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La Cañada, Flintridge Prep, Sacred Heart swim eye more progress at CIF

Swimming: Rebels hope to contend for Division III title, while Spartans, Tologs aim for continued progress up leader board.

May 08, 2013|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com
  • ARCHIVE PHOTO: La Cañada's Peter Loakes will look to help lead the Spartans to a top-five finish in CIF Southern Section Division I.
ARCHIVE PHOTO: La Cañada's Peter Loakes… (Cheryl A. Guerrero/Staff…)

Both the La Cañada High and Flintridge Prep boys’ swimming teams are looking to improve in their respective CIF Southern Section divisions.

There isn’t much room for the Spartans, who finished sixth last year, to move up the Division I leader board, as they eye a top-five finish among some of the top teams in the state. The meet kicks off prelims Thursday at 9 a.m. and begins finals Saturday at 5 p.m.

On the other hand, the Rebels have hopes of moving from a team that didn’t have a swimmer in a championship or consolation final race in Division II to a championship contender in Division III, which begins Wednesday at 4 p.m. and concludes with a finals meet Thursday with a 5 p.m. start time.

“We’re really excited and it’s kind of a big step for us from making alternates last year and being maybe a real competitor this year in this division,” said Flintridge Prep Coach Ryan Goto, who credited new coaches like Ingrid Herskind for being “instrumental” in the program’s turnaround.

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While La Cañada looks to move up from last year, it’ll be a tough task to even keep pace after graduating Bo Mattix, who led the Spartans to four top finishes in CIF in 2012 — third in the 100-yard backstroke, fourth in the 200-medley relay, eighth in the 100 butterfly and ninth in the 400-freestlye relay.

“We’re hoping we can,” La Cañada Coach Art Lopez said of following through and taking a top five spot in CIF. “We still got the younger kids, growing up and getting bigger, stronger and faster. It will be difficult because we are a small school, but it’s OK; we’ll take on the challenge and do it the La Cañada way.”

Brandon Nguyen will be relied on to lead La Cañada this campaign. The senior is seeded at the top of the 100-yard breaststroke with a seed time of 56.69 seconds that’s identical to Mater Dei’s Dylan Payne. He’s also seeded second in the 200 individual medley (1:48.02).

Garrett Chin is also poised to grab some big points for the Spartans. The junior is seeded in the top 10 of the individual medley (seventh, 1:52.92) and 100 backstroke (ninth, 51.55).

Nguyen and Chin will also likely swim the respective breast and backstroke legs in the 200-medley relay, which is seeded eighth with a time of 1:35.70, and be key legs in the 400-freestyle relay (20th, 3:13.83).

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