Cubs, Panthers Claim Back-to-Back League Crowns

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First published in the May 5 print issue of the Pasadena Outlook.

History repeated itself at the Prep League swimming and diving finals on April 23 with Mayfield Senior and the Polytechnic boys putting on quite a show to reclaim their respective league championships.
The Cubs dominated the girls’ meet by posting 13 top-three finishes, including three victories, for 392 points and the Panthers were even more impressive in the boys’ competition with seven gold medals and 324 points in the Prep League championships held at Poly.
Maaso Ortega was one of Poly’s stars with first-place finishes in the 200-yard individual medley (with a winning time of 2 minutes, 6.26 seconds) and 100 butterfly (55.61). The standout senior also teamed up with Oliver Mann, Michael Munder and Nathan Tu to claim the 400 freestyle relay championship (3:17.75). Ortega was also part of the 200 medley relay team — which included Patrick Seo, Mann and Tu — that won gold with a time of 1:46.26.
Mayfield Senior’s Taylor Carey, who broke a school record in the 2021 league finals, stood out yet again this year by winning the 100 breaststroke in 1:04.87 and placing third in the 100 butterfly (1:00.19). Carey also helped the Cubs win the 200 medley relay in 1:50.35 along with teammates Kate Georgino, Holly Gmelich and Sophia Georgino. The quartet competed in the 400 free relay race and finished as runners-up with a time of 3:44.03.
Morgan Burns of Mayfield was the lone participant in the 1-meter diving competition and won the league crown with 418 points. She qualified for the CIF Southern Section finals and placed 16th this week.
Gmelich posted two second-place finishes in the 200 free (1:57.69) and 100 free (53.98), and Sophia Georgino was runner-up in the 100 back (1:07.69) and third in the 200 IM (2:11.64). Kate Georgino also won a silver medal by finishing the 100 back in 1:02.34.
Ella Yoon was second in the 50 free (26.68) and teamed up with Marcella Laguna, Maggie Murphy and Rachael Yoon for third in the 200 free relay with a time of 1:50.28.
Olivia Laguna also contributed to the Cubs win by finishing third in the 500 free (5:42.04).
Munder turned in a good performance for Poly by winning the 100 free (48.55) and finishing as runner-up in the 50 free (22.07). He was also third in the 200 free relay along with Theodore Kratter, Peter Ryan and Seo.
Mann, a freshman at Poly, contributed a victory in the 500 free with a winning time of 5:09.31 and second-place finish in the 100 fly (58.17). Tu also had a couple of top-two finishes, winning the 100 backstroke (57.69) and placing second in the 200 free (1:53.26).
Poly’s Seo was behind Ortega in the 200 IM for second place with a time of 2:13.62 and later finished third in the 100 breast with a time of 1:07.49. Kratter also participated in the 100 breast and placed second with a time of 1:07.23.
Peter Ryan posted a second-place finish in the 500 free with a time of 5:20.75, and Jesse Benitez added another silver medal for the Panthers as the runner-up in the 100 back with a time of 1:06.22.
The Poly girls placed third in the league finals and were led by Julia Pisano, who won the 50 free in 25.08 and took home a bronze medal and posting a time inf 54.34 in the 100 free. She also teamed up with Madeleine Hays, Kamryn Chan and Liz Fogassa to place second in the 200 medley relay (2:01.62) and 200 free relay (1:48.08).
Phoebe Cho competed in the 100 and finished in 1:06.55 for third place and helped the 400 free relay team — which included Kaylin Yagura, Siena Jurgensen and Fogassa — win bronze with a time of 2:12.17.
The CIF Southern Section swimming preliminaries are currently underway at the Marguerite Aquatics Complex in Mission Viejo and the finals will be held at the same site this Friday and Saturday.

Flintridge Prep Boys, Girls Finish as Runners-Up

The Flintridge Prep varsity boys’ and girls’ swim teams also shone in the league finals with a combined eight victories.
The girls had the lion’s share by claiming six wins, including a record-breaking relay team comprised of four freshmen. Addie Gish, Sara Iturbe, Megan Lee and Natalie Walklett set a league record by winning the 400 free relay in 3:35 and also claimed the league crown in the 200 free relay with a time 1:40.98 (a meet and pool record).
Gish went on to become league champion in the 200 free (1:52.96) and finished as runner-up in the 100 fly with a time of 57.75. Walklett also took home an individual league crown by finishing the 100 free in 51.95 and added a silver medal in the 200 IM with a time of 2:03.75.
Lee was first in the 500 free (5:15.25) and third in the 100 breast (1:10.96) and Iturbe took home gold in the 100 back with a time of 1:10.96.
Sophomore Isabella Bonaccorso contributed a second-place finish in the 500 free (5:31.73) and was third in the 200 free (2:09.06).
In the boys’ competition, the Wolves were led by Athan Boutakidis, who won the 50 free in 21.48 and took third in the 100 free with a time of 48.96. He also teamed up with Aidan Grimm, Diego Barraclough and Aron Lee to take second in the 200 free relay with a time of 1:33.79 and with Ty Young, Barraclough and Colin Ng for a runner-up finish in the 200 medley relay (1:46.31).
Barraclough also won an individual league championship by posting a time of 1:04.96 in the 100 breast. The senior added a third-place finish in the 200 free with a time of 1:53.91.
Ng posted third place finishes in the 200 IM (2:14.84) and 100 fly (58.98), as well as in the 400 free relay (3:34.55) with teammates Ridley Tolleson, Aaron Lee and Grim.
Young also contributed a bronze medal by finishing the 100 back in 1:08.73.

Tigers Medal in Two Events

The Westridge School swim team also competed in the Prep League swim finals and was led by freshman Aliena Sun, who helped the Tigers post two top-three finishes.
Sun won a bronze medal in the 50 free with a time of 26.86 and finished fifth in the 100 back (1:09.07). She teamed up with Jessica Chen, Bibi Richardson and Alana Lygopoulos compete in the 200 medley relay and place third with a time of 2:12.17 — which was good enough to qualify for the CIF-SS Division 4 prelims.
Chen also participated in the 100 back and finished fourth with a time of 1:08.24.