By Aaron Valdez
To cap off its renaissance season under newly appointed Head Coach Julie Burns, the Monrovia swim program had a representative team qualify and compete in a CIF competition for the first time in over 12 years.
Just last year, the future of Monrovia High School swimming was looking quite murky. However, once Burns was placed at the helm, she immediately turned the entire program around and reignited a fire within the team that was seemingly nonexistent in recent years.
This season marked the first time in program history that all of Monrovia’s swimmers retuned to the Rio Hondo League Finals after a successful showing at prelims. In particular, the boys’ relay team (Ryan Weiss, Grant Pierce, David Bughman, Jake Weiss and Tyler Regan) was the No. 4 seed heading into league finals but ended up coming in second place, shaving off three seconds from their previous best time.
On top of already having considerations for CIF, the relay team’s performance during league finals guaranteed them a spot in postseason competition. In the CIF prelims, the boys finished 27th out of 36 teams with a time of 1:31.50, which was more than their seed time of 1:30.60.
Needless to say, qualifying for CIF without any club swimmers, especially in Division 2, is a feat that has not only made Burns extremely proud, but has also caught the attention from the rest of the community.
“The coach from Temple City was like, ‘You gave them love for the sport again and the will to win. I’ve never seen them so happy and like a family and motivated. You brought that all back for them,’” Burns said of a conversation she had with the swim coach at rival school Temple City.