PASADENA — After finishing a disappointing third at the Prep League Swimming Finals a year ago, winning wouldn't simply be enough for the Flintridge Prep boys' team Saturday.
The Rebels owned the meet by winning nine of the 11 events and setting two new pool records en route to 374 points for a victory that secured them the league title Saturday at Pasadena Poly.
It vindicated Flintridge Prep from a disappointing showing at the league finals a year ago when it trailed first-place Chadwick by 22 points with two races to go before slipping to third. The Rebels not only won it this year, but left no doubt about who the dominant team was.
“It was pretty devastating, we were kind of heartbroken at the end,” Rebels Coach Ryan Goto said of last year. “This year, day one we sat down and thought about the goals we had planned, what we wanted to do this season and I think we are really coming through on what he promised ourselves.”
Second-place Webb trailed Prep by 125 points, Pasadena Poly (213) and Chadwick placed third and fourth, respectively.
“We wanted to come out and show that Flintridge Prep had a really strong team, and we’re going to have a strong team for the next couple of years because we’re only graduating a couple seniors,” Goto said.
Flintridge Prep started the meet by setting a meet and pool record in the 200-yard medley relay. The group’s — Marco Flores, Kevin Park, Bruce Park and Carlo Sivilotti — time of 1 minute, .71 seconds bested the previous record by .09 of a second.
“We came in and all dropped and got the meet and pool record,” Flores said. “That one we didn't even know about, but when we heard we were so excited.”
Inspired by that performance, Flores then checked what the pool record was for the 100 breaststroke, which was 1:01.62 and set by former Pasadena Poly standout Andrew Saeta in 2009.
“I went and looked at the records and thought I could get it, that’s what motivated me,” said Flores, who was named co-MVP of the meet.
The junior was right, as he went on to win and set a new pool record in the breaststroke of 1:01.12. Flores also went on to win the 200 individual medley in 2:01.03.
“I’m at a loss for words right now,” Flores said of his record-setting win, which was also a personal best. “I didn’t back off, I attacked it from the start and if I died, I died. I just went after it.”
Flintridge Prep also received a standout day from Jennifer Langen, who also won two events and set a pool record en route to being named co-MVP of the meet.
The junior set a pool record in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:56.82 and then posted another automatic time in the 100 freestyle (54.95), as she won both her individual races at the league finals for the first time.
“When you come to league finals you kind of have to give it your all,” said Langen, who cut nearly five seconds off her prelim time in the 200 free (2:01.27) and posted automatic CIF Southern Section Division III qualifying times in both her races. “You don't just want to qualify but you want to make an impact. The adrenaline is all there and you just kind of have to give it your best shot.”
Flintridge Prep girls came in fourth with 168 points, just being edged by Westridge (169). Mayfield won the meet with 335 points and Pasadena Poly (257) was runner-up.
The Rebels boys also got a pair of individual wins from Bruce Park in the 200 freestyle (1:52.21) and 100 butterfly (54.76).
“It's my senior year, I wanted to leave with a good, last individual swim,” Bruce Park said. “I didn't want to regret anything. … I'm happy with what I did today.”
Gary Lee and Gabriel Fernandez also supplied Prep wins in the 100 (51.66) and 500 freestyles (5:10.07), respectively. Fernandez trimmed nearly seven seconds off his prelim time (5:17.95) to pick up an automatic CIF time.
Prep also swept the relays, winning the 200- and 400-freestyle relays in 1:32.99 and 3:19.93, respectively. The 400-freestyle relay team was identical to the 200-medley squad and Sivilotti also anchored the 200-freestyle group of Lee, John Treinan and Ethan Vandeventer.
The Rebels, who had automatic CIF times in all but two races, also took the top three spots in the 200 individual medley — Kevin Park (2:08.14) and William Newman (2:13.35) taking second and third. Prep also went one and two in the 100 and 200 freestyles with Vandeventer (54.08) and Fernandez (1:55.15) and going runner-up in the respective races.
Sivilotti (22.54) was just edged by Webb's Adrian Hui (22.46) in the 50 freestyle, which Lee (23.26) also took third in for Prep.
On the girls’ side, Lauren Au also took second in the 100 breaststroke (1:15.60) for the Rebels.
The Rebels also got a runner-up finish from diver Madison Witt, whose 500.65 points automatically qualified for CIF, on Friday’s diving portion of the meet. Prep diver Kyla Bradley also stamped her ticket to the postseason with a fourth-place finish (412.10).