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Keeping the Spartans above the rest

Leading La CaƱada to more prestige, Chris Myers became a four-time CIF team champion

July 25, 2009|By Seth Amitin

In successfully aiding in La Cañada High’s fourth consecutive CIF Division II boys’ swimming and diving championship, Spartans swimmer Chris Myers did exactly what he’s always done — pile up points in freestyle events.

Swimming the backstroke before practice at the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center pool, Myers’ stride is smooth and sweet, his kicks minimal, his arms moving in a succinct motion like hands on a clock.

“He’s changed so much since he first came to me,” said his swimming coach at Rose Bowl Aquatics, Jeff Jullian, who has coached Myers for five years. “He finds his competitiveness in the water. What drives him in the water is what makes him a great swimmer. And he’ll continue to be great after high school because of it.”

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Myers has been a part of all four of the Spartans’ most recent championships and was a part of four school records this season in the 50- (20.92 seconds) and 100-yard (45.08) freestyles and the 200 (1:25.95) and 400 (3:06.44) freestyle relays, the last a CIF record.

“That was my favorite moment,” said Myers, who along with four-time CIF champion diver John Geyer became the first athlete in school history to win four CIF team titles. “We broke the record, but it was a team effort, too. Everyone came together. My teammates [Josh Renfro, Conner Rothe and Alex Campbell] really dropped time and we pulled off something amazing.”

His accomplishments were more than enough to see him voted the All-Area Boys’ Swimmer of the Year by the sportswriters and editors of the Glendale News-Press, Burbank Leader and La Cañada Valley Sun.

“It was a good year,” Myers said. “I started in September with the goal of winning CIF. We knew some teams would have some good people and we lost some guys too, so we knew we had to be tough.”

Last year, with Ian Mirasola leading the way, La Cañada notched a surprising upset win against Loyola, 236-221.

Lost in the moment, under the radar, was Myers.

He took second place in the boys’ 50-yard freestyle and ninth in the 100-yard freestyle in the 2008 CIF Division II finals. He was also the anchor in the 200-yard medley relay and the second leg in the 400-yard freestyle relay, both of which finished second.

Thus, to say Myers filled the void left by Mirasola would be folly of sorts, because he was there all along, quietly doing what he does so well.

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