Flintridge Sacred Heart swimming claims titles, records at Mission League Finals

VALLEY GLEN — After proving to be the best team in the Mission League by winning its second league crown in a row, the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy swimming squad was out for individual glory at the Mission League Finals.

All together, the Tologs won six of 11 league titles, set five new school and three new meet records, including a league record, Tuesday at L.A. Valley College. Sacred Heart’s Kirsten Vose had the finest showing, as she won four league titles and had a hand in all three meet records.

“The girls made the commitment they wanted to go after a few of [the records],” Tologs Coach Steve Bergen said. “It was what they intended to do and the way they swam yesterday [at the prelims], I had confidence it was definitely possible.”

Vose teamed with Kate Herrill, Emily Balog and Katie Altmayer for a victory in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of one minute, 36.95 seconds — a school, league and meet record and All-American mark.

“We’d been working for that all season,” Altmayer said. “We were just a little off yesterday and everyone just pulled together and put the fastest relay together we’ve ever had by far.”

After coming just shy in prelims, Vose went on to set new records in the 100 breaststroke (1:02.82) and 200 individual medley (2:03.94). Her medley time broke the five-year-old meet record set by former Chaminade swimmer Meghan Hawthorne (2:04.10) and the breaststroke bested former Tologs standout Andrea Kropp’s time of 1:04.39 at the 2010 finals.

“That was my goal, for the IM and breaststroke, to try and break them,” Vose said. “I wasn’t positive I could go that fast, but I’m really happy that I succeeded. …These are the best times, the best I’ve ever gone my whole life.”

Altmayer, Haley Shewfelt, Mary Farley and Vose teamed up for another title in the 400-freestyle relay (3:42.21), with Altmayer also setting a 100-yard freestyle school record with a leadoff-leg record time of 52.65. The Tologs’ Balog, Herrill, Shewfelt and Farley also won the 200-medley relay (1:53.93).

“CIF is looking really good and we’re really excited for it,” said Altmayer, whose team has eyed a top-10 finish in CIF Southern Section Division I all year long. “I think all of our relays’ goal is to make All-American and my personal goal is to also make All-American and make it back to the finals in both of my races.”

Altmayer won one of those races, the 100 butterfly, Tuesday when she touched the wall in 56.83, a nearly two-second cushion over runner-up Chloe Kargodorian of Chaminade and a new school record.

The junior set another school record Monday in the prelims of the 200 freestyle (1:54.57). She took second in the 200-freestyle finals Tuesday (1:55.25) when Alemany’s Katherine Wagner clocked in a league and meet record time of 1:51.34.

With Vose leading the charge, the Tologs dominated both the medley and breaststroke. Balog took second (2:12.01) in the individual medley and Shewfelt (2:21.73) and Farley (2:22.15) rounded out the top four.

In the breaststroke, Herrill also swam under Kropp’s time (1:03.76) to finish runner-up and Balog (1:07.84) took third.

Herrill bested another long-standing meet record when she touched the wall in 23.70 in the 50 freestyle — .19 of a second faster than Hawthorne’s record time in 2009. Herrill, a freshman, was unable to see her name go into the record books, though, as she was also just edged by Wagner (23.49).

Sacred Heart's Caroline Bender also won the league's diving title with an All-American, CIF automatic qualifying mark of 424.20 points Tuesday.

Glendale resident Joshua Lo also helped Loyola's 200 freestyle relay team set a meet record (1:27.13).

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