Terry's push helping Sea Kings

Daily Pilot High School Athlete of the Week

CdM senior, swimmer of meet at league finals, will again be in spotlight tonight at CIF finals.

May 14, 2010|By Matt Szabo

Blake Terry knew he was having a good meet at the Pacific Coast League finals, but swimmer of the meet?

The Corona del Mar High senior didn't know it was that good until a fan came up and asked for a picture.

"I didn't hear the announcement," Terry said. "One of my friend's moms came by with a camera and was asking to take a picture because I was swimmer of the meet. I had no idea."


What Terry did know was that his times were fast in the meet May 7 at Beckman High. He swam a season-best 46.80 seconds in winning the 100-yard freestyle and also tied for first in the 50 free with teammate Ari Marks; both touched in 21.53.

Terry, Marks, Matt Berry and Michael Liao swam the 200 free relay in 1 minute, 25.27 seconds, breaking a league meet record.

Terry helped CdM win its fourth straight league title that afternoon. Tonight at Belmont Plaza in Long Beach, he will again be a big part of it as the Sea Kings hope to win the second CIF Southern Section title in the boys' program's history.

Not bad for a kid who originally wanted to be a volleyball player like his older sister, Brooke, who graduated from CdM in 2007 and now plays at Iona College in New York.

And swimming still is not Terry's main sport. He is a water polo player, a third-team All-CIF driver who will continue next year at UC Irvine.

"I'd say [swimming] started out maybe freshman and sophomore year as a thing that I needed to do just to stay in shape," Terry said. "I actually wanted to play volleyball, but Coach [Barry] O'Dea said I needed to swim if I wanted to play water polo seriously. I started to get kind of fast during junior year, and went to CIF and got the feel of what swimming was actually like when you go fast. I went into this year excited. It's still secondary to water polo, but I don't dread it like other water polo players do when it comes around."

Terry, Berry, Kim and Liao set the 200 free relay school record last year at CIF finals, placing fifth with a 1:26.55. This year, CdM has already bettered that mark; the quartet that Terry anchors heads into tonight's CIF finals seeded third with a 1:25.97.

O'Dea is excited for his senior. After recording times around 48 or 49 seconds all year in the 100 free, Terry broke through in a big way at league finals after starting his taper.

"We knew he was going to break out," O'Dea said. "We just didn't know when."

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