Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy wins Mission League outright in consecutive years

LOS ANGELES — Steve Bergen let his Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy swim team know he isn't the sharing type before its final Mission League dual meet of the season.

While Sacred Heart had earned itself a share of the league title with a win over Alemany Tuesday, the Tologs coach told the team in a pre-meet, pump-up speech that he intended to be the sole champion — just like last year — on Thursday.

It turned out the Tologs needed little motivation against a considerably smaller Chaminade squad, as they won nine of 11 events and had two of the top-three finishers in all eight of the individual events for a 117-40 victory over Chaminade at Loyola High.

"We have a lot of respect for everybody in this league and to be able to go 5-0 — four of those wins in the last 10 days — has been really special for us," said Bergen, whose team went an undefeated 5-0 in league and is 7-0 overall. "It was really nice for us to not share, we respect other teams, but we don't want to share when we don't have to."

Winning league for the third time in four years and doing so outright in consecutive years, the Tologs have solidified their position back on top of the stacked Mission League.

"Last year it was more surprising, but this year we knew we had to work really hard to get it," Sacred Heart's Kirsten Vose said. "It's still surprising that we won, it's a really good feeling that we won it twice."

Vose and Kate Herrill led the Tologs Thursday and showed there could be plenty more titles in line for them, as the respective sophomore-freshman combination won a pair of individual events each.

"We've got a young team and we have some more freshmen on varsity, like Clare Lund and Mary Farley," Herrill said of chances of a three-peat in league. "We're looking forward to a great three or four years, I'm really excited."

The duo also played a big role in the Tologs' relays. The two teamed with Emily Balog and Katie Altmayer for a nearly 12-second win in the 200-yard medley relay in one minute 54.15 seconds.

Vose and Altmayer also worked with Haley Shewfelt and Farley for a win in the 200-freestyle relay (1:47.51), while Herrill sparked the 400-freestyle relay team of Balog, Farley and Lund to a win in 3:59.38.

Vose also won the 200 individual medley and 100 freestyle. She touched the wall in front of Balog (2:17.98) in the medley (2:13.14), and one of the most exciting races came when she just edged Chaminade's Chloe Kargodorian (54.73) with a season-best time of 53.51 in the free.

Herrill also led a trio of Tologs that took the top spots in the 50 freestyle, with the freshman taking first in 25.23, Shewfelt second (27.61) and Lund third (28.84). Herrill added another win in the 500 freestyle (5:25.33).

Sacred Heart's two other wins came from Altmayer in the 100 breaststroke (1:14.53) and Dana Delaney in the 200 freestyle (2:22.79).

When weighing this year opposed to last, Bergen couldn't help feel more fond about the recent one.

"This one in particular for me is really special because this class I started with when they were freshmen," Bergen said of his seniors like Balog, Hannah Walleck and Anna Porter. "To go through the ringer with them all four years and to send them off with a championship is the best gift I can give them. They did the work and it's really nice they graduate back-to-back league champs."

Glendale residents Joshua Lo and Kris Abramyan also contributed to Loyola High wrapping up the Mission League boys' title with a 144-22 win over Chaminade Thursday.

Lo won the 200 individual medley in 2:01.92 and Abramyan took second in the 500 free in 4:56.33. Lo was also runner-up in the 100 breaststroke (1:01.16).

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