40-7 1/4).

The Falcons also pick up wins from Josh Straschewski in the 110 high hurdles (15.47), Parker Averill in the 400 (52.22), Eli McDonald in the 300 low hurdles (44.88), as well as a win in the 4x100 relay from Walker, Justin Springfield, James Maturan and Averill in 44.44.

In field events, Crescenta Valley gets wins from Andrew Roide in the high jump (6-2), Brennen Hickland in the pole vault (11-9), David Evizazian in the discus (86-6) and Wes Foote in the shot put (35-9 1/4).

Claudia Pham leads a balanced effort on the Falcons' girls' side, winning the 1,600 in 5:44.91 and the 3,200 in 12:15, while Kayleigh Carillo has a hand in three wins, taking the 400 in 1:00.50 and running in the 4x100 relay with Noel Wong, Maple Jones and Jessica Beerman (51.19) and the 4x400 relay with Claudia Sepulveda, Tiernan Hebron and Hannah Ruby (4:20.09).

Sepulveda wins the 100 high hurdles (16.97), Hebron takes the 100 (12.91), Ruby captures the 800 (2:32.28) and Beerman is a winner in the 200 (26.25).

In field events, Elia Ganon wins the pole vault (7-3) and Jones doubles in the triple jump (32.5) and long jump (15-5).

April 26 — The girls' track and field team gets off to a slow start but Arcadia picks up every win in the field to capture the Pacific League title, as Arcadia takes the crown, 77-59. The boys team also takes a back seat to the Apaches, 99 1/2-36 1/2.

Claudia Sepulveda wins the 100-meter hurdles in 16.79 seconds and the 300 hurdles in 48.69.

"I thought we had them," Sepulveda said. "It was a tough match, but I felt like we did really strongly. It was one of our best meets all season. We did come out to compete."

The Falcons (6-1 in league) also get wins from Jessica Beerman in the 100 (12.69) and 200 (25.64), Tiernan Hebron in the 400 (1:00.18), Cali King in the 1,600 (5:19.10), Claudia Pham in the 3,200 (11:34.62) and a victory in the 4x100 relay from Sepulveda, Noel Wong, Kayleigh Carillo and Beerman in 50.69.

On the boys' side, the Falcons (6-1) pick up wins from James Maturan in the 100 in 11.50, Josh Straschewski in the 110 hurdles in 15.86 and Nick Ruiz in the 300 hurdles in 16.81.

May 3 — Adrian Chia, John Lee, Paul Park and Aaron Peskett of the boys' golf team qualify for the Pacific League Individual Tournament in the league prelims. Chia and Park shoot 81s, while Park finishes with an 85 and Peskett cards a 91. David Moreno has an 84 for Crescenta Valley, which got a 95 from Patrick Kallas.

May 4 — Park's bid for a spot in the CIF Southern Section Individual Tournament falls short when he cards a two-over-par 72 on the final day of the Pacific League Individual Tournament.

"I had a lot better round [Wednesday] compared to my first round Tuesday," said Park, who cards a 13-over-par 85 on Tuesday and finishes 11th overall with a two-day score of 157 and a total league season score of 394. "I just hit the ball a lot better and my putting was good.

"It's a good experience for my first time competing in this tournament."

The top five in the tournament move on to CIF. Adrian Chia, Aaron Peskett and John Lee of Crescenta Valley also compete in the tournament. Chia cards an 80 and finishes with a two-round score of 161 and places 13th with a season score of 396. Peskett takes 14th after carding an 83 for a two-round score of 174 and 407 overall. Lee has an 87 for a two-round tally of 168 and a season total of 409 for 15th place.

May 5 — The boys' swim team wins all 11 events in the Pacific League Meet, setting seven new league records, in a convincing 548-335 win over second-place Arcadia. The Crescenta Valley girls' team posts 538 points to beat Apaches' 365, despite claiming just two first-place finishes. Both squads finish as Pacific League champions.

"They wanted to make a statement not only that they were the best team this year, but that they were the best team in the history of the Pacific League," Crescenta Valley boys' Coach Jan Sakonju said.

Louis Wojciechowski wins the 100 butterfly in 49.97 seconds and the 200 freestyle in 1:39.55. Young Tae Seo is a winner in the 500 freestyle in 4:30.61 and the 100 breaststroke in 58.19, while Harrison Thai takes the 200-individual medley in 1:51.92 and the 100 backstroke in 51.16, also a new school record. Seo, Wojciechowski, Thai and Chi also take the 200 freestyle in 1:26.19.

Chi also captures the 50 freestyle in 21.94 and 100 freestyle in 48.07, while Thai, Jake Ksendov, Andrew De Jong and Rusty Blakey win the 200-medley relay in 1:38.80. Wojciechowski, Blakey, De Jong and Seo wins the 400-freestyle relay in 3:12.46.

The Falcons girls get first-place finishes from Icheva in the 50 freestyle in 24.85 and Ingalla in the 100 breaststroke in 1:11.63.

Though the boys' volleyball team came up short in making it to the postseason, the Falcons go out winners, claiming their biggest victory of the season, defeating archrival Arcadia, 25-20, 13-25, 25-14, 25-22 in the teams' Pacific League finale.

Led by the likes of Logan Shapiro and Mitch Collins, the Falcons went 11-15 and 3-5 in league.

May 6 — Back-to-back doubles by Cam Silva and Tyler Pollak equate to a walk-off win in the 10th inning of a marathon Pacific League win over Pasadena for the baseball team.

May 7 — Football takes center stage at the annual Crescenta Valley Hall of Fame induction, as former players John Mirch and Gary Beck, along with the 1973 CIF championships football team, are among the inductees.

"This experience is like living with family and being with extended family," said John Mirch, a 1977 graduate who was recognized for his efforts as an outstanding football player and track athlete.

The class also includes Donna Mayhew, Bob Herrold, Michele Lee Hampton, Gene Sutherland and Greg Vasquez.

May 9 — The boys' golf team's season ends in the CIF Northern Team Divisional as the Falcons card a 424 11th in the 19-team tournament. Crescenta Valley qualified for the tournament after taking third place in the Pacific League.

"They played their best and that's all I can ask for," CV Coach John Pehar said. "They definitely improved over the last month and their scores dropped. The goal was to make CIF and we did it again."

Aaron Peskett paces Crescenta Valley with a seven-over-par 79, followed by Adrian Chia with an 80. Chia finishes with three birdies on the 6,750-yard course. Paul Park finishes with an 86 for the Falcons, who got an 88 from John Lee and a 91 from Patrick Kallas.

May 12 — The softball team downs rival Arcadia, 4-0, to grab a share of the Pacific League title with a 13-1 record.

"It feels good, seeing as how we didn't get it last year, to prove to everybody that we could get it and we could come back," said Falcons senior first baseman Sydney House, who has a home run. "We knew that we had to win this game and I think we definitely came out pumped up and ready to play."

May 13 — The boys' swim team sets two new CIF Southern Section Division II records in the Division II preliminaries.

Seo establishes a new mark in the 100-yard breaststroke in 55.88 seconds and the Falcons' 200-medley relay team — Harrison Thai, Andrew De Jong, Seo and Louis Wojciechowski — set a record of 1:34.23, beating runner-up Murietta Valley by more than two full seconds.

"We're very happy about [the wins and broken records on Friday]," Crescenta Valley boys' Coach Jan Sakonju said. "We just want to make sure we can execute tomorrow and bring home a championship."

Seo also wins the 200-individual medley in 1:50.65. Thai takes 100 backstroke in 50.59. Wojciechowski turns in two first-place swims, finishing in 1:39.05 in the 200 freestyle and 49.71 in the 100 butterfly.

The team of Wojciechowski, Chi, Thai and Seo takes first in the 400-freestyle relay (3:08.94). Chi also qualifies for the championship race in the 100 freestyle in 47.51.

In girls' action, Icheva finishes sixth in the backstroke in 59.61 and 10th in the 50 freestyle in 24.90. She is the only local girls' athlete to move on to the finals.

May 14 — Seo has a hand in breaking three more Division II records in the CIF Southern Section Division II finals, as he captures two CIF individual titles and helps the 200-yard medley team capture another championship.

Seo takes the 200 individual medley title and record in 1 minute 48.38 seconds. Thai takes second in the event in 1:51.07. Seo also takes the record and title in the 100 breaststroke (55.81) before doing the same with teammates Thai, De Jong and Wojciechowski in the 200 medley relay (1:33.79).

"I just want more and more [records]," Seo said.

Thai, Wojciechowski, Josh Chi and Seo also come in second place in the 400 freestyle relay (3:06.59).

After an impressive league season, both the boys' and girls' track and field teams miss the cut for the CIF Division I finals at the CIF prelims.

May 17 — Seo caps his record-breaking sophomore campaign with three more titles at the CIF Masters Meet.

Seo takes the 200 individual medley title in 1 minute 50.35 seconds and is part of the 200-medley relay (Thai, De Jong and Wojciechowski) and 400-freestyle relay teams (Thai, Chi and Wojciechowski) that win their races in 1:35.58 and 3:10.51, respectively. Seo also comes in second in the 100 backstroke (56.93).

"We broke seven league records and we had several school records," Sakonju said. "We did a lot this season. This was one of the best swimming seasons."

Thai finishes second in the 200-individual medley (1:52.82) and third in the 100 backstroke (53.10 seconds). Wojciechowski comes in second in the 200 freestyle (1:40.45) and Chi is 13th in the 100 freestyle (48.38). Crescenta Valley's 200-freestyle relay team of Chi, De Jong, Blakey and Ksendov win its heat, placing fifth overall, in 1:28.09.

May 19 — After taking a two-run lead in the top of the fifth inning against Oak Park in the CIF Southern Section Division III playoffs' first round, the softball team falls behind and a comeback attempt is quelled in a 6-5 loss.

"We fought all day and came from behind," said Crescenta Valley Coach Dan Berry, whose team finished the season at 21-4. "We had a heck of a year, but it wasn't meant to be [Thursday]."

Two-time All-Area Softball Player of the Year Erin Ashby has two hits in her final game as a Falcon.

Run-scoring singles by Cole Currie and Elliott Surrey give the baseball team hope, but the last-inning rally falls short in a 6-3 loss to Sherman Oaks Notre Dame in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division II playoffs. The Falcons end their season with an impressive 23-5 record after going 12-2 in the Pacific League.

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