By Justin Vigil-Zuniga
Signal Sports Writer
Valencia swim was four points shy on the girls’ side from sweeping Hart in their league dual meet.
The Vikings boys’ varsity team (6-0) went off, winning 120-50, while Hart’s girls’ varsity squad (6-0) narrowly won 87-83 giving Valencia’s girls (5-1) their first league loss of the year.
Valencia’s boys were on fire. Vikings junior Thomas Hadji swam well and won comfortably in the 100-yard butterfly and backstroke.
Hadji finished the butterfly in 51.30 and the backstroke in 52.76, each less than a second off of CIF consideration times.
The Vikings’ boys also swept the relays, in which Hadji and senior Andy Park swam twice.
Valencia won on the boys’ side pretty convincingly, gifting another round of the coaching battle between mom vs. son to Valencia head coach Kathy Rosenast.
“It never gets old competing against Chris,” said Rosenast. “I respect and admire him. He’s very impressive as a coach and an educator. We spent so many years working together that it is a pleasure no matter what side you’re on.”
Both teams have strong winners, especially on the girls’ side.
Hart sophomore Lily Dormans highlighted the day with a 1:51.67 finish in the 200-yard freestyle race. The mark was her fifth CIF qualifying time of the year.
Dormans smoked the competition in the 200- and the 500-yard freestyle as well as helping Hart win the 200- and 400-yard freestyle relay.
The Indians’ narrow victory in the 200 relay was less than a second off the school record.
Hart’s girls’ team has a ton of underclass talent, ensuring head coach Chris Stroh that plenty of records will be broken over time.
“Aly Yokoyama, Caitlin Brown, Lily Dormans and Anna Brill have all been the driving force of the Hart swim team this year,” said Stroh. “Each of them is so versatile in what they can swim. Each meet I try and mix it up with their events because I know they can succeed wherever the team needs them to score. Each meet they go out and get it done for us in any event.”
Brown, a freshman, edged Valencia senior Cameron Snowden in the girls 50 freestyle. Brown hit a top-10 mark in Hart history with a 24.33, just edging past Snowden at 24.40.
Valencia also has its share of underclass talent headlined by freshmen Ilya Alexeyev, Jordan Lozado and Samantha Cazares.
Lozado showcased his endurance, winning the boys 200-yard individual medley in 2:05.32 and finishing second in the 500-yard freestyle.
Cazares won the girls 100-yard breaststroke with a 1:09.41 mark.
“Samantha and Jordan are exceptional swimmers,” said Rosenast. “It has been fun to watch them this year. One of the things I enjoy about both of them is that they are able to swim almost any event and come out on top. Their drive, desire and determination is something that you can see in them every day.”
Alexeyev was a blur in the boys 50-yard freestyle and his 23.04 finish narrowly beat out three Valencia seniors by less than a second.
Each program now concludes the regular season with an undefeated side but will need everything from their top swimmers heading into next week.
The teams will meet again on Tuesday for Foothill League preliminaries for a chance to go to league finals.
“At prelims, I want to see my third and fourth swimmers really step up,” said Stroh. “Those are swimmers you need to jump up and score the points. You can trust in your 1’s and 2’s but it’s the other two swimmers that can be the difference makers when it comes to winning league.”
All seven teams hit the pool Tuesday at 3 p.m. at the Santa Clarita Aquatics Center.