CCY Dragons Make Their Mark at Junior Olympics

They came, they swam, they left with an armloads of honors. The CCY Dragon Swim Team turned up the heat when it counted and delivered a stellar performance at the Southern California Long Course Junior Olympics in Mission Viejo, held Aug. 2-7.

Twenty-one Dragon swimmers had times fast enough to qualify in individual and relay events.

Most went on to the championship or consolation rounds, racking up points for their team and honors for themselves during the five-day meet where they competed against more than 800 of the best young swimmers representing 43 teams from the Southland.

Competing for CCY were Seth Biagini, Tricia Dobson, Michelle Du, Christopher Kang, Jason Kim, Stephanie Kim, Jake Ksendzov and Rachel Ku,.

Others are Alexander Najarian, Kyle Otazu, Alexander Park, Gabriel Perez, Matthew Riek, Yumi So, Symeon Stefan, Harrison Thai, Stephen Woo, Edward Yi, Robin Yi and Ho Jean Yoon.

There were many outstanding performances but none better than those of Yumi So, Harrison Thai and national record holder Jason Kim.

So took gold in the girls' 13-14 400 and 200 individual medley and the 100 butterfly, second in the 100 backstroke, and third in the 200 backstroke, while Harrison Thai swam for gold in the boys' 10 and under 100 and 50 breaststroke, 100 and 50 backstroke, 200 individual medley and bronze in the 50 butterfly.

Kim won the boys' 11-12 100 breaststroke for which he holds a national record, then grabbed more gold in the 100 backstroke, 100 butterfly, 200 individual medley and 50 breaststroke.

All three have been named to the Southern California Swimming Western Zone Team which will begin competition on Aug. 9 in Kearns, Utah.

A very strong group of 10 and under boys' dominated the 50 and 100 backstroke events which Thai won and where black Dragon caps were everywhere.

Symeon Stefan took fifth in the 100 backstroke with teammate Gabriel Perez right behind in seventh place. Perez continued with a fifth in the 50 backstroke, and eighth in the consolation round for the 50 breaststroke.

Alexander Najarian copped a seventh in the championship round 50 butterfly and fifth in the 200 individual medley, with sixth in the 50 and 100 freestyle, consolaton.

Stephen Woo swam for third in the 100 freestyle and fifth in the 200 freestyle with Edward Yi turning in a first in the 100 butterfly, all in the consolation round.

Seth Biagini took fifths in the 50 and 100 freestyle, championship and third in the 50 butterfly consolation, boys 11-12.

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