PASADENA - Much as it did throughout the Prep League dual meet season, the day and the pool belonged to Flintridge Prep’s boys’ swimming team at Saturday’s Prep League finals at Pasadena Poly.
Led by the dominance of senior Marco Flores, the Rebels won nine of 11 events for 429 points en route to wrapping up their second straight Prep League title.
“We’ve been preparing all season for this,” said Flores, who was an easy choice as the boys’ Prep League Swimmer of the Meet after winning the 100-yard butterfly and 100 breaststroke with meet-record times and swimming legs in two relay wins in two more meet-record performances. “We knew we were ready. It’s awesome.
“We were expected to win and we worked hard to be able to do that. We’re very happy with this result and we’re ready for CIF.”
Flintridge Prep’s girls’ team took fourth out of six schools, but was highlighted by senior Jennifer Langen, who defended her league championships in the 200 and 100 freestyles and shared Prep League Swimmer of the Meet honors with Poly’s Heather Grotzinger.
“We had significantly less girls this year. We had just enough to have two relays … so to take fourth out of six teams is significant,” said Langen, who added how happy she was for the boys’ teams and the performances they put in. “I’m just really happy for everyone. Everyone did such a great job. Especially since it’s my last league match, I wanted it to be special.”
Langen wasn’t the only Rebels’ girls’ athlete to win a Prep League title, as junior Madi Witt, the defending CIF Southern Section Division III diving champion, captured the league diving crown Friday with a score of 487.70.
It was an all-Flintridge Prep competition with just three divers, as junior Kyla Bradley (402.70) was second and freshman Kara Bradley (379.40) was third.
For the boys, though, there was a parade of champions.
In addition to Flores, sophomore David Shin won the 200 individual medley (2:09.18), senior Carlo Sivilotti won the 50 free (21.60), junior Gary Lee (49.98) won the 100 free, freshman Andreas Langen won the 500 free (4:49.94) by a whopping 25.02 seconds and the Rebels won all three relays.
“We were defending league champions and we only lost one senior,” Sivilotti said. “Just looking at the times, there really wasn’t a lot of doubt.”
And the Rebels left none.
Langen, junior Kevin Park, Flores and Sivilotti left little doubt from the onset, opening the meet with a win of more than six seconds in the 200 medley relay, taking first in 1:38.19 for a meet record, while Poly took second in 1:46.39.
In the 200 free relay, Lee, Park, senior Ethan Vandeventer and Sivilotti swam to victory in 1:29.44. And, to put an exclamation mark on the afternoon, Flores, Langen, Lee and Silvotti won the 400-free relay to conclude the day in a meet record 3:17.36.
“It was just crazy. Two weeks out of CIF to be going these times is just amazing,” Flores said. “We knew we could go fast, but with swimming, it’s all about racing. … But the times are a bonus.”
Flores, of course, grabbed the biggest headlines, winning the 100 fly in a meet record of 51.80 seconds, nearly four seconds in front of the second-place finisher.
He sent another meet standard to the wayside in the 100 breast with a win of 1:00.29 – more than five seconds in front of the runner-up.
“Marco’s basically just the anchor for our team,” first-year Rebels Coach Ingrid Herskind said. “He’s the guy that really just focuses our guys.”
A season ago, Prep’s boys bested second-place Webb by a 125-point margin.
This time around, Prep (429 points), which went 3-0 in league dual meets, was 178 points better than second-place Poly (251), with Webb taking third with 200 points.
Poly won a tight girls’ meet with 251 points to Mayfield’s 240, while Prep, which went 1-3-1 in league dual meets, took fourth with 202, just in front of Webb (182).
The girls were, of course, led by the prowess of Langen, who wrapped up a decorated Prep League career with impressive title swims in the 200 and 100 freestyles.
In the 200 free, her time of 1:55.01 bested her pool record of a season ago in the event and was more than six seconds faster than the runner-up mark.
In the 100 free, she set another pool record with a swim of 55.31, a second better than the second-place finisher.
As a heavy favorite, Langen did her best not to get lost in the moment or think too much about what laid ahead.
“I didn’t want to overthink anything,” Langen said. “I just tried not to get too overconfident, because anything can happen.”
Park added a second-place finish in the 200 free in an automatic CIF time of 1:50.40 and Andreas Langen notched a second-place, automatic time of 55.62 in the 100 backstroke.
On the girls’ side, the 200 free relay of freshman Lena Pawlek, sophomore Natalie Rozman, junior Lauren Au and Langen took second in an automatic time of 1:46.65, losing to Mayfield by .07 of a second.
Next up is CIF, with diving finals taking place May 13 at Riverside City College, while Division III swimming prelims are May 14 at the same venue with the finals the next day.
“I feel good personally,” Jennifer Langen said. “I think I can definitely rest up and go faster.”
The boys, of course, will have a far larger contingent with high expectations.
“We’re pretty excited. More than anything, we’re really excited for CIF,” Herskind said. “For me, it was about being able to focus on the technical aspect of coaching … making sure every single race is the race that you want.”