Granada Hills’ Steven Park Shines in Prelims of L.A. City High School Champs

LOS ANGELES, May 23. MOVE over, Kristine Quance, you've got competition.

Quance, the former University of Southern California NCAA champion/All-America from the early 1990s who helped lead the Trojans to their only national collegiate women's crown not quite a decade ago and who is now married to former Trojan All-America butterflyer Jeff Julian, was a prep All-America at Granada Hills High in the San Fernando Valley prior to attendng USC.

She helped lead the Granada Hills Highlanders to the LA City title a decade ago when she ws a multi-talented prep star. She still holds the City 200 IM record at 1:59.53 from a decade ago and the couple has a young son who's reportedly being groomed for the 2020 Olympics.

In any event, during Wednesday's LA City Championship prelims at (where else?) the McDonald's Olympic Pool on the campus of Quance-Julian's alma mater, another Granada Hills swimmer stood out, only this time it was a male.

Highlander junior Steven Park was top qualifier in two races, the 200 IM and the 100 breast, and in each he came close to breaking the City record. In the medley his pr of 1:56.61 was not far off the standard of 1:55.18 by Granada Hills' Tyler Clark from last season.

In the breaststroke his 59.57 puts him in position to challenge the 23-year-old mark of 58.22 at next Wednesday's Championships, also at USC.

On a smog-free, picture-perfect day in the city of Angele with the temperature in the mid '80s and the sky so clear you could see Honolulu, Granada Hills' hopes of toppling defending champ Palisdaes were dealt a severe blow when its second-seeded 400 free relay team was disqualified after one swimmer jumped.

However, Granada Hills had the 200 free's top qualifier and scored well in several other events.

On the girls' side, defending champ Pali is in good shape to defend its title. Dolphin Laura Johnson was top qualifier in the breaststroke (1:11.29) and runner-up in the 200 IM (2:15.89). Teammates Cara Davidoff and Louiza Campos also qualified well, with the former taking first in the 100 free and second in the 50. The latter was runner-up in the 100, fourth in the 50.

Quance-Julian is perhaps the only swimmer of either sex to have been an LA City champ and then an NCAA champ too (individual or team). While innumerable California prepsters from Mark Sptiz through Natalie Coughlin have won CIF titles and then gone on to collegiate and Olympic-World Championship stardom, they have almost exclusively swum for suburban schools in Southern and Northern California but not at a Los Angeles Unified School District institution.

Swiminfo will be present at next week's City championships and will have a full report following the meet's conclusion.

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