Swim team looks ahead to Los Altos meet

March 28, 2017 — by Daniel Bessonov and Charin Park

During their daily practices,  Falcon swimmers separate into their varsity and JV groups.

To outsiders, however, these placements might seem a bit odd: underclassmen dominate the varsity lanes, taking over the conventionally upperclassmen-held region of the roster.

These swimmers include freshmen Oscar Khowong and Jinsu Yim, as well as sophomores Daniel Bessonov, Nicholas Burry, Andrew Gao, Ashley Feng, Derek Fung and Lei Otsuka.

These underclassmen were able to advance to the upper divisions due to the opportunities that opened up after the departure of numerous alumni last spring, including now Cal Berkeley freshman swimmer Jack Xie.

According to senior breaststroker Nathan Ching, the rebuilding of the roster led to a slow start in their season.

“The upperclassmen were really worried for the new swimmers coming in because this season is really freshmen and sophomore dependent, especially for the guys,” Ching said. “But as the season progresses, we are beginning to feel closer as teammates, which in turn is producing much faster times for all of us.”
This slow start included losses to Gunderson, Palo Alto and Gunn High School. During the Gunderson meet on March 16, the Falcons saw strong showings from the girls’ varsity team, but dropped a relatively close match 322-272.

On March 10, the Falcons were walloped by Palo Alto 419-280. The meet, however, did have its positive moments: Yim  placed first in the 500m freestyle with a time of 5:24.52 and Burry stormed through the 100m backstroke with a time of 56.44 seconds. Both swimmers qualified for the CCS Championships.
Feng, who swims freestyle for the team,  hopes that swimmers will continue to work on their technique and endurance.
"I feel like we have really improved as a team since our first meet against Palo Alto, specifically our endurance," Feng said. “It really seems like our hard work in practice is paying off, so I can’t wait to see what we have in store.”

Gao added that the coaches’ harder sets in practice have helped the Falcons progress.

“I think by making us swim more intensive sets, our endurance as a whole has really improved,” Gao said. “I really think the results will show up more prominently at our next meets.”

 

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