La Cañada High swimming picks up momentum

LA CAÑADA — A final regular season tune-up perhaps delivered the La Cañada High swimming program something it craved.

The Spartans concluded their last home Rio Hondo League match with a 121-24 victory over Monrovia on the boys’ side and a 114-49 triumph for the girls versus the Wildcats.

With the win, the La Cañada girls’ team finished runner-up in the Rio Hondo League with a 4-1 mark, while the boys took third at 3-2.

Each also captured some momentum before the league’s preliminaries on Wednesday and finals on Friday at the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center.

“The girls’ program has not had a strong history lately, so it was great to finish so good in league,” said Spartans co-Coach Renata Martinez, whose squad was runner-up to undefeated South Pasadena. “I’m happy with how the team did. This is a good win before finals.”

The Spartans captured 10 of 11 events, starting off with a victory from the quartet of Rachel Wong, Shelby Hopkins, Katrine Madsen and Sammi Campbell in the 200-yard medley relay in a time of 1 minute, 58.15 seconds.

The event was one of a few timed events Thursday due to timing and electrical issues.

“We have a small team, so our success is pretty good given our size,” said co-coach Joe Spelman. “We have about 25 girls overall, so we’re not this huge program.”

Campbell notched a couple more wins in taking both the 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke, while Madsen took home victories in the 100 breaststroke and teamed up again with Wong, Hopkins and Campbell for a victory in 200 free relay.

Lindsay Coss was also a dual winner, taking home the victory in the 200 free and then joining Page Rivet, Heather Connolly and Miranda Mora for a triumph in the 400 free relay.

Wong, who was part of two winning relay teams, also claimed the 200 individual medley, while Camila Grases claimed the 100 butterfly.

As for the boys, they swept all 11 events (there was no diving) with eight swimmers combining for all the relay and individual victories.

Senior Peter Loakes was a part of four victories, first as a member of the 200-yard medley team that featured him and Garrett Chin, Dane and Shane Bell. Loakes’ 400 free relay squad of Chin, Matt Varraveta and Dane Bell also won.

Loakes also paired with Chin, Shane Bell and fellow water polo player Jeff Lee for a win in the 200 free relay after claiming his lone individual win in the 100 free.

Varraveta won the 200 IM and 400 free, while Lee claimed the 50 free, Dane Bell clinched the 200 free, Grant Haxton picked up a win in the 100 butterfly, Stephen Kim was victorious in the 100 backstroke and Shane Bell triumphed in the 100 breaststroke.

“Today we primarily focused on the relays and sat some guys down,” Spartans Coach Art Lopez said. “We have some momentum now and we’re hoping for big things at league finals.”


Follow Andrew J. Campa on Twitter: @campadresports.

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