Two San Gabriel Valley Catholic schools recorded strong performances in the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 Swimming Championships held May 4 at Riverside Aquatics Center.

Damien of La Verne was especially noteworthy, finishing second in the D-2 boys’ meet with 235 points, behind champion La Canada (336). The Spartans’ runner-up finish was their third since 2011; they won the D-2 title in 2001 and 2016.

Damien was led in the boys’ meet by junior Michael Babaian who won the 100 Free and led off the winning 400 Free Relay team that included seniors James Luci and Preston Planells, and sophomore Marcos Santos. Babaian also was fourth in the 200 Free, and swam the first leg of the 200 Free Relay team — with Luci, Plannels and junior Robert Campbell —  that finished second, 0.2 second from first.

Plannels was third in the 100 Back and fourth in the 200 Individual Medley. Also scoring for Damien were juniors Brett Terlip, Jared Encarnacion and Steven Stegmeier, and sophomore Marcos Santos.

In the girls’ meet, St. Lucy of Glendora (which earlier in the week scored points in the diving event) finished 15th with 76 points. St. Lucy’s was led by sophomore Marly Lough who won the 100 Free, was second in the 200 Free, and led off both the 200 Free and 400 Free Relay teams that featured freshman Asha McClain, sophomore Stevilyn Griffin and junior Caitlin Basulto.

Mike Nelson is the former editor of The Tidings (predecessor of Angelus News). 

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