2018 Foothill League swimming preview
Hart's Brooke Helgeson swims the 500-yard freestyle. Dan Watson/ForThe Signal
By Signal Staff
Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

By Diego Marquez
Signal Staff Writer

With the Foothill League swim season getting underway, teams across the Santa Clarita Valley are looking to build their programs once again as they pick up the talent from last season and fuse it with newcomers.

Here’s a look at what talent this year’s Foothill League teams have to work with:

Boys

West Ranch

Looking for some young and developing talent to step up this year, first-year head coach Kearsten Livingstone has a Wildcat roster ripe for molding.

Leading the Wildcats is team captain Thomas Weber.

“He’s not only a really good sprinter, but a team leader. He is the one that unites the team. He always projects team spirit and unity,” said Livingstone.

Sophomore Charlie Morici has shown great improvement in the 100 fly from his freshmen to his sophomore year.

Freshman Michael Andrizzi adds some depth, swimming in the 50 free and the 100 free.

Saugus

After having the pleasure of coaching recent graduate and current Texas A&M swimmer Tanner Olson, Saugus coach Jim Klipfel takes on a new cohesive group.

Juniors Justin Morch and Camden Powell are two up-and-coming swimmers from last year’s team that look to have bigger role this year.

“We might not be the deepest with talent, but we have a bunch of fine athletes and good people,” said Klipfel.

Along with seniors Tyler Tyau and Cameron LaBrie, the Cents have veteran leaders to lead them in Morch and Powell.

Valencia

Losing seniors to graduation, the Vikings find themselves in a bit of a rebuilding stage.

Junior Joshua Lee returns after a battled-tested year where he proved his merit in the 100-meter breaststroke and in the 200 Individual medley.

He is joined by sophomore Ronit Shrestha, who earned honorable mention on the 2017 All-SCV Boys Swim Team.

Canyon

Second-year head coach Darren Stieff returns talented backstroker junior Kevin Childs.

Having a bit of an up-and-down year, taking second place in the 200 IM and 100 backstroke in league finals, Childs finished 14th at the CIF finals.

This year, Childs looks to begin and end the season strong.

George Monday and Jordan Krestul look to add some talent in their second varsity campaign since moving up from junior varsity last year.

Hart

Losing two of their senior stars, Ryan Brimer and Adam Osowski, the Hart Indians look to rebuild after winning back-to-back Foothill League titles.

The Indians return All-SCV Honorable mention honoree in sophomore Jonathan Quick.

Cade Klement, Ryan Sevidal and Dawson Waage provide some much-needed talent for the Indians.

Golden Valley

With the first year under her belt, Grizzlies’ coach Whitney Cox is building something special at Golden Valley.

Having a young group of underclassmen helps as she had 33 freshmen show interest in joining the team, similar to the interest she received from the student body last year.

After having a great freshman year on junior varsity, sophomore Kevin Nguyen looks to be the next cog to continue the building process at Golden Valley.

Losing seniors to graduation, the Vikings find themselves in a bit of a rebuilding stage.

Junior Joshua Lee returns after a battled-tested year where he proved his merit in the 100-meter breaststroke and in the 200 Individual medley.

He is joined by sophomore Ronit Shrestha, who earned honorable mention on the 2017 All-SCV Boys Swim Team.

Canyon

Second-year head coach Darren Stieff returns talented backstroker junior Kevin Childs.

Having a bit of an up-and-down year, taking second place in the 200 IM and 100 backstroke in league finals, Childs finished 14th at the CIF finals.

This year, Childs looks to begin and end the season strong.

George Monday and Jordan Krestul look to add some talent in their second varsity campaign since moving up from junior varsity last year.

Hart

Losing two of their senior stars, Ryan Brimer and Adam Osowski, the Hart Indians look to rebuild after winning back-to-back Foothill League titles.

The Indians return All-SCV Honorable mention honoree in sophomore Jonathan Quick.

Cade Klement, Ryan Sevidal and Dawson Waage provide some much-needed talent for the Indians.

Golden Valley

With the first year under her belt, Grizzlies’ coach Whitney Cox is building something special at Golden Valley.

Having a young group of underclassmen helps as she had 33 freshmen show interest in joining the team, similar to the interest she received from the student body last year.

After having a great freshman year on junior varsity, sophomore Kevin Nguyen looks to be the next cog to continue the building process at Golden Valley.

“He has broken almost every JV boys record and it doesn’t seem like he’s going to slow down,” said Cox about Nguyen’s future.

 

Girls

Hart

Returning a plethora of talent from last year’s team, Hart swimming coach Steve Neale is excited about his team as they remind him of a previous Hart swim team he used to coach in the 90’s.

“My little warrior princesses”, said Neale. “They have so much energy and really feed off each other. They have been together for a while now, so they do it for each other.”

Seniors Brooke Helgeson, Gracie Hill, Taryn Toledo and Stephanie Skarshaug lead the team as Helgeson and Hill are moving on to Division 1 swim programs next year.

With incoming freshmen Ellie Horst excelling in the distance freestyle, the Indians look to add more depth to their already loaded roster.

“Ellie is special. She’s really fast for a distance freestyle swimmer,” Neale said.

Horst adds to the Indians’ depth joining Maxine Catig, Hope Hill, Megan Soto and Taylor Toledo who are looking to capitalize in their sophomore campaigns.

West Ranch

Taking over a freshmen-heavy team, first year head coach Kearsten Livingstone is relying on senior Sophie Morici to lead the way for her young team.

“She’s a force to be reckoned with,” said Livingstone about her varsity captain. “She’s really good. She sets a great example for her younger teammates.”

Morici’s best events are the 100 fly and 500 free, which she won in her last meet.

Not having too many upperclassmen on this year’s roster, the Wildcats are flying under the radar in Foothill League.

“When we went to our first meet, (other) coaches didn’t know what to expect. I hate using the word underdog, but I guess that is our identity right now,” said Livingstone.

Golden Valley

Entering her second year as the Grizzlies head coach, Whitney Cox has already changed the culture at Golden Valley.

“When I first came on, they didn’t have the best attitudes. They went into every meet thinking that they were going to lose. Now, they are always excited and eager to compete and meet new swimmers,” said Cox.

Last year’s team MVP Casey Wheeler exploded on the scene as a freshmen and looks to capitalize on the success in her sophomore year.

“She’s special. I can put her anywhere, in any event, at any time and she goes out and competes. She really brings the team together. She’s a great role model,” said Cox of her sophomore standout.

 

Saugus

Battling some health issues, sophomore Vivian Raker looks to capitalize on last year’s All-Foothill League Honorable mention.

Along with Brookelynn Wesselhoff, the Centurions return some talent as most of these girls swim independently for club teams.

With the help of assistant coach Krista Botton, the Cents look to build on team chemistry as they win or lose together.

“This is one of the most cohesive team of individuals that I have coached,” said coach Jim Klipfel.

Canyon

In his second year at the helm, coach Darren Stieff looks to replace Cal commit Alexa Skorus Neely.

Mackensie Krestul might be the answer for the Cowboys as she looks to have a repeat 2017 performance in which she was named to the All-SCV Honorable Mention team in her junior campaign.

Valencia

As the reigning Foothill League champions, the Vikings reload with a strong group that came in second place at the SCV Relays this season.

About the author

Signal Staff

Signal Staff

Hart's Brooke Helgeson swims the 500-yard freestyle. Dan Watson/ForThe Signal

2018 Foothill League swimming preview

By Diego Marquez
Signal Staff Writer

With the Foothill League swim season getting underway, teams across the Santa Clarita Valley are looking to build their programs once again as they pick up the talent from last season and fuse it with newcomers.

Here’s a look at what talent this year’s Foothill League teams have to work with:

Boys

West Ranch

Looking for some young and developing talent to step up this year, first-year head coach Kearsten Livingstone has a Wildcat roster ripe for molding.

Leading the Wildcats is team captain Thomas Weber.

“He’s not only a really good sprinter, but a team leader. He is the one that unites the team. He always projects team spirit and unity,” said Livingstone.

Sophomore Charlie Morici has shown great improvement in the 100 fly from his freshmen to his sophomore year.

Freshman Michael Andrizzi adds some depth, swimming in the 50 free and the 100 free.

Saugus

After having the pleasure of coaching recent graduate and current Texas A&M swimmer Tanner Olson, Saugus coach Jim Klipfel takes on a new cohesive group.

Juniors Justin Morch and Camden Powell are two up-and-coming swimmers from last year’s team that look to have bigger role this year.

“We might not be the deepest with talent, but we have a bunch of fine athletes and good people,” said Klipfel.

Along with seniors Tyler Tyau and Cameron LaBrie, the Cents have veteran leaders to lead them in Morch and Powell.

Valencia

Losing seniors to graduation, the Vikings find themselves in a bit of a rebuilding stage.

Junior Joshua Lee returns after a battled-tested year where he proved his merit in the 100-meter breaststroke and in the 200 Individual medley.

He is joined by sophomore Ronit Shrestha, who earned honorable mention on the 2017 All-SCV Boys Swim Team.

Canyon

Second-year head coach Darren Stieff returns talented backstroker junior Kevin Childs.

Having a bit of an up-and-down year, taking second place in the 200 IM and 100 backstroke in league finals, Childs finished 14th at the CIF finals.

This year, Childs looks to begin and end the season strong.

George Monday and Jordan Krestul look to add some talent in their second varsity campaign since moving up from junior varsity last year.

Hart

Losing two of their senior stars, Ryan Brimer and Adam Osowski, the Hart Indians look to rebuild after winning back-to-back Foothill League titles.

The Indians return All-SCV Honorable mention honoree in sophomore Jonathan Quick.

Cade Klement, Ryan Sevidal and Dawson Waage provide some much-needed talent for the Indians.

Golden Valley

With the first year under her belt, Grizzlies’ coach Whitney Cox is building something special at Golden Valley.

Having a young group of underclassmen helps as she had 33 freshmen show interest in joining the team, similar to the interest she received from the student body last year.

After having a great freshman year on junior varsity, sophomore Kevin Nguyen looks to be the next cog to continue the building process at Golden Valley.

Losing seniors to graduation, the Vikings find themselves in a bit of a rebuilding stage.

Junior Joshua Lee returns after a battled-tested year where he proved his merit in the 100-meter breaststroke and in the 200 Individual medley.

He is joined by sophomore Ronit Shrestha, who earned honorable mention on the 2017 All-SCV Boys Swim Team.

Canyon

Second-year head coach Darren Stieff returns talented backstroker junior Kevin Childs.

Having a bit of an up-and-down year, taking second place in the 200 IM and 100 backstroke in league finals, Childs finished 14th at the CIF finals.

This year, Childs looks to begin and end the season strong.

George Monday and Jordan Krestul look to add some talent in their second varsity campaign since moving up from junior varsity last year.

Hart

Losing two of their senior stars, Ryan Brimer and Adam Osowski, the Hart Indians look to rebuild after winning back-to-back Foothill League titles.

The Indians return All-SCV Honorable mention honoree in sophomore Jonathan Quick.

Cade Klement, Ryan Sevidal and Dawson Waage provide some much-needed talent for the Indians.

Golden Valley

With the first year under her belt, Grizzlies’ coach Whitney Cox is building something special at Golden Valley.

Having a young group of underclassmen helps as she had 33 freshmen show interest in joining the team, similar to the interest she received from the student body last year.

After having a great freshman year on junior varsity, sophomore Kevin Nguyen looks to be the next cog to continue the building process at Golden Valley.

“He has broken almost every JV boys record and it doesn’t seem like he’s going to slow down,” said Cox about Nguyen’s future.

 

Girls

Hart

Returning a plethora of talent from last year’s team, Hart swimming coach Steve Neale is excited about his team as they remind him of a previous Hart swim team he used to coach in the 90’s.

“My little warrior princesses”, said Neale. “They have so much energy and really feed off each other. They have been together for a while now, so they do it for each other.”

Seniors Brooke Helgeson, Gracie Hill, Taryn Toledo and Stephanie Skarshaug lead the team as Helgeson and Hill are moving on to Division 1 swim programs next year.

With incoming freshmen Ellie Horst excelling in the distance freestyle, the Indians look to add more depth to their already loaded roster.

“Ellie is special. She’s really fast for a distance freestyle swimmer,” Neale said.

Horst adds to the Indians’ depth joining Maxine Catig, Hope Hill, Megan Soto and Taylor Toledo who are looking to capitalize in their sophomore campaigns.

West Ranch

Taking over a freshmen-heavy team, first year head coach Kearsten Livingstone is relying on senior Sophie Morici to lead the way for her young team.

“She’s a force to be reckoned with,” said Livingstone about her varsity captain. “She’s really good. She sets a great example for her younger teammates.”

Morici’s best events are the 100 fly and 500 free, which she won in her last meet.

Not having too many upperclassmen on this year’s roster, the Wildcats are flying under the radar in Foothill League.

“When we went to our first meet, (other) coaches didn’t know what to expect. I hate using the word underdog, but I guess that is our identity right now,” said Livingstone.

Golden Valley

Entering her second year as the Grizzlies head coach, Whitney Cox has already changed the culture at Golden Valley.

“When I first came on, they didn’t have the best attitudes. They went into every meet thinking that they were going to lose. Now, they are always excited and eager to compete and meet new swimmers,” said Cox.

Last year’s team MVP Casey Wheeler exploded on the scene as a freshmen and looks to capitalize on the success in her sophomore year.

“She’s special. I can put her anywhere, in any event, at any time and she goes out and competes. She really brings the team together. She’s a great role model,” said Cox of her sophomore standout.

 

Saugus

Battling some health issues, sophomore Vivian Raker looks to capitalize on last year’s All-Foothill League Honorable mention.

Along with Brookelynn Wesselhoff, the Centurions return some talent as most of these girls swim independently for club teams.

With the help of assistant coach Krista Botton, the Cents look to build on team chemistry as they win or lose together.

“This is one of the most cohesive team of individuals that I have coached,” said coach Jim Klipfel.

Canyon

In his second year at the helm, coach Darren Stieff looks to replace Cal commit Alexa Skorus Neely.

Mackensie Krestul might be the answer for the Cowboys as she looks to have a repeat 2017 performance in which she was named to the All-SCV Honorable Mention team in her junior campaign.

Valencia

As the reigning Foothill League champions, the Vikings reload with a strong group that came in second place at the SCV Relays this season.