The La Cañada High School varsity boys’ swimming team dominated the CIF Southern Section Division 2 championships at the Riverside Aquatics Complex and claimed its first title since 2009.
The Spartans tallied 336 points, which was more than enough to defeat La Verne Damien (235 points) and bring home the program’s fifth crown in school history.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the team and how well they have done so far this year,” LCHS boys’ swimming coach David Hill wrote in an email. “We set out this year with the goal to go undefeated in league season and claim the CIF team title, and we did exactly that. It was especially exciting breaking the 200 medley relay record, and this is the first time since taking over the program that all three relays from both boys and girls qualified for finals.”
Danny Syrkin led La Cañada with two individual titles and an additional two medals in relay races. He won the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 20.38 seconds and 100 butterfly with a time of 47.25, which is a new meet record.
Syrkin was also part of the 200-yard medley relay team that won with a time of 1 minute, 31.68 seconds. The group, which includes Eddie Cosic, Thomas Hoffman and Chris O’Grady, set a new Division 2 meet record. The quartet also competed in the 400 free relay and placed second with a time of 3:05.26.
“Danny has shown a great deal of versatility this season as a swimmer and team leader,” Hill said. “Throughout the year, he has been battling with various injuries and illnesses but still managed to better his times and take two individual victories, as well as resetting his own butterfly Division 2 record. I know he still has a lot more to give. He qualified to race at the Olympic Trials. He’s an invaluable asset to the team.”
Hoffman finished the 100 butterfly in 50.06, placing him fourth and qualifying him for state. The Spartan teamed up with Braden Beagle, Joshua Kim and Colin Nichols to participate in the 200 free relay. The quartet placed fourth with a time of 1:27.16.
Kim was sixth in the 200 individual medley with a time of 1:55.08, and Beagle also contributed a sixth-place finish after posting a time of 51.68 in the 100 backstroke.
O’Grady finished the 200 free in 1:43.69 for 11th place and Cosic was 11th in the 200 IM (1:55.02). Noah Hirshon posted a time of 53.44 seconds in the 100 backstroke, and Mark Fanelli wasn’t far behind to take 16th place with a time of 54.58.
Stephan Badescu competed in the 500 free and finished in 4:44.16 for 13th place, and Juan Grases was 15th in the same race with a time of 4:45.71.
Alexandra Syrkin led the girls’ squad, which recorded 90.50 points for 11th place, by placing sixth in the 100 butterfly with a time of 57.31. She teamed up with Angeli Paull, Maddie O’Dell and Shannon Ring to compete in the 400 free relay. The Spartans placed ninth with a time of 3:38.73.
Syrkin was also part of the 200 medley relay team that placed 10th with a time 1:50.89. The group included Elise Trocker, O’Dell and Ring.
Ring contributed a 12th-place finish in the 100 breaststroke (1:07.53) and helped the 200 free relay team, which included Halley Hemphill, Trocker and Paull, place 16th with a time of 1:41.15.
Winston Chen led the Flintridge Prep boys swimming team, which tallied 116 points and finished 8th in Division 3.
Chen won the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 21:04 and 100 backstroke (51.87). The Rebel qualified for the CIF State Championships in both events and was also part of two relay races.
Chen teamed up with Matt Ng, Ryan Huntley and Oliver Brookbanks to place fourth in the 200-yard medley relay with a time of 1:38.84. He also competed in the 400 free relay along with Ben and Oliver Brookbanks and Will Fosselman. The quartet finished sixth with a time of 3:16.15.
Fosselman represented the Rebels in the 500 free and placed 14th with a time of 4:46.23.
Ben Brookbanks was 15th in the 100 free with a time of 48.79. He teamed up with Oliver Brookbanks, Ng and Huntley to compete in the 200 free relay. The four Prep swimmers finished in 1:32.45 for 18th place.
The Flintridge Prep girls recorded 100 points and placed 11th in the Division 3 standings. The squad was led by Devyn Walklett, who was eighth in the 200 IM with a time of 2:08.59 and ninth in the 100 breaststroke (1:06.65).
Walklett was also part of two relay race teams. She grouped up with Emeline Tolleson, Lara Friedman and Emily Alameddine for the 200 free relay, and they placed 11th with a time of 1:42.65.
Walklett was also part of the 400 free relay group that finished in 3:44.42 for 11th place. The team included Makena Walklett, Emily Jacobs and Alameddine.
Jacobs competed in the 100 breaststroke and placed 12th (1:06.96), and Charlotte Stipanov was 13th in the 100 backstroke (1:00.23). Both swimmers were part of the 200 medley relay team that included Makena Walklett and Alameddine. The quartet placed sixth with a time of 1:50.94.
Michael Smith helped St. Francis record 13 points in the Division 1 finals.
Smith was 16th in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:40.18 and part of the 200 free relay that placed 15th. The group, which included John Balog, Christopher Bruce and Ethan Gray, posted a time of 1:28.09.
Emily Giesler was the lone Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy swimmer to participate in the Division 1 finals.
Giesler was 17th in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:05.85.