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La Cañada, San Marino swimming split Rio Hondo League meet

Spartan boys remain untouchable in 102-68 win over Titans, who pick up a 98-72 on girls' side.

April 11, 2013|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com
  • La Canada's Dane Bell looks back in the 200 freestyle to see how close his San Marino opponent is in a dual Rio Hondo League swim meet at La Canada High on Thursday. The Spartans won the boys' meet, 102-68, while the Titans won the girls' meet, 98-72. (Tim Berger/Staff Photographer)
La Canada's Dane Bell looks back in the 200 freestyle…

LA CAÑADA —When La Cañada High boys' swimming Coach Art Lopez looked at the 2013 Rio Hondo League schedule, he predicted the championship would all come down to Thursday's dual meet with San Marino.

While the Titans swam closer to the Spartans, whose two previous league wins came by at least 74 points, than any other team this year, the meet and perhaps the league title was never really in doubt, as La Cañada posted a 102-68 win at its home pool.

PHOTOS: San Marino vs. La Cañada Rio Hondo League swim meet

“I think our team’s a lot stronger this year than last year,” said La Cañada senior Brandon Nguyen, who helped the Spartans with four wins Thursday, while also acknowledging the loss of graduated senior Bo Mattix. “This year, I feel like we’re a lot stronger and have more motivation and we only lost one person, so we knew each other’s capabilities and what we can push each other toward.”

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The Spartans, who are now 5-0, 3-0 in league, continued their Rio Hondo domination, as they racked up six CIF Southern Section Division I automatic and three other consideration times. Lopez stressed the amount of work that’s yet to be done in preparation for CIF.

“We have an opportunity to still improve coming off of spring break,” said Lopez, whose team needs to defeat Monrovia Thursday to ensure sole possession of the league title. “It’s jump-starting and getting back in rhythm. … We have a lot of work to do before CIF, but they did a great job today.”

Nguyen picked up a pair of individual automatic marks in the 200-yard individual medley and 100 breaststroke in a minute 55.93 seconds and 59.77, respectively. The senior also added an automatic time of 1:37.96 in the 200-medley relay with Garrett Chin, Symeon Stefan and Peter Loakes to start the day.

Loakes, Chin, Nguyen and Dane Bell also won the last race of the day, the 400-freestyle relay, in 3:19.34. The Spartans swept the relays with Shane Bell, Matt Olson, Jeff Lee and Stefan taking the 200-freestyle relay in an automatic time of 1:34.56.

Bell also won two individual events in the 200 and 500 freestyles in 1:52.38 and 4:51.64, respectively, with the latter a consideration mark. Loakes set a personal best of 21.71 in the 50 free, which bested San Marino's Samuel To (22.69).

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