By Sue Pascoe
The Palisades High School swimmers prevailed once again in the City Section finals on May 11, winning both the boys and girls team titles at the John C. Argue Swim Stadium near the Coliseum.
The Dolphins won five of six relays, and individual swimmers took first in five events. It was Pali’s depth, with three and four swimmers finishing in the top eight in numerous events, that earned the championships.
PaliHi girls scored 579 points, comfortably ahead of Granada Hills (266) and San Pedro (250). The Pali boys tallied 561, with Granada Hills second (323) and San Pedro third (251).
The girls started the meet with 52 points earned by Dolphin divers Alexis Kleshick and Maya Salvitti, who finished one-two. The boys began with 37 points, thanks to diver Andrei Kozeluh, who placed third.
As the announcement was being made that Palisades had won both team titles, Coach Maggie Nance saw her kids shouting and jumping with emotion, knowing they had worked hard as a team.
The Dolphins have won so many city championships under Nance that she knew what was about to happen next. “I hate this part,” she said, and then smiled as she kicked off her shoes before being tossed into the pool by her swimmers for a celebration dip.
This was the sixth consecutive title for the boys and the ninth straight for the girls. Since 1973, when the City began compiling girls swim records, Pali has won 28 titles, compared to six for Granada Hills. Boys records go back to 1926, with the notation that in 1943-44 (during World War II) no championships were held. Pali has won 16 titles since the school was founded in 1961, followed by Birmingham with 12. RELAYS: The Dolphins won the 200-yard medley relay in both the boys (1:40.46) and girls (1:51.45) events. The 200-yard freestyle produced a third for the girls and a first for the boys (1:29.88). The boys and girls both took first in the 400-yard freestyle relay (3:15.15 and 3:41.77, respectively).
50-YARD FREESTYLE: Sophomores Darby Green and Sydney Brouwer, freshman Maxine Eschger and sophomore Grace Winter took fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth. The winner was El Camino’s Isobel Blue (24.24).
Roy Yoo, a senior, won the first of his two events (21.26). Also placing for PaliHi were senior Lucas Lacy and sophomore Marc Pryor, who took fourth and seventh.
100-YARD FREESTYLE: For girls, Green was third, Brouwer was fifth and junior Charlize Samperio was sixth. The boys took first, second and sixth, led by Yoo (47.59), Lacy (48.87) and senior Sammy Speiser.
200-YARD FREESTYLE: Freshman Nathalia Wyss took second (1:56.18) and in the boys event, sophomore Andrew Planting was third (1:48.28).
500-YARD FREESTYLE: Wyss finished second (5:19.06), freshman Chloe Alpin was fourth and sophomore Kira Davis fifth. In the boys race, sophomore Chris Pederson was third (4:55.56) and senior Tevin Pak fourth.
200-YARD IM: Senior Dora Seggelke took second (2:08.26) despite a broken wrist, while teammate Quincy Timmerman was fourth and Alpin fifth. The Pali boys were led by junior Orion Vayanas, who was second (2:00.11), Pak was fourth, sophomore Mark Ishizawa fifth and senior JJ Chang seventh.
100-YARD BUTTERFLY: Seggelke took third and was joined by seniors Elena Saab and Maxine Graves, who were seventh and eighth. Senior William Cho took first (52.45), Planting was fourth and sophomore Nick Allen was seventh.
100-YARD BACKSTROKE: Amanda Kim took third, Graves was fifth and freshman Kristina Kobuke was sixth. For the boys, sophomores Marc Pryor and Asa Tatro were seventh and eighth.
100-YARD BREASTSTROKE: Timmerman captured first (1:08.56), Meredith Haaker was third and sophomores Grace Winter and Emily Bunnapradist finished fourth and fifth. Cho captured his second win (59.18) and Chang was third, with Ishizawa fifth and Vayanas sixth.