Swimming is a sport that hasn’t been the most successful since Olympian Cathy Ferguson made her mark locally in the 1960s. But strides have been made in recent years at both Burbank and Burroughs highs with several school records have been broken. This year we could see some more.
The Bulldogs are led on the boys’ side by junior David Lee, the defending Pacific League champion in the 50 and 100-meter freestyle events.
Burbank has a solid core behind Lee. Senior Gevorg Vardanyan should offer help in the 200 individual medley and 100 butterfly.
Junior Ryan Feldman could also have a strong season in the 100 backstroke and 200 freestyle.
Senior Dorian Andrei, like Vardanyan, figures to do well in the butterfly and medley events.
Senior Charlie Thorpe should offer some support in the freestyle events and senior Ashot Gavurmadzhyan is strong in the breaststroke and butterfly events.
“The boys team is looking to remain in the top three in the Pacific League, while also securing automatic cuts for relays for the CIF meet,” Burbank coach Cody Parker said. “David Lee (is aiming) to remain the top sprinter in the league, while qualifying individually for CIF. The girls look to secure a spot in the top three in the Pacific League.”
The Burbank girls’ team is led by senior Michelle Morlock, who is a 50 and 100 meter freestyle specialist.
Senior Melody Moradi offers help in the freestyle events, as does senior Emily Udall, who will also compete in the butterfly.
Juniors Simone and Geneva Bethel are also freestyle specialists. Simone Bethel could also score some points in the breaststroke.
The Indians are led by junior distance swimmer Maya Wilson, who has qualified for CIF competition the last two years.
Senior Aleah Orozco also brings back key experience in the freestyle and relay events.
Junior Emmanuella Nathan returns to give the Indians another swimmer with varsity experience in the relay events.
Sophomores Madeline Spangler and Isabelle Mucha were both on varsity as freshmen.
The top newcomer is freshman Lilliana Noriega.
For the Burroughs boys’ team, senior Reigh Abaoag is the top returner. He is particularly strong in the butterfly and breaststroke events.
Seniors Issack Dowling, Nathan Gault-Crabb and Arshak Berberyan also figure to play key roles.
Sophomore Nicolai Lazarev is a distance swimmer with a bright future ahead.