Varsity swimmers finish 4 points shy of upset

April 30, 2008 — by Guy Quanrud

For many years, the Saratoga and Palo Alto boy’s varsity swimming teams have maintained in a small but competitive rivalry. In CCS last year, the Falcons placed second to Palo Alto among public schools. This year’s dual meet showed signs that Saratoga may come out on top of Palo Alto at CCS.

“They dominated in some events like the 50- or 100 -yard freestyle, but we surprisingly won many events,” said senior Ryan Hinshaw. “All of our club swimmers really stepped it up and I think we really could beat them.”

In a huge meet between the two varsity powerhouses on April 22, the Saratoga swimmers swam out to an early lead and battled to a close finish. The Saratoga boys lost 90-86 while the girls lost by 50 points.

In the opening 200-yard medley relay, the varsity girls placed second with senior Hayes Hyde, sophomores Lauren Opatrny, Elizabeth Murray and Megan Nolet swimming the butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle, respectively. The boys’s relay team, consisting of juniors Ben Hinshaw, Matt Murray, and seniors Takehiro Kurosawa and R. Hinshaw pulled away to beat Palo Alto by two seconds.

“It pumps us up when we see our swimmers winning,” said sophomore Kevin Rollinson. “It gave confidence that we can beat them.”

Following the relays, the boys and girls had mixed results. The Hinshaw brothers scored big in multiple events, with Ben taking first in the 200-yard individual medley IM and 100-yard breaststroke, Ryan winning the 200-yard and 500-yard freestyle events, and freshman Adam Hinshaw placing second in the 500-yard freestyle and third in the 200-yard freestyle. Nolet shined as well, finishing first in the 500-yard freestyle and 100-yard breaststroke. Junior Matt Murray also grabbed the spotlight with firsts in the 100-yard backstroke and the 100-yard butterfly.

In the final event, the 400-yard freestlye relay, both Falcon squads finished off strong with the girls finishing second and the boys taking first by a close two seconds.

“We have a very good chance in leagues,” said boy’s coach Christian Bonner. “We have a lot of extremely good quality swimmers.”