Nearing the halfway point of competing in the 500-yard freestyle race, Justin Cloutier encountered an odd moment.
It certainly wasn’t something the Burroughs High boys swimmer expected to see en route to breaking a school record.
Cloutier clocked 4 minutes, 55.22 seconds to set the school mark in the event and helped Burroughs register a 92-49 home win against rival Burbank in a Pacific League meet.
Burbank earned an 87-74 in the girl’s portion of the meet.
Cloutier, a senior, was racing in his lane when he discovered that the lap counter had broken and subsequently forgot what lap he was in.
“It was strange because I had no idea where I was and trying to figure out my time,” said Cloutier, who surprised the previous mark of 4:55.36, set by teammate Ryan Lee on March 30. “I had to get my focus back and I was glad I was able to do it and get the record. I hope to keep the mark for a couple of years and I hope somebody breaks it.”
Burroughs boys (5-2 in league) won 10 of the 11 events to top Burbank. The Bears got two individual wins from Lee in the 50 freestyle (23.32) and 100 free (51.30). They also got individual first-place efforts from Atticus Mata in the 200 free (2:12.11), Aidan Means in the 100 butterfly (1:05.13), Ronan Sieverston in the 200 individual medleys (2:30.61), and Alec Lazarev in the 100 backstroke (1:05.97).
Ethan McHorney teamed up with Luca Schaefer, Means and Lee to win the 200 medley relay in 2:02.48. Cloutier worked with Sieverston, Mata and Lazarev to capture the 200 free relay (1:41.73).
Lazarev, Mata, Kristian Solano, and Sieverston took first in the 400 free relay (4:02.51).
Edward Mezhlumyan was Burbank’s lone individual winner as he captured the 100 breaststroke (1:10.2).
In the girls’ portion of the meet, Burbank won four events, yet overcame Burroughs with more second and third-place finishes.
The Bulldogs received first-place efforts from Alina Biryuchkova in the 200 individual medley (2:36.9), Tiffany Gonzalez in the 100 breaststroke (1:21.86) and Michelle Galadjeba in the 50 free (27.07).
Burbank opened the meet by winning the 200 medley relay. Cynthia Goldbedaghians, Vana Matevosian, Galadjeba, and Valentina Angel won in 2:10.97.
“I think we are getting stronger every meet,” Burbank coach Joseph Klink said. “It’s all about reaching our expectations and seeing how we match up with everybody else. We’re building something special and we’ll be better next year.”
Burroughs was led by Nancy Taylor, who won the 200 free (2:09.54) and the 100 free (59.62). Taylor teamed up with Abby Chetalyan, Camilia Guerrero, and Anastasia Zubkoff to take the 200 free relay (1:55.22) and the 400 medley relay (3:55.33).
“We’re successful because we are detailed oriented,” Taylor said.
The Bears (4-3 in league) got first-place finishes from Chetalyan in the 100 butterfly (1:04.13) and 500 free (5:33.47) and Guerrero in the 100 backstroke (1:07.75).
The league finals will be held on April 28 at Arcadia High.