By Mitch Lehman
San Marino Tribune
San Marino High School girls’ and boys’ varsity swim teams participated in the Rio Hondo League finals last Friday afternoon, which were held at La Cañada High School.
“Despite all the setbacks in the season, the girls accomplished their goals this season,” said girls’ head coach Mark Barr. “We knew going in that we were not going to win league, so our focus was getting ready for CIF and performing our best at that meet. This whole season was CIF. At the [league championships} we took first in the 200-yard medley relay and the 200-yard freestyle relay. Amber Paul won the 100-yard butterfly (56.44 seconds). We had a few top-five finishes in the meet. Overall it was a good meet for us. All the girls showed up to swim and swam their hearts out. All of them had cut time and had great meets.”
The girls’ CIF swimmers are:
- Amber Paul: 100-yard butterfly, 50-yard freestyle, 200-yard individual medley relay, 200-yard freestyle relay
- Kiana Li: 200-yard individual medley relay, 100-yard breaststroke, 200-yard medley relay, 200-yard freestyle relay.
- Arwen Wen: 100-yard backstroke, 200-yard freestyle relay.
- Maya Borkar: 200-yard medley relay, and the 200-yard freestyle relay.
- Leah Dean: 500-yard freestyle.
In the 200-yard medley relay at the boys’ meet, the team of Otis Tsai, Daniel Li, Harrison Summers and Liam Thomas finished first in a time of 1:33.86. The team swam a CIF automatic qualifying time that was just off the school and meet records. It was also an All-American consideration time.
In the 200-yard freestyle, Daniel Li swam 1:38.16 to finish in first place. It was also a new SMHS record, with the old record being 1:38.18 that was set in 1991. It was also a Rio Hondo League record and is an All-American automatic qualifying time.
Liam Thomas swam 1:46.74 to finish in fourth place. It was a CIF qualifying time and set a new SMHS freshman record. Mark O’Mara swam 1:48.48, to finish in fifth. The time qualifies him for CIF.
Anderson Nakagawa finished the race in 2:01.64 to finish in 11th place.
In the 200-yard individual medley, Otis Tsai swam a 1:53.40 to finish in second place. It was also a CIF automatic qualifying time.
In the 50-yard freestyle, Jiaheng (Henry) Lyu hit the wall in 24.34 to finish in seventh place while teammate Ben Tseng swam 25.91 to finish in 12th place.
In the 100-yard butterfly, Harrison Summers finished in 50.56, which was good enough for second place. It was also a CIF qualifying time.
Hughes Wang swam in 52.24, which was good for fourth place and also is a CIF automatic quailing time.
In the 500-yard freestyle, Daniel Li won in 4:30.33, which is a new Rio Hondo League record. It is also an All-American consideration time. Otis Tsai finished the race in 4:40.76, which was good for third place and is also a CIF qualifying time.
Mark O’Mara swam the race in 4:44.71, which was good for fourth place and is also a CIF automatic qualifying time, and Liam Thomas finished in fifth place in a time of 4:50.85.
In the 200-yard freestyle relay, the team of Hughes Wang, Anderson Nakagawa, Jiaheng Lyu, and Mark O’Mara swam 1:34.97, which allowed them to finish in second place and also is a CIF qualifying time.
In the 100-yard backstroke, Harrison Summers finished in 55:35, which was good for second place. It is also a CIF qualifying time.
Hughes Wang swam 56.50, which put him in third place and is also a CIF qualifying time.
In the 100-yard breaststroke, Jiaheng Lou swam 1:02.41 which put him in second place and is also a CIF qualifying time. Anderson Nakagawa swam 1:07.05 for ninth place. Ben Tseng hit the wall in 1:14.85 for 11th place.
In the 400-yard freestyle relay, the team of Liam Thomas, Harrison Summers, Otis Tsai and Daniel Li hit the finish line in 3:08.01 to finish in first place. The squad also set a new Rio Hondo League record with the All-American consideration time.
In an extremely fast relay, all four swimmers truly contributed. Liam and Harry did what they needed to do and kept San Marino within striking distance. Liam opened with a 47.70 (CIF time), but the excitement came in the third leg of the relay where the Titans were down almost three seconds and Otis was able to catch La Cañada’s swimmer on his last lap, giving Daniel Li a slight lead against LC’s fastest sprinter. Li swam well, keeping the lead the whole time as LC’s fourth swimmer made up ground. In the end, he held off the late LC charge and secured the victory for SM.
“Overall, the guys finished second in the Rio Hondo League and second in the league championships,” said head boys’ swim coach Casey Holcomb. “We weren’t able to overcome La Canada’s depth. I am extremely proud of these guys – they stepped up and had some incredible swims. I’m hopeful that this will continue as we make a push in the CIF D2 championships next weekend.”