Flores, Park pace Prep over Panthers

LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE — Both the Flintridge Prep and Pasadena Poly swim teams walked away winners in Wednesday's Prep League Meet.

The Rebels won 10 of the 11 events on the boys' side for a 98-72 victory, while the Panthers nabbed a 114-56 win on the girls' side.

"I wasn't expecting us to do as well as we did, but we came out strong and I am really happy about that," Prep Coach Ryan Goto said. "It really pumps me up for swim meets we'll have in the future with Chadwick, which will be tough."

Kevin Park and Marco Flores were both workhorses, winning multiple events for Flintridge Prep (3-0 in league).

Park picked up wins in the 200 freestyle and individual medley, but his biggest victory came when he earned CIF Southern Section consideration time in the 100 backstroke as he touched the wall in 58.82 seconds.

"I was really focused on the 100 back," Park said. "I really wanted that CIF consideration time, it feels good to get it."

Flores also delivered wins in the 100 butterfly (56.78) and 500 freestyle. Times were not kept for every race.

"I was a little tired, but I got it going," Flores said. "I am a little rusty and out of shape after spring break, but I just had to tough it out and I wanted it so that drove me to do better."

The two Rebels also led the 400 free and 200 medley relay teams, which included Bruce Park and Gary Lee, to first-place finishes. The 200 medley group finished in 1:44.98.

Lee and Bruce Park also earned individual wins with Lee winning the 50 free and Park taking the 100 free in 51.81.

Prep's 200 freestyle relay team of Lee, Anton Verbinski, Steven Bruno and Alex Blaine also came out on top in 1:43.95.

Omar Dairi was the lone Panthers (1-2) swimmer to win on the boys' side, taking the 100 breast with a personal record time of 1:13.58.

Poly (2-1) leaned on Michelle Miller and Justine Cheng for wins on the girls' side.

Cheng took first in the 100 butterfly (1:02.20) and 100 breast (1:15.10), while Miller took the 50 (26.5) and 100 freestyles (59.3).

"I feel ready for league [finals]," Cheng said. "We are in the middle of the season and we're in training so it wasn't my best but I feel confident for league."

The Panthers' dynamic duo also led the 200 medley relay team to a first-place finish along with Hannah Grotzinger and Allie Hodgen.

Cheng also helped the 200 freestyle relay team of Caroline Harvey, Hodgen and Catherine Finney take the top spot in 1:58.40, while Miller guided Poly's 400 free relay group of Harvey, Grotzinger and Finney to another title.

"The nice thing about this group is there's a ton of depth so they motivate each their in practice," Poly Coach Jessica Berger said. "They have that friendly competition and I think it showed how hard they've all been working in this meet."

Olivia Woo won the 500 freestyle for Poly in 6:20.

Suzanne Tan and Jennifer Langen won the 200 free and individual medley, respectively, for the Rebels (2-1).


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