SOUTH PASADENA — Robert Echeverria tried to avoid being pushed into South Pasadena High's the pool Thursday.
When it came down it, the coach of the South Pasadena High girls' swimming team wouldn't have had it any other way after his Tigers defeated La Cañada, 94-76, to claim their first outright Rio Hondo League title in four years — snapping the Spartans' four-year run with at least a share of the championship, as both teams shared the title with San Marino last year.
"Last year was a little bitter, but it was a way of motivating these girls," said Echeverria, whose team finished with a 5-0 league record. "Overall, I think they stepped up to the challenge and demonstrated how good we are, and with the help of a lot of young, incoming freshmen our team got even stronger."
La Cañada's boys also earned its 11th straight league championship with a commanding 119-51 victory over South Pasadena (4-1 in league) by winning all 11 races.