Swimming Preview: Vose, Tologs looking for another stellar season

FSHA has high expectations, while La Cañada, Prep boys hoping for league success.

March 12, 2014|By Gabriel Rizk
  • FSHA's Kirsten Vose participates in the individual medley during a swim meet L.A. Valley College pool in Van Nuys on Tuesday, May 1, 2012.
FSHA's Kirsten Vose participates in the individual… (File Photo )

During coach Steve Bergen's current tenure, now entering its fifth season, the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy swimming team has made quantum leaps of improvement from year to year, placing 34th in CIF Southern Section Division 1 three years ago, 14th the next and vaulting all the way to seventh last season.

Perhaps just as impressive has been the Tologs' return to sustained preeminence in the elite Mission League, where it is coming off back-to-back championships.

With both youth and experience on its side, the renaissance is primed to roll on, as Sacred Heart would appear to have enough depth and star power on its roster to not only sustain its current footing, but perhaps push its way back into the running for its first Division 1 title since 2007 over the next couple of seasons.

"We have great expectations," Bergen said. "We had a great season last year and obviously we're deeper this year, so we're looking at some great things."


The 200-yard medley and 200-freestlye relays were two of the Tologs' major point-scoring weapons in their breakthrough into the top 10 in Division 1 last season, with the former winning a title and the latter placing fourth.

2013 graduate Emily Balog was a member of both of those teams, but she is really the only significant loss Bergen can claim. Senior Katie Altmayer, junior Kirsten Vose and sophomore Kate Herrill are all back to reprise their roles in the relays and each holds the potential to qualify for finals heats in individual events, as well.

Vose, the reigning All-Area Girls' Swimmer of the Year, is the reigning Division 1 100 breaststroke champion and junior diver Caroline Bender can contribute important points at CIF.

Last season, the Tologs' one weak area was distance and middle distance, but the arrival of freshmen Emma Mass and Christina Campbell, who both specialize in the 200- and 500 freestyle, should eliminate that vulnerability.

Campbell comes from a locally well-known family of swimmers, as her older sisters Katie, now at UCLA, and Sammie, a high school senior, have both starred at La Cañada High.

"We're lucky to have her on our team," Bergen said of Christina Campbell. "She obviously has a strong pedigree."

Caitlin Smith (butterfly, backstroke) is another freshman addition expected to contribute this season.

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