Granada Hills boys win City Section swim title; Granada Hills girls tie Palisades

For the second straight year, the City Section girls’ swimming championship was decided on the last event and again Granada Hills won it. Only this time the Highlanders had to share the title with Palisades, which rallied to take second place in the 400-meter freestyle relay by a mere 0.59 seconds Saturday, thanks to a blazing anchor leg by freshman Alexis Burrell.

Palisades led the girls’ standings by six points going into the relay, but Granada Hills picking up the 40 first-place points meant the Dolphins had to finish second to gain the 34 points they required for a piece of the title. They trailed top qualifier and league rival Venice for most of the race, but Burrell’s late surge edged Gondoliers’ sophomore Lily Wu at the wall.

“I gave it everything I had the last 25 meters,” said Burrell, who clocked a personal-best 1 minute, 56.60 seconds to win the 200 freestyle and won the 500 freestyle by almost five seconds earlier in the meet. “The adrenaline kicked in and took over the pain.”

Granada Hills’ foursome of Lauryn Cha, Isabella San Jose, Elaina Brier and Ava San Jose won the decisive relay in 3:41.27. Palisades was second in 3:44.83 and Venice was third in 3:45.42.

Eagle Rock junior Kenneth Devis clocks 57.04 seconds to set a City record in the 100-yard breaststroke.

Eagle Rock junior Kenneth Devis clocks 57.04 seconds to set a City record in the 100-yard breaststroke at Los Angeles Valley College on Saturday.

(Steve Galluzzo / For The Times)

Granada Hills and Palisades both finished with 371.5 points, creating the first split title in girls’ section history (since 1973) and only the second overall, dating to 1926. Palisades and Chatsworth tied for the boys’ title in 1974.

Venice, Granada Hills and Palisades finished 1-2-3 in the first event, the girls’ 200 medley relay. Granada Hills freshman Isabella San Jose was second to UCLA-bound senior Claire Wu of Taft in the 200 individual medley and Brier, a sophomore, earned crucial points for the Highlanders with another runner-up swim in the 100 freestyle.

Granada Hills’ boys also won the 400 freestyle relay en route to their first team title since 2001 and they celebrated with a dip in the pool at Valley College alongside the girls, who repeated for their eighth title overall, having won six in a row from 1995 to 2000.

As for Palisades, the girls added to their record total with their 31st City title while the boys settled for second place for the second straight year with 358 points — 21 behind Granada Hills and three ahead of third-place Cleveland. San Pedro had won the previous two titles.

Granada Hills sophomore Ryan Zheng won the 200 freestyle in 1:44.72 and the 500 freestyle in 4:46.11, senior Dominic Vargas won the 50 freestyle in 21.48 seconds and repeated as the 100 freestyle winner in 47.88 and the two swam the first and last legs on the Highlanders’ victorious 200 freestyle relay (1:29.62).

Eagle Rock’s Kenneth Devis swam the 100 breaststroke in 57.04 to break the City record and he also took first in the 100 butterfly in 49.77.

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