Following a strong performance at its most recent meet against Menlo-Atherton High School and Menlo School, the Palo Alto High School swim team will host an invitational meet at on Saturday at the Paly pool.
According to head coach Danny Dye, the meet’s invitees include Saint Francis High School, Monta Vista High School, Los Gatos High School, Los Altos High School, the King’s Academy and Pioneer High School, with Monta Vista, Pioneer, Saint Francis and Los Gatos placing within the top 10 at last season’s Central Coast Section finals.
At the tri-invite, the girls team beat MA, 99-65, and Menlo, 124-41. Senior captain Karina Goot was pleased with the team’s results.
“I am happy with how we swam,” Goot said. “I think it was an overall strong team performance.”
The boys’ team also won its meet, but the exact scoring was unclear due to a faulty computer system, according to Dye.
Coming off of this win, Dye is optimistic about the outcome of the upcoming meet.
“I expect them [the boys’ and girls’ teams] to do well,” Dye said. “It’s an early season meet, so everyone’s swimming and they’re tired, but I still expect them to do really well. It’ll be a good competition.”
Last season, the boys’ varsity team won the De Anza League title and placed second at CCS, while the girls’ team placed second in the league and tenth at CCS. Both of the varsity teams hope to improve this season and sweep the league.
According to senior captain Ethan Look, the boys are also aiming to place first at CCS and beat Bellarmine College Preparatory, which has won 29 consecutive CCS championship titles.
“We believe that we have the squad to be able to beat them [Bellarmine] this year,” Look said. “We should have have a fairly easy league season, so our focus for the entire year will be on CCS. … If everyone steps up this year and works hard, we’ll come home with a CCS championship.”
After losing the league title to Gunn High School last year, the girls hope to recapture the title and place in the top four in CCS. With nine freshmen additions, the girls’ team is young, but confident in its abilities, according to senior captain Caroline Moeser.
“We have a lot of younger girls with a lot of potential, and I’m really looking forward to seeing them grow this season,” Moeser said. “I just want to have a really close knit team, so I guess that [the new group of swimmers] is one of our weaknesses. We can improve that with team bonding.”
After the graduation of nine seniors last year, seven of whom were on the girls’ team, Goot says the new members will hopefully fill in the gaps.
“We are looking to rebuild from last year and make sure everyone knows what they will be swimming and how they can contribute to the team,” Goot said. “Last year, we lacked depth in some of our events. This year, we have a slightly bigger team, so we will be working on having multiple people score points in each event.”
Overall, Dye aims for improvement but does not wish to restrict the swimmers’ ambitions for the season.
“I try not to set expectations because I don’t want to actually limit the kids in what they can accomplish,” Dye said. “If you set an expectation, sometimes they might shoot for that expectation when they can actually do a little bit better, so I try to just encourage and empower the kids throughout the season to keep pushing themselves to try to achieve the best they can.”
The Vikings will host their next meet at 9 a.m. on Saturday at the Paly pool.