Santa Clarita Valley's #1 Local News Source

Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.

Top swimmers blaze through league and CIF finals 

West Ranch High School’s Colson Lloyd during the 500 yard freestyle at the Foothill League Swim Finals at the Santa Clarita Aquatics Center. 042524 Katherine Quezada/The Signal
Share
Tweet
Email

The top swimmers in the Santa Clarita Valley put on a show at the Foothill League finals and again at the CIF finals. 

While the Hart girls torched their personal records and landed at the top of the podium more than anyone, the Valencia girls still snagged the Foothill League title, narrowly beating out West Ranch by 3 points, despite having no divers. 

The boys’ side was also tight, with the Wildcats beating out Valencia for the most points at league finals. 

For Valencia, sophomore Tori Yamamura broke the Foothill League record with her performance in the 100-yard butterfly, winning in 53.75 seconds and taking the 200-yard individual medley in 2 minutes and 2.61 seconds. Yamamura exactly matched her time in the 200 at the CIF finals, earning her a second-place finish and a trip to the state meet.  

“We had really strong finishes,” Vikings coach Jayme Wheeler said in a phone interview. “We had Tori Yamamura beat a big record this season. Just overall the girls varsity dominated. Actually it wasn’t a domination, we won by three points because West Ranch and Hart both have divers and we don’t have any. We started with like a 20 to 30 deficit of points, so we had some catching up to do. They really kicked it into gear.” 

Samantha Cazares won the 100-yard breaststroke in 1 minute and 6.76 seconds for Valencia. 

For the Hart girls, Lily Dormans, the reigning division champion in the 500-yard freestyle, won the event in league but torched her time by more than seven seconds at the Division 1 finals with a second-place mark of 4:52.98. Dormans also improved on her league-best time in the 200-yard freestyle at CIF and finished fourth with a 1-minute, 48.37-second mark. 

Hart High School’s Lily Dormans tees the lead in the girl’s 500 yard freestyle category during the Foothill League Swim Finals at the Santa Clarita Aquatics Center. 042524 Katherine Quezada/The Signal

Caitilin Brown won the Foothill League 50-yard freestyle by a hair. Brown won the event in 23.36 seconds, just beating out Valencia’s Joy Lee by 0.15 seconds. Brown also narrowly beat out Valencia’s Aubrey Martin for the 100 freestyle crown, with a gold medal time of 51.24 seconds. 

Hart junior Aly Yokoyama took the 100-yard backstroke crown and finished second at the CIF finals with a time of 55.01 seconds, crushing the automatic-state time. 

Hart High School’s Aly Yokoyama takes the lead in the girls 100 yard backstroke during the Foothill League Finals at the Santa Clarita Aquatics Center. 042524 Katherine Quezada/The Signal

The three Hart girls, and senior Anna Brill, crushed the 200-yard medley and 400-yard freestyle relays at league. The four finished third at CIF in the former with a time of 1 minute, 42.99 seconds, while finishing in 3:28.66 in the latter. 

Valencia snagged the league finals win by a narrow margin with just a few podiums. West Ranch finished silver with zero first-place finishes, showing the depth and strength of the team 

“I am thrilled for the varsity girls,” Wildcats coach Kearston Livingstone wrote in an email. “For years, they have watched the boys win and it’s finally their time to battle. After varsity girls won the meet last year, the bar was raised. They are no longer satisfied with second or third place. My varsity girls are fighters. After Tuesday’s meet I told them if they wanted to try and win Thursday every single person would have to move up and gain points … We did not win a single varsity swimming event on Thursday, yet we were three points away from a win. That shows you just how hard these girls worked together.” 

West Ranch senior diver Savannah Thorstensen added the biggest score of the day with a 201.70. 

On the boys’ side, sophomore Brendan Keating led West Ranch to four league titles. Keating won the 100 and 200 freestyle, with times of 47.54 and 1:47.88, respectively.  

Keating also swam in the 200 and 400 freestyle relays, which reached league titles with times of 1 minute and 26.35 seconds, and 3:16.76 respectively. 

Sophomore Gabe Eke swam in both relays and also brought home an individual title in the 50-yard freestyle with a first-place time of 21.48 seconds. 

West Ranch High School’s Gabe Eke during the 100-yard backstroke at the Foothill League Finals at the Santa Clarita Aquatics Center. 042524 Katherine Quezada/The Signal

Patrick Grant also gave West Ranch a huge lift at league and CIF. Grant won the 500-yard freestyle in 4 minutes and 40.66 seconds while also joining Keating, Eke and Dustin Sagurous in their strong CIF relay showings.  

The four crushed a state consideration time in the 400, with a mark of 3 minutes and 8.64 seconds, while clinching an automatic trip to state with their 1:25.51-mark in the 200. 

Saguros also finishes his senior season as a Foothill League champion in the 100-yard breaststroke with a first-place finish of 57.14 seconds. 

The West Ranch boys finished first in nine of the 11 events at league. 

“The varsity boys have proven year over year they are a force to be reckoned with,” Livingstone said. “The boys have held onto their league title for four years in a row and I don’t think they plan to let anyone take that from them in the near future. They have worked so hard to build a lasting legacy for the younger team members and it’s been so fun to watch.” 

Over at Santa Clarita Christian, junior Sophia Blietz returns to Newhall with a pair of championships from the CIF Division 4 finals. Blietz dominated the 100-yard backstroke with a gold medal time of 56.85 seconds, nearly 10 seconds ahead of the next swimmer. The junior also won the 100-yard butterfly title race with a mark of 57.24 seconds. 

Trinity also returned multiple swimmers to the CIF championships. Freshman Liam Waldman finished 10th overall in the 500 freestyle in 5 minutes and 13.76 seconds.  

Knights sophomore Thomas Rolls finished eighth in the backstroke with a 1:03.47-second finish. 

The two also earned an eighth-place finish in the boys 400 freestyle relay along with Luke Rodriguez and Hudson Sweitzer. 

Liam Waldman, Thomas Rolls, Hudson Sweitzer and Luke Rodriguez. Photo Courtesy of Trinity Athletics.

All four swimmers will return to Trinity next season. 

Valencia’s Jordan Lozado also topped the league podium after winning the 200 individual medley in 1 minute and 57.88 seconds. 

Saugus’ Logan Divine won the league 100-yard butterfly in 50.65 seconds and made the CIF championship race in Division 2. 

Castaic senior Delany Cowan made the CIF finals for the fourth straight season with impressive showings in the 200-IM and the butterfly. Cowan finished seventh overall in the 200 in 2 minutes and 16.95 seconds. 

Canyon sophomore Madelyn Krestul also reached a pair of CIF finals races in the 200 and 50 freestyle. Krestul raced to a 2:03.99-minute finish in the 200 and just beat out teammate Madeline Yu in the 50, edging past her teammate by just over half a second, with a time of 25.68 seconds.  

Yu also placed seventh in the 100-yard backstroke with a mark of 1:01.02. 

The qualifying swimmers will now advance to the state meet this weekend. 

“I think they just need to believe in themselves,” Wheeler said. “‘Just go out and leave it all in the water’ is what I always tell them.” 

Hart High School’s Nolan Yokoyama during the 100-yard breaststroke at the Foothill League Finals at the Santa Clarita Aquatics Center. 042524 Katherine Quezada/The Signal
West Ranch High School’s Gabe Eke during the 100-yard backstroke at the Foothill League Finals at the Santa Clarita Aquatics Center. 042524 Katherine Quezada/The Signal

Related To This Story

Latest NEWS