Seo announced arrival with dominant Falcons debut

Crescenta Valley relied on freshman phenom during Pacific League, CIF runs

August 04, 2010|By Gabriel Rizk,

While most swimmers his age were figuring out high school swimming at the junior varsity level, Crescenta Valley High freshman Young Tae Seo was putting a successful varsity team on his shoulders and draping CIF and Masters Meet medals around his neck.

But then again, Seo didn't arrive at CV as an average youth swimmer.

His reputation as a top-level club swimming standout preceded him and, after playing a central role in his team's Pacific League title and runner-up finish in CIF Southern Section Division II in his first year on the scene, additional notoriety figures to follow him for some time to come.

"He's definitely one of the most talented freshmen that we've had and to have that much of an impact at such a young age is very amazing," Falcons Coach Jan Sakonju says. "To do as well as he did at CIF, again as a ninth-grader, really shows his potential as a competitive high school swimmer."


With his mastery of the 200-yard individual medley, in which he won CIF and Masters titles, not to mention another Masters crown and league titles captured in two other strokes, Seo's achievements were unmatched by his area peers, resulting in his unanimous selection as 2010 All-Area Boys' Swimmer of the Year, as voted on by the sportswriters and editors of the Glendale News-Press, La Cañada Valley Sun and Burbank Leader.

"It feels great, especially to get it my first year," Seo says. "I want to say thank you to everyone and thank you to my parents for supporting me."

Crescenta Valley returned many of the veteran swimmers who helped it finish seventh in Division II the previous year, and with Seo capable of racking up points in big clusters, the team jumped up five spots in this year's final on May 16 at Belmont Plaza pool in Long Beach.

Seo won the 200 IM in 1 minute 50.14 seconds, placed second in the 500 freestyle in 4:27.38 and swam both the 200-medley and 400-freestyle relays, which came in second and fifth, respectively.

"I think that extra drive of being a major contributor to helping a team do so well at CIF definitely is motivating for him," Sakonju says. "That's one of the benefits of high school swimming is that you do have a team aspect when it comes to championships and dual-meet competition where every member has to perform.

"I think he really enjoyed that. He enjoyed motivating his teammates and working with them and I think that really does push a lot of swimmers to feed off that excitement."

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