By Marion Wood
The South Pasadena swimming team is looking forward to an excellent season in their first year in CIF Division II. The Rio Hondo League has been in Division I for many years, making it very difficult for the Tigers to go far in CIF.
“We were always sort of out of our league in Division I,” senior Jasmine Lee said. “The team is definitely happy to be moved down, because we’ll go against schools that are more our level.”
The girls and boys teams face separate challenges in the upcoming season. The girls have won the league title for the past few years, so the team is optimistic about the 2015 season. They also have a strong roster of seniors, including Lee, Grace Wakabayashi, Sabrina Zavala, and Kate Iio.
The boys have had more difficulty, especially struggling against powerhouses San Marino and La Cañada. Last year, the boys narrowly missed the league title by two points, falling to the Titans. The Tigers hope to respond this year with a strong season, led by senior swimmers Garrett Tse, Griffin Yerian, Mason Lau and William Jo.
“We have a lot of great talent this year, so I think we can definitely do well in league and CIF,” said Yerian.
The team lost a squad of important seniors last year, many of whom contributed valuable points for the Tigers. The new team, however, is confident in its ability to bounce back.
“I think that the loss of seniors may affect the team a little bit, but we have a lot talented people to fill their spots,” Lee said.“We just need to continue to focus and practice hard.
The team has been practicing diligently in preparation for the start of the spring season. The swimmers often practice twice to three times a day, including its club workouts. South Pasadena will face Alhambra High School for its first meet of the season on March 17.