Burroughs’ Noriega Swims Into Postseason

Bear junior gets automatic CIF qualifying mark in 50 freestyle in dual meet against rival Burbank at Verdugo Park.

(Photo By: Austin Gebhardt)

In a year that has seen so many twists and turns, Burroughs High junior Lilliana Noriega found a way to keep herself in shape.

The swimmer earned an automatic CIF Southern Section Division 3 qualifying mark Wednesday when Burroughs and Burbank highs faced each other in a dual meet at Verdugo Park. Both schools are in need of repairs to their respective pools, which was the reason for the venue change.

Noriega went 25.23 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle.

(Photo By: Austin Gebhardt)

“I am super excited because I have been trying all season and especially since we didn’t get (to finish) last season. I haven’t had that much practice time, but I feel like I’ve gotten stronger,” Noriega said. “We practiced a lot during the summer and then it kind of stopped because of the second wave. I’ve been practicing since like the end of February until now.”

Both teams had a number of swimmers not come out for the team this season because of Covid-19.  Burbank High won the girls’ team competition, 58-19.

The Bulldogs had just four swimmers, as Alina Biryuchkova, Piper Mills, Ani Rostomyan and Julie Kim did enough to get Burbank past a Burroughs team that had just three girls swimmers. Ellie Harris and Kelly Long joined Noriega for the Bears.

Burroughs took the boys’ team competition, 71-59.

The Burroughs boys’ team was led by junior Justin Cloutier, who earned a CIF consideration mark in the 500 freestyle, going 5:04.94.

The Burbank boys’ team was led by Gavin Jay, who earned CIF consideration marks in the 500 freestyle and 100 backstroke.

“I think overall we could be doing better, but this is what we can do under these circumstances,” Jay said. “Along with my two events, we are looking to go (to CIF) in the relays.”

Also competing for the Burbank boys’ team were Edward Mezhlumyan, Antoni Golbedaghians, Arsen Rostomyan, Brian Dimascio, Kyron Mirzakhanian, Daniel Sernizyan and George Margaryan.

Swimming for the Burroughs boys’ team was Kristian Solano, Fox Melo, Harrison Zekowski, Ryan Lee, Joseph Bez, Marko Nasev, Ethan McHorney, and Ryan Rolando.