PASADENA — Down until the final few races, the Flintridge Prep boys' swimming team was still within reach of the Prep League championship at Saturday afternoon's league finals.
It left Rebels Coach Ryan Goto to wonder what could have been if his team had been error free and at full strength, as the boys settled for third place with 267 points.
"There were a few mistakes we made along the way," Goto said. "We stumbled a bit and didn't finish as strong as I wanted to. Overall, the swimmers who actually came to the meet today gave everything they could to win and we just came up short."
Chadwick took first with 332 points and host Pasadena Poly just nabbed the runner-up position by three points (270). It was disappointing for the Rebels after they trailed the Dolphins by just 22 points, 260-238, with two events to go.
Prep's Kevin Cheng was a last minute scratch from the finals for personal reasons, according to Goto, despite the fact he qualified and was seeded highly for a number of events in prelims.
"That hurt us a lot," Goto said. "We also had some swimmers miss some races, so we gave some points away we shouldn't have. It had nothing to do with how strong our swimmers were, but the mistakes that could have been avoided."
Despite failing to finish as high overall as Goto would've liked, Prep still received a number of standout efforts from it's boys' squad, as well as its girls' team, which took fourth overall (158). The Panthers girls took first with 319 points, followed by Mayfield (294.5) and Chadwick (210.5).
Prep's boys came out strong and won the 200-yard medley relay, the first event of the day, as Kevin Park, Marco Flores, Bruce Park and Gary Lee swam the event for a CIF consideration time of 1 minute 44.56 seconds.
The same foursome rounded out the day with another consideration mark and second-place finish in the final race of the day, the 400-freestyle relay (3:27.08).
Flores also enjoyed a big day individually for the Rebels.
The sophomore nabbed two CIF consideration times in the 500 freestyle (4:54. 72), which he won by more than 16 seconds, and 200-individual medley (2:01.42), which William Newman and Gabriel Fernandez took fourth (2:16.09) and fifth (2:16.12) in, respectively, for Prep.
Flores was happiest with his personal best performance in the 500 freestyle, which Fernandez took second in (5:15.77).
"I dropped like three seconds [from my club time] and I dropped like six seconds from last year in high school," Flores said. "I just attacked it because sometimes that's my problem — I hold back until the end. This one, I just went for it. I might have died, but it worked."
Bruce Park grabbed another CIF consideration time of 56.17 in the 100 butterfly.
Kevin Park, grabbed another victory for Prep in the 100 backstroke (59.03) and took fourth in the 200 freestyle (1:57.27). Newman took third in 1:04.43.
Jennifer Langen grabbed two consideration times of her own for Prep's girls, as she won the 200 freestyle by more than five seconds (1:58.52) and took second in the 100 freestyle (54.74).
"The season kind of builds up to this moment, so it was very important to all of us," Langen said. "With all the people here and all the commotion, I think it helped us.
"I was definitely very nervous, but I train for this, so it felt good to get [the CIF consideration times]."
Suzanna Tan took second in the 200-individual medley for Prep (2:24.47).
Langen, Tan, Lauren Au and Kate Woolley teamed up for a third-place consideration time in the 200-medley relay (2:01.15). The same group took third in the 400-freestyle relay in 4:10.45.
Au also finished fourth in the 100 breaststroke (1:16.17).
"Next year hopefully we can get around [making mistakes]," Goto said. "We have a pretty young team, so next year we're pretty optimistic."