Aztecs sweep for the second year in a row to win the Division IV championship.
Ryan Chiu breaks the Division IV record in the boys 500-yard freestyle for the second year in a row to outlast Charter Oak’s Ethan Bradley.
Above: Keppel’s Ryan Chiu looks at the score board as he would win in the 500 freestyle as a dejected Charter Oak’s Ethan Bradley finished second in the 500 yard freestyle during the CIF Southern Section-Toyota Swimming and Diving Championships at Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool in Long Beach. (SGVN/Staff Photo Keith Birmingham/SXSports)
Above: Keppel celebrates as they won both girls and boys CIF titles during the CIF Southern Section-Toyota Swimming and Diving Championships at Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool in Long Beach. (SGVN/Staff Photo Keith Birmingham/SXSports)
Results and pairings
Keppel repeats as boys and girls champions
By Scott Galetti, Staff Writer
LONG BEACH – Chasing after one CIF-Southern Section championship is a difficult enough task.
Just ask the Keppel High School boys swimming team, which finished as Division IV runner-up two consecutive years before winning the school’s first title last season.
The feeling was just as sweet the second time around.
For the second consecutive year, Keppel’s boys and girls swept the field to win their second straight titles at the CIF-Southern Section Division IV swimming and diving championships Thursday at Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool.
Keppel’s boys scored 271.50 points to hold off Charter Oak (202).
“They’re hard working, they’re student athletes and they deserve it,” Keppel coach Ish Perez said after being hoisted into the water for a celebratory swim.
Senior Ryan Chiu once again paced the Aztecs.
Chiu earned wins in the boys 200-yard freestyle and 500, both events in which he is the Division IV record-holder.
Chiu fell just shy of setting yet another record in the 200 as he finished in a time of 1 minute, 41.54 seconds.
“I struggled a little bit this whole season trying to get close to it, but here, coming that close is pretty good,” said Chiu, who set the record time of 1:41.41 last year. “It’s one thing to win it once, but to come back and win it twice is really much harder to do because you need to keep that motivation and passion going and it takes a lot out of you.”
Still, Chiu had plenty left to break his own Division IV record (4:31.64) in the 500 free with a time of 4:31.45 to finish just in front of Charter Oak’s Ethan Bradley, who also broke last year’s mark in 4:31.57.
“That one was much harder,” Chiu said. “Ethan was pushing and pushing and he made it a really good race.”
Chiu also teamed with Perry Lee, Christopher Luu and Kevin Wang to place first in the 200 medley relay (1:38.46).
Lee, Chiu, Luu and Brendon Chiu came back to win the 400 free relay in 3:15.39.
Lee finished second in the 100 butterfly (52.60) to reach Tuesday’s Masters meet. La Salle’s Avelino Enriquez was third (52.61).
Enriquez came back to win the 100 backstroke in a time of 52.41, besting Bradley (52.68).
“I’m really happy right now,” Enriquez said. “It was a really close race and the other guy was seeded first. Last year he beat me and I’m just happy to win tonight.”
Luu won the 100 breaststroke (59.39) and earned a second-place finish in the 200 individual medley (1:55.47), and Alhambra’s Justin Tran was third (1:59.45).
Keppel’s combination of Adam Ragus, David Lam, Eric Ng and Kevin Wang was second in the 200 free relay (1:30.55) behind Charter Oak.
Alhambra finished fifth in the boys team standings with 114 points, and La Salle was sixth with 111.
While the Aztec boys were favored to win, Perez wasn’t sure what to expect with the girls team, but he was pleasantly surprised as they scored 211 points to outlast Gabrielino (164) and Marlborough (134).
“They blow me away,” Perez said. “They know I have faith in them and they’re willing to step up when I put them in certain situations.
“I ask them to do their best and they’ve given me more than that.”
Gabrielino coach Alan Byard was thrilled with his team’s performance.
“We were really aiming for it this year, and the girls did so well today,” Byard said. “All their times were dropping and they just really earned what they got today.”
Maranatha finished in a tie for fourth with Quartz Hill with 118 points.
Keppel junior Katherine Tse notched her second consecutive Division IV title in the 100 free in a time of 52.20.
Tse also finished second in the 50 (24.12).
“I guess it’s one of my better events, and after losing the 50, I needed to come back with my swim of the year, I guess,” Tse said.
Keppel’s team of Tse, Megan Chiu, Chatherine Lu and Iris Wang won the 200 medley relay in 1:54.64.
Megan Chiu also won the 100 breaststroke in a time of 1:09.46.
The Gabrielino foursome of Sandy Hon, Erica Schulz, Christine Nguyen and Amber Tan finished second (1:55.61) in the 200 medley relay.
Hon placed second in the 100 backstroke and third in the 200 IM (2:13.60).