Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy swimming finds another way to win

LOS ANGELES — When the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy swimming team took its seat atop the Mission League back last year, it did so with depth.

It takes a different approach this year for the Tologs, who relied on their stars of Kirsten Vose, Katie Altmayer, Emily Balog and Kate Herrill to deliver a 99-84 victory over host Harvard-Westlake in a league dual meet Tuesday at Loyola High.

That foursome started the meet with a win and CIF Southern Section Division I postseason consideration time in the 200-yard medley of 1 minute, 54.39 seconds and at least one member of that group had a hand in all nine of the Tologs’ wins on the day.

Flintrdge Sacred Heart won just five events in a 99-77 win over Harvard Westlake last season.

“It was actually flip-flopped from last year, we had a little bit more depth and they had a little more star power. Today, we won nine of 12 events and they were winning most of the meet,” said Flintridge Sacred Heart Coach Steve Bergen, whose team improved to 4-0, 2-0 in league.

It was Harvard-Westlake's depth that kept it in contention late Tuesday. The Wolverines (1-2 in league) captured two of the top-three spots in the 200-medley relay, 200 freestyle, 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle and 100 breaststroke.

Vose had two individual and two relay victories on the day. She took the 200 individual medley in 2:12.64 — with Tologs teammate Mary Farley taking second (2:26.98) — and 500 freestyle (5:20.46). She also served as the starting leg for Flintridge Sacred Heart’s 400-freestyle relay team of Balog, Farley and Haley Shewfelt, who clocked in at 3:53.19.

“We were just trying to beat them because we knew that if we didn’t we wouldn’t be league champions and that’s our goal for this year,” said Vose, a super sophomore who also picked up consideration times in all her events.

Balog touched the wall first in the 100 breaststroke with a consideration time (1:10.60) and also won the 100 butterfly (1:01.75), with Farley also finishing third in the fly (1:06.47) for the Tologs, who also received four points from diver Caroline Bender. Bender took second out of three divers in the meet.

Altmayer also posted consideration times in all four of her races, winning the 200-freestyle (1:57.26) and taking second in the 100 free (54.05). She also led off for the Tologs victorious 200-freestyle relay team (1:46.50) of Farley, Herrill and Shewfelt, as Flintridge Sacred Heart swept all three relays.

Herrill won the 100 backstroke (1:06.82), with Shewfelt taking second (1:08.16), and was runner-up in the 50 freestyle in 25.12, a consideration mark.

The Tologs, who lost eight of their 15 varsity swimmers from 2012, showed they still do have depth in certain events, as they took two of the top-three spots in the individual medley, butterfly, backstroke, 200- and 400-freestyle relays.

“We’ve lost a lot of that varsity depth we had,” Bergen said. “We’re making due without it, but it’s made it harder this year to win dual meets.”

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