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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW: Pair of young Cerritos swimmers honored for achievements

By Loren Kopff


[l-r] Kevin Lee and Ethan Umpornpuckdi.

[l-r] Kevin Lee and Ethan Umpornpuckdi.

Kevin Lee and Ethan Umpornpuckdi from the Cerritos Aquatic Club were awarded for their fine accomplishments at the Southern California Swimming banquet this past Sunday. In the 10 and under age category, Lee finished in second place in Southern California in the 100 meter butterfly with a time of 1:14.71.

In the same age group, Umpornpuckdi finished in third place in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:33.24. He also finished in the National top 10 in three events for the age 11 group. Umpornpuckdi came in seventh place in the 400 meter freestyle (4:42.93), eighth place in the 800 meter freestyle (9:52.67) and ninth place in the 1500 meter freestyle (19:02.56).


The California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section playoffs began on May 21 for Valley Christian, which hosted former Olympic League rival Paraclete in a Division V first round game. The Crusaders, who finished in a three-way tie for second place in league, ended the regular season at 16-11 and split a pair of games with Maranatha and Whittier Christian the last two weeks of the regular season. If V.C. comes away with the win, it will most likely face third seeded Santa Ynez on Tuesday in a rematch of last season’s first round meeting. Santa Ynez, the defending division champion, edged the Crusaders 3-1 last season.

In Division II action, San Gabriel Valley League champion Gahr hosts Pacifica out of Oxnard today. The Gladiators (20-11) struggles throughout the early part of the season and at one time was 8-7. But the team went 8-2 in league and has won 10 of its last 13 games since a 7-6 loss at Warren in the league opener. A Gahr win will set up a second round tilt against the victor of the Bonita/Cajon game on Tuesday.

John Glenn is also home today as the Suburban League champions face Royal. The Eagles (18-8) won its first league title since 1990. The Eagles have won nine of their last 10 games with the lone setback coming on Apr. 24. Their win total matches that of last season but the eight losses are the fewest since going 12-9-1 in 1999. A Glenn win will most likely set up a meeting against third seeded Glendora in the second round on Tuesday.


Suburban League champion Cerritos (18-7) hosted California on May 21 in a Division III first round game. The Lady Dons won their second straight league title and went undefeated in league play for the first time since 2000. Cerritos has won 38 games in two years, the best two-year win total since winning 49 games in 2000 and 2001. The Lady Dons are hoping to advance to the second round for the first time since 2004 and if so, they will play the winner of the Don Lugo/St. Paul game on Tuesday.

Gahr, which tied Warren for first place in the San Gabriel Valley League for the second straight season, is seeded fourth in Division III and hosted the winner of the Chaffey/Fontana wild card game that was played this Tuesday. The Gladiators (21-7) have lost three games by one run and two more by two runs, both 5-3 losses to Warren. Gahr would most likely face Alemany in the second round on Tuesday if the bracket stays true to form.

Also in Division III action, Norwalk visited Sherman Oaks-based Notre Dame on May 21. The Lady Lancers finished in a three-way tie for second place in the Suburban League but goes in as the league’s No. 2 representative. Norwalk (13-8) would most likely host second seeded La Serna in the second round on Tuesday.


A return trip to the Division III championship match fell short for Gahr as host Quartz Hill knocked off the Gladiators 25-18, 17-25, 27-29, 25-23, 17-15 this past Wednesday night. Gahr ends its season at 21-9.