Swimming: Balanced team has strong performance at leagues; 20 swimmers to attend CCS

April 29, 2019 — by Selena Liu

After the end of the regular season, the swim team advanced to league playoffs and competed simultaneously against multiple other local teams rather than the usual one team per regular season meet. The top 16 swimmers in each event advanced to the finals.

Since the team is part of the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League De Anza division, they competed against six other teams in the area: Palo Alto, Gunn, Homestead, Los Gatos, Los Altos and Monta Vista.

Sophomore Michelle Wu believes that the swim team this year is relatively strong.

“Every individual that does well scores points and that’s what places us in the league, so if everyone does well then we’ll be very high up,” Wu said. “It’s a lot of small things that add up to one large success.”

The preliminary competition for boys started on April 24, while the girls started on April 25. Eighteen girls and 31 boys from the school qualified and advanced to league finals on April 26, although some of the qualifiers were alternates for other swimmers in their events.

Based on their results in the finals, 20 of these swimmers made the time cutoff and advanced to CCS: freshmen Isabel Lee and Sherry Lin; sophomores Brandon Fung, Tommaso Morini Bianzino, Lukas Peng, William Taylor, Taesu Yim, Neeti Badve, Neeyati Devanagondi and Grace Stuart; juniors Oscar Khowong, Eng Kwa and Jinsu Yim; and seniors Daniel Bessonov, Nicholas Bray, Nicholas Burry, Andrew Gao, Sarah Daoudi, Lei Otsuka and Madeline Stuart.

“It’s nerve-wracking because you have to swim fast enough to advance to the finals, and in the beginning, nobody knew what to expect,” said CCS advancer Khowong, who swam the 200-meter individual medley and the 100-meter breaststroke at leagues.

With 20 swimmers advancing to CCS including himself, Khowong believes that his own hard work and the team’s support was the key to his and the other swimmers’ success this year.

“I was excited because everyone is cheering for you and there’s nothing like people cheering for you in a race,” Khowong said. “It truly felt great because not only did I get the cut, but I also accomplished my personal best, and it felt good that my hard work paid off.”

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