Swimming: Swim team flourishes at CCS meet

June 2, 2009 — by Tim Rollinson

The Falcons came out in force at the CCS meet on May 16 at the Santa Clara International Aquatic Center. Of the 21 athletes representing Saratoga High at the meet, 12 placed in the top 16 in at least one event.

The girls’ team finished eighth overall, scoring 136 points. They were the No. 5 public school. The boys’ team finished second 61 points behind winner Bellarmine. Despite winning seven events to Bellarmine’s one, the lack of divers and finalists for SHS led to the loss.

The 200-yard medley relay kicked off the meet with the girls’ team of freshman Natalie Cheung and juniors Lauren Opatrny, Elizabeth Murray and Megan Nolet finishing fifth with an All-American time of 1:48.07. The boys’ 200 medeley relay of freshman Ian Burns and seniors Matt Murray, Brad Murray and Ben Hinshaw followed, receiving first place and a new CCS record in 1:31.84. The relay was also within a second of a national record.

“We had a stellar group of girls in the first relay,” said Nolet. “It was the first relay so we were all mentally prepared and ready to swim.”

After the strong performance in the first relay, the Falcons dove into the individual events. M. Murray and Hinshaw led the boys’ team with two victories each. Hinshaw took the 500 freestyle in 4:21.54 and the 200 individual medley in 1:46.96, setting CCS records in both. M. Murray was equally impressive in capturing the 100 butterfly title in 48.45 and breaking his own CCS record by almost two seconds in the 100 backstroke swimming a time of 47.97.

“Ben and Matt have been pushing themselves all season,” said coach Christian Bonner. “They posses all the attributes of a great athlete.”

B. Murray joined his teammates on the winners’ podium, taking the 100 breaststroke in All -American time of 57.55. He also placed seventh in the 500 freestyle. Sophomore Adam Hinshaw earned All- American times in the 200 and 500 freestyle when he placed fourth and second, respectively. Burns placed fourth and sixth in the 200 IM and 100 freestyle, respectively, both All-American times. Sophomore Justin Chung rounded out the effort finishing 11th in the 100 backstroke.

“The 500 [freestyle] was really a highlight for our team,” said A. Hinshaw. “ It was a really close race, but we finished with three people in the top seven which is huge.”

On the girls’ side of the pool the trio of Nolet, Opatrny and Murray led the way. Nolet placed seventh and eighth in the 100 and 50 freestyle, respectively, receiving an All-American consideration time in the 50. Opatrny placed sixth in both the 200 IM and the 100 backstroke capturing All-American times in both. Murray placed 12th in the 200 freestyle and fourth in the 500 freestyle.

“Even though there weren’t too many of us swimming in the finals, we represented SHS well,” said Nolet.

Sophomore Lauren Gardanier was the only diver at the meet for the Falcons. She placed sixth in one-meter diving, the only diving event at the meet.

Both teams finished the day strong in the 4×100 freestyle relay. The girls team of Murray, Opatrny, Nolet and junior Christine La finished sixth, swimming two seconds faster than their previous best and earning All-American honors. The boys’ relay of M. Murray, Burns, A. Hinshaw and B. Hinshaw swam the 16 laps in 3:00.68, a national record time.

“We knew the meet was out of our reach at that point so we were really motivated to show what we could do,” said A. Hinshaw.

1 view this week