RIVERSIDE — While the Flintridge Prep boys' swimming team came into the CIF Southern Section Division III meet with hopes of walking away victors, it saw that aspiration take a hit in prelims.
Still, the Rebels were happy with what they were able to achieve Thursday at Riverside City College. Flintridge Prep also put together several personal-best performances to grab a runner-up and two third-place finishes, including both the boys and girls, and took seventh in boys as a team with 143 points.
“It was a little unfortunate but that's always our goal to win,” Flintridge Prep's Marco Flores said. “Even though we didn't get it this time, we'll try again next year. “We didn't know our competition coming into this meet as much as we wished, but now that we got a sense of who they are and what they can do, we'll be prepared next year.”
Although the Rebels didn't prove victorious, Thursday still marked a turnaround campaign for Prep. A year ago, Flintridge Prep didn't have a single swimmer qualify for the championship or consolation finals in Division II. “I actually like it a lot more because in Division II I didn't really have a chance to make it back, it was very hard,” said Prep junior Jennifer Langen, who along with the divers led the girls’ team to 67 points and a 17th-place finish. “I am glad I actually get to see some of the competition out there. It's definitely small fish in a big pond and it's very exciting.”
It turned out the first race of the day, the 200-yard medley relay, was the finest for the Rebels. Flores, Kevin Park, Bruce Park and Carlo Sivilotti were runner-up in one minute 39.74 seconds, with Buckley edging them by just over a second (1:38.72). “I was a second faster than their last leg and you could see them cheering on because they knew, but we did great,” Sivilotti said. “For Prep, we're awesome.” Flores and Langen were responsible for Flintridge Prep's next-best performances. Flores took third in the 200 individual medley (1:59.12) and Langen finished third in the 200 free (1:58.30). “It was great, I just did what coach told me to do and it felt good,” said Flores of his personal-best time in the individual medley. “I was working my turns, we struggled a bit on that in prelims. We worked on turns all day today.” While Langen finished higher in the 200, she was actually a bit happier with her 100 free. The junior took sixth in the race with a PR time of 54.39. “I am more focused on whether I make a personal best or not, but third I am definitely very happy about,” Langen said. “Even if I didn't set a PR time I am glad I could score some points for my team and ultimately it's all about the experience with your team.” Flores also took fifth in the 100 breaststroke (1:01.30) and anchored the 400-freestyle relay, which took sixth and was made up of the same group that swam the medley relay, with a time of 3:18.82. Sivilotti jumped three spots from his ninth seed in prelims and took sixth in the 50 freestyle (22.07). Bruce Park also won the 100 butterfly consolation final with a time of 54.12, which was good for 10th, but was actually faster than the ninth-place finisher in the championship race. Flintridge Prep's Ethan Vandeventer, John Treinan, Gary Lee and Sivilotti also took 11th in the 200-freestyle relay (1:32.69).