By Austin Green
Burbank High School held off John Burroughs in the varsity boys’ competition and dominated on the varsity girls’ meet as the Bulldogs swept their crosstown rivals at the Verdugo Park pool on Wednesday. Burbank’s boys won 71-59 and girls were victorious 58-19.
Burbank senior Gavin Jay led the way for the Bulldog boys, winning the 100-yard backstroke and finishing a close second in the 500-yard freestyle with times of 1:00.13 and 5:12, respectively. Jay was edged out in the latter race by Burroughs’ Justin Cloutier — though Cloutier had a loftier goal in mind than just winning that event.
As he walked onto the pool for the race, Cloutier went over to Burbank head coach Mike Lucero, a Burroughs alumnus, and told him he was going to attempt breaking Lucero’s school record in the 500 free, which Lucero set in 1988 with a 4:57 mark. Cloutier missed doing so by seven seconds, finishing with a 5:04 mark much to his disappointment — and Lucero’s.
“I would have loved to have been there and a part of it 33 years later,” Lucero said. “Hopefully I’ll witness him breaking it at [Pacific League championships]. Or CIF. I’d be honored. That’s what records are for.”
On the girls’ side, Burroughs’ Lilliana Noriega won the 50 freestyle with a 25.23 time, which automatically qualifies her for CIF postseason competition in the event.
For Burbank, Alina Biryuchkova won the 500 freestyle with a 5:56 time and also won the 200 individual medley with a 2:27 time. Teammate Ani Rostomyan won the 100 free with a 1:05 mark and 200 free with a 2:14 mark.