Swimming is fun for the whole family . . . or in the case of the Crescenta Valley High boys' and girls' teams, all of the families.
The Falcons feature three pairs of brother-sister siblings on the varsity teams, plus several swimmers with family ties to junior varsity athletes and graduated standouts.
The families, who have formed solid foundations for the Falcons' championship teams in recent years, are expected to do the same again.
Crescenta Valley is aiming for its third consecutive Southern Section Division II title in boys' competition and is building its girls' program into a championship contender with a core of underclassmen.
Stephanie Nicholson and Emily Rupp are the Falcons' only seniors.
Both teams are defending Pacific League champions. The boys won Division II titles in 1993, '98 and '99, and were runners-up in 1994 and '95.
The girls were eighth in the Division II finals last season and might have the talent and depth for a top-five finish this year.
For help in accomplishing any postseason goals, Crescenta Valley will look to the Taylors, the Bans and the Winchells.
Travis Taylor, a senior distance specialist, won the Division II 500-yard freestyle championship and placed second to graduated teammate Kenny Carpenter in the 200 freestyle final as a junior. Taylor, a member of The Times' 1999 all-region boys' team, placed 11th in the 1,000-yard freestyle last week in the Speedo Junior Championships West meet in Anchorage, Alaska.
William Ban, a versatile junior, finished fourth behind Taylor in the Division II 500 freestyle final last year and was fifth in the 200 individual medley.
Sean Winchell, a senior, was the seventh-place finisher in the Division II 100 butterfly final, and he placed eighth in the 100 backstroke.
In the boys' wakes this year will be younger sisters Lindsay Taylor and Jessica Ban, both freshmen, and Megan Winchell, a sophomore.
Each helped the Crescenta Valley girls defeat Hart, 93-73, in a nonleague meet Friday. The Falcons avenged a loss suffered against the Indians last season. The Falcon boys tied Hart, 85-85, on Friday.
Lindsay Taylor won the girls' 200-yard individual medley while Jessica Ban won the girls' 100-yard freestyle.
"We just see each other on the pool deck all the time, and we're always at each other's houses," Travis Taylor said. "I'm glad I get to have a year with my sister on the team, though."
The feeling is mutual for Lindsay, who clocked a career-best 2:12.17 in the 200 individual medley as Travis cheered her on Friday at College of the Canyons.
"It's one big happy family," she said. "It makes it kind of fun."
Speaking of siblings, junior Derek Ervin of Hart swam against Crescenta Valley while older brother Anthony Ervin watched.
Anthony, The Times' 1999 all-region boys' swimmer of the year who attends California, was home for spring break.
He set a world short-course record 21.21 seconds in the 50-meter freestyle and won the 100-meter freestyle in 47.36 seconds at the NCAA Division I Championships two weeks ago in Minneapolis.
"It pretty much came out of nowhere," Ervin said of his record pace in the 50 freestyle. "I wasn't even feeling real good in the water before the race."
Ervin did feel good about what he saw of Hart as the Indians rallied to tie Crescenta Valley.
The Indians are 4-2-1, including a 2-0 mark in Foothill League meets, despite the loss of Ervin, Ryan Parmenter, Jon Terwilliger and Eric Reisman to graduation.
"They looked pretty good, considering the Big Four, kind of, that graduated last year," said Ervin, who returned to Cal on Saturday.