Photo By Keith Birmingham, San Gabriel Valley Tribune Staff
Diamond Bar junior Chris Katoh had a big day in at the Hacienda League finals at La Verne Aquatics Center on May 6. Katoh won league titles in the 200 and 500 freestyles. Katoh won the 200 in 1:45.29 and the 500 in 4:45.76 and is hoping for momentum in this week's CIF meet.
Katoh got motivation from league prelims in which West Covina's Jaye Chang got within two seconds of him. But on Friday, Katoh beat Chang by nearly four seconds.
"I thought I got it perfect, but Jaye pushed me even faster because he was only two seconds behind me and I thought `There's someone who's going to try beating me,' " Katoh said. "I kept my head in the game (today) and did what I wanted to do."
Adding to Diamond Bar's success was Brianna Hom, who won the 200 individual medley. Walnut, which won the regular-season boys and girls teams titles, saw Emily Yu (100-fly), Danny Overstreet (100-fly), Christina Vu (200-free) and Emmett Poon (200-IM) win individual titles. Bonita's Caleb Guarino won the 100 free in 48.08.
In the women's competition, Andrea Grant knew she had a lot to live up to when she first set foot on the Walnut High School campus. Grant's sister Rachel was a CIF champion swimmer who never lost an individual league championship race. Andrea now can say the same thing.
Andrea Grant capped a perfect league season by winning the Hacienda League championship in the 50-yard freestyle and 100 freestyle.
"I'm so happy and proud of myself,"Grant said. "I was following my sister. She's a good role model."
Rachel Grant graduated from Walnut in 2007 and is a senior at BYU, where Andrea will attend. The Grants never lost a league championship race in eight tries.
"I really strive for this, but I knew it was going to be tough," she said.
Andrea Grant's winning time in the 50 free was 24.19, more than a second faster than Bonita freshman Natalie Rivas, who was second in 25.75. Grant then demolished the field in the 100 free in 53.86.
"In the 50, I knew I was going to have to get out fast and hold my tempo," Grant said. "In the 100, I knew I would have tough competition, so I had to push past the pain."
Grant hopes her performances have set her up for big things at next week's CIF-SS meet in Long Beach.