Record-breaking efforts

The Rio Hondo League record book got a makeover after a swarm of Spartans set new league-best times at the Rio Hondo League finals.

The La Cañada High girls' swim team set five league records, while the boys' team set a record in the 100-yard backstroke as well, thanks to Bo Mattix's record-breaking time of 52.05 seconds at the event Friday at the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center.

Katy Campbell was dominant throughout the day, swimming away with two individual league records and titles in the girls' 200 and 500 freestyle events. She obliterated the 500 record — which she set last year in 4:57.78 — with a time of 4:53.10 after taking the 200 title and record in 1:50.99.

"I really wanted to get up and race and see what I had in me before CIF," said Campbell, admitting she has nerves about competing in CIF Division I this year. "Division I is definitely going to be challenge. I do have some confidence [after today], but I am going in a little uneasy."

Campbell also had a hand in capturing another league record as a member of the Spartans 200 freestyle relay. She teamed up with Kenzie Heaton, Sarah Olson and Samantha Campbell, her sister, to set a record in a time of 1:42.50. Heaton, Olson and Katy Campbell, along with Karolina Dudek, set the 200-medley relay record at league finals last year (1:42.50). The same foursome won the 400 freestyle (3:41.91).

"I was hoping we'd break [the relay records] again," Olson said. "It's become kind of a tradition that we break the relays every year because we just keep getting better."

Olson also set an individual league record in the 50 freestyle with a time of 24.15. The Spartans filled the top three spots, as Samantha Campbell took second (24.44) and Heaton was third (24.58).

"I wasn't expecting [to break all these records]; it's a very pleasant surprise," said Tiffany Quash, the La Cañada girls' coach. "I personally don't come into the meets concerned about breaking records. It's about them lowering their times and qualifying for CIF."

Throughout the year, Olson was hoping she'd eventually take the 50 freestyle league record.

"It was definitely a goal of mine. I'd been working on it a lot all year but in the 50, anything can happen and it was flowing my way today," said Olson who also won the 100 freestyle with a time of 53.54.

Heaton won the 100 breaststroke (1:07.47) while Samantha Campbell and Gina Choi also took home individual titles. Samantha Campbell won the 100 backstroke (1:00.91) and Choi took the 200 individual medley (2:43.92).

Christian Renfro hauled in a pair of boys' league titles in the event, taking first in the 100 freestyle (46.50) and 200 freestyle (1:41.23). Despite the wins, Renfro didn't feel as sharp as he did in the league preliminaries.

"I went into prelims knowing there weren't any relays, so I just went and hit it hard," Renfro said. "I am just waiting for that moment next week when I can go and hit it even harder."

Boys' Coach Art Lopez knew Renfro's times suffered on Friday because he was tired, but he wasn't worried about his swimmer getting those times back down for CIF.

"[This] week is when it counts. [Friday] was just seeing where he's at, and next week will be it," Lopez said.

Renfro teamed up with Chase Borisoff, Bo Mattix and Robert Loakes to place first in the 200 freestyle relay (1:29.24). He teamed up with Brandon Nguyen, Matt Myers and Garrett Chin for a title in the 400 relay (3:13.78). Mattix, Nguyen, Chin and Myers, also took first in the 200-medley relay with a time of 1:40.03.

Mattix set a league record, taking first in the 100 backstroke (52.05). Chin finished second in the 100 backstroke (53.39) and 200 individual medley (1:57.41), an event Nguyen won in 1:54.32 before also taking the 100 breaststroke (59.02).

Lopez hinted that there might be changes coming to his relay teams at CIF this week in order to present the best possible lineup for the Division I competition.

"Normally, we could make two really strong and one good relay team but now we have to make all three strong for Division I, especially the 200 free relay," Lopez said. "Division I is a whole different story."

CIF Division I preliminaries were held Wednesday. The finals will take place Friday at Belmont Plaza Pool in Long Beach.

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