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Tamara Santoyo and Cole Cogswell: The pair of Harts

Juniors Tamara Santoyo and Cole Cogswell stand out in a talented group

Posted: March 24, 2014 10:44 p.m.
Updated: March 24, 2014 10:44 p.m.

Hart junior swimmers Tamara Santoyo, left, and Cole Cogswell have helped Hart maintain its longstanding tradition of local excellence in the sport.

 

It’s hard to stand out when you’re a swimmer at Hart High School.

But two juniors are showing it’s anything but impossible.

Tamara Santoyo and Cole Cogswell, both key pieces in Hart’s recent championship history, have emerged over the offseason as two of the best not only at the school, but in the Santa Clarita Valley and beyond.

The expectations for both are high — but they appear to be expectations both are capable of meeting.

And their success could help lead Hart to more of the same — two Foothill League titles.

“We’re looking for (Cogswell), he might have a chance of breaking Anthony Ervin’s school records,” says Hart head coach Steve Neale of the records held by the former Hart swimmer and Olympic Gold medalist. “He’s a national quality swimmer. He’ll be a fun guy to watch.”

“(Santoyo) has just come to a different level. She’s a national type swimmer, up in the realm of Abbey Weitzeil from Saugus. She threw down some super times recently in the meet in Texas. She’s one of the top five butterfliers in her age in the United States preseason and a very good sprinter.”

The two have been on similar paths for years now, though, Cogswell started swimming a few years earlier, at 4 years old.

They continue to swim in the same club, Canyons Aquatics Club, both at the highest level under head coach Coley Stickels.

And both have emerged as two of Hart’s best.

Santoyo is coming off a stellar performance at the American Shortcourse Championships in early March, where she swam the 100-yard butterfly in 53.04 seconds.

“I was really surprised that I went that time,” she says. “I was proud of myself for achieving that time.”

For Cogswell, this season is a return to form, after the junior missed the entire league season in 2013 due to a torn ligament in his thumb suffered at last season’s Crescenta Valley meet.

Now that he’s back in the pool, he’s ready to give his all for another Hart title.

“It was kind of nice having a little bit of a relaxation, but I really did miss it. It was tough to see them all go into practice working hard and getting better,” Cogswell says.

Santoyo was one of those teammates Cogswell watched last season.

She missed the Foothill League final meet her freshman year because she was at a USA Swim Camp.

So in her Foothill final debut, Santoyo wasn’t about to waste any time.

She won four league titles in her first go-around, securing first place in the 200-yard medley relay, 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle and 400-yard freestyle.

And she’s hoping to add to her title count this season.

“I’m very determined to help Hart win another league title,” she says. “I believe in my team and I think we can do it.”

Cogswell is the reverse.

Because of the injury, he couldn’t compete at finals and is looking forward to another chance this season.

His freshman year, he burst onto the varsity scene, winning in the 50-yard free, the 200-yard free relay, and the 400-yard free relay.

Valencia is breathing down their necks this season — looking to end a streak of 18 straight boys titles and 31 of the last 32 girls titles. But both Cogswell and Santoyo are ready to defend their crown.

“We’ll do everything in our power not to let it happen,” Cogswell says.

As has been the case for years, they’ll represent their team this season, side by side, and with plenty on their shoulders.

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