By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
RIVERSIDE — It’s likely too early to call the Glendora High School girls swimming team, with its recent accomplishments, a dynasty, but the Tartans took another step toward that type of dominance.
Freshman Alexis Margett breezed to the 100-yard butterfly title and Glendora scored wins in the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays to lead the Tartans to their second Division 2 title in three seasons during Saturday’s CIF-Southern Section divisional swimming championships at the Riverside Aquatics Complex.
Rowland’s Michael Wang and Walnut’s Derek Kao also scored individual titles, winning in the 100 freestyle and 100 breaststroke, respectively.
“It is (a mini dynasty),” Glendora coach Janet Pollard said. “It’s big for our school and our program, because swimming is the only (girls) sport to win a CIF championship. No other sport has done that, so it means a lot for the (team). I’m really excited for them.”
Glendora, in addition to its three individual titles, also had three swimmers double up with top-nine finishes in their respective events. Catherine Sanchez was third in 100 freestyle (51.32 seconds) and fourth in the 200 freestyle (1:51.39); Gisel Olvera was fourth in the 200 individual medley (2:07.72) and sixth in the 100 butterfly (57.51); and Amelia Feick was sixth in the 100 breaststroke (1:06.70) and ninth in the 200 IM (2:10.53).
“It was really exciting going into it,” Pollard said. “We knew we could get the points we needed to win. We just had to come out here and perform, and they did.”
Margett breezed in winning the 100 butterfly. She took the advantage from the start and beat second-place Ksenia Afonicheva (55.85) by more than a second with a time of 54.52.
“I feel really accomplished,” Margett said. “I feel like I applied the right technique to get that time, so it’s great.”
Wang, who was also third in the 200 freestyle (1:40.22), used a late charge to win the 100 freestyle with a time of 45.26.
“It means a lot, since I’ve been working really hard since my freshman year,” the junior said. “I didn’t even swim my sophomore year, so I could train and win this year.
“I had to take it easy the first 50, so I would have something for the last 50.”
Kao, who was third in the 200 IM (1:52.65), took advantage of the beginning of the final lap to win the 200 breaststroke in 55.13 — a Division 2 record.
“Going into the race, I thought, just rely on my training,” Kao said. “I had to focus on what I had to do and just go for it.
“I saw them (the other competitors) next to me, and I thought, ‘I have to put it in harder and give it all I’ve got.’ It worked.”
Glendora’s Margett, Feick, Olvera and Sanchez combined to open the meet with a win in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:47.63. Margett, Olvera, Sanchez and Michelle Basham grouped together to win the 400 freestyle relay in 3:32.12.dondo
Keppel’s Yida Wang and Justin Chiu each took fourth in their respective girls and boys 100 butterfly finals. Wang finished in 57.09, with Chiu at 50.75. Chiu was also third in the 100 breaststroke (55.76). Arcadia Tenny Chong was third in the 100 backstroke (52.25).
By Stephen Ramirez