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The Student News Site of Palo Alto High School

The Paly Voice

The Student News Site of Palo Alto High School

The Paly Voice

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Vikings swim laps around Gunn

The Paly varsity swim team was triumphant against cross-town rival Gunn High School on Tuesday, as the varsity boys won, 107-79, and the varsity girls held on, 118-68.

From the very first relay, the Vikings took control of the Titans, with multiple Central Coast Section qualifying times.

“I was truly impressed with the swimming by both the girls and the boys,” Paly head coach Danny Dye said. “They are all extremely tired because of how hard I have been pushing them in practice and this is only making them stronger for the end of the season.”

The girls and boys won the first event of the meet, the 200-yard medley relay. The girls “A” team qualified for CCS with a time of 1:52.20 and the boys did the same, finishing in 1:45.93.

“We were in second and then Colleen really helped pull us up,” senior relay member Nicole Westly said.

Paly junior Allie Bollella finished second in the girls 200-yard freestyle, securing a CCS spot with a time of 2:03.25.

“I swam pretty well,” Bollella said. “I am hoping to swim under two minutes for CCS, so that I can make top eight.”

Senior Liv Jensen, swam the 200-yard individual medley in 2:07.67, 13 seconds faster than the CCS qualifying time. Earlier this month she qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials.

“I swam well for mid-season,” Jensen said.

In the boys division, junior Tim Wenzlau made the CCS time in the 200 individual medley, with a time of 2:06.6.

“Tim has stepped up this year as an upperclassmen,” Fortune said. “He is swimming incredibly well.”

Both the girls and boys 50-yard freestyles were especially exciting. Freshmen Sabrina Lee took on senior Colleen Fotsch with Fotsch out-touching Lee, 24:86 to 25.53.

“She is a lot better since she is a senior and having qualified for Olympic Trials is much more experienced,” Lee said.

Next, two senior boys showed their talent, with diver, Will Simon beating Scott Mielke in a surprising upset, 23.11 seconds to 23.64 seconds. Both boys made CCS.

“I am not a swimmer and I still qualified for CCS,” Simon said.

Sophomore Kaitlin Tracy had a solid swim in the Girls 100 Yard Butterfly, nudging out Shelby Newman of Gunn to gain a second place finish with 1:05.15.

“I felt like I swam really well today, given the number of hours we have been practicing,” Tracy said.

Senior Michael Fortune won the boys 100-yard butterfly in 56.03 seconds, followed closely by Gunn’s Matt Walkup in 57 seconds and Paly sophomore Ian Schubert in third place, at just over 1 minute.

“I do not usually swim the fly, so it was a good change of pace,” Fortune said.

Lee swum her second CCS qualifying time on Tuesday in the 100-yard freestyle. Paly senior Lizzie Abbott claimed the no. 3 spot, coming in at 56.63 seconds. Both girls were safely under the CCS marker.

“I felt nice in the water but definitely need to smooth-out my stroke,” Lee said.

Mielke was the only Paly swimmer on the podium in the 100-yard freestyle, coming in at 52.62 seconds. He wasn’t satisfied with second and snatched first place from Christian Jones of Gunn, finishing in 54.93 seconds.

“I was impressed with how Scott swam today,” Dye said.

Bollela once again showed her dominance in freestyle, by claiming third in the 500-yard freestyle. She finished in 5:39.75 against very competitive Gunn distance swimmers.

“This event was really hard because I usually do not swim it,” Bollella said.

For the boys 500-yard freestyle, Paly freshmen Arseny Kotov stole the show, finishing in 5:24.88 beating Kevin Oyama of Gunn by more than 30 seconds. Sophomore Emerson Shiang filled the third place with a time of 5:41.17.

“I do not usually swim it, so it felt good,” Shiang said.

Anchored by Fotsch, the girls 200-yard freestyle relay, was won by relay team “A.” They nudged out Gunn’s “A” team by .07 seconds to clinch the top spot and move on to CCS.

“Danny has told us that we can win this event,” Paly senior Lizzie Abbott said. “We have a shot at breaking the CCS record.”

The boys “A” team also took the lead in that relay and demolished Gunn’s “A” team by a nearly five second gap. but also qualified for CCS with a time of 1:34.33.

“We knew going into this event that we had the upper hand,” Lee said. “It was certainly a confidence booster.”

The Girls 100-yard backstroke was won by Fotsch, 59.75, as Tara Levens of Guun, 100.47, gained on her during the last leg of the race. It was too close to call until the times were posted.

“Colleen did a great job of outracing Tara in the backstroke,” Paly junior, Jamie Nakamura said.

In the boys division, Wenzlau and Brandon Lee rounded out the top two spots, 54.03 and 1:00.97, with Wenzlau clinching a ticket to CCS.

“Tim swam a really fast race and I am happy for him to have the opportunity to go to CCS,” Lee said.

The final individual race of the afternoon was the 100 Yard Breaststroke. Jensen once again pulled out an amazing swim in order to beat Teva Levens of Gunn, 1:07.28-1:10.27. On the boys side, Geng Wang was the only Paly boy to podium and beat second place Gunn swimmer, Richard Yuan, 1:02.80-1:06.77.

“It was good that Geng swam well,” senior swimmer Mark Higgins said. “Gunn’s swimmers have gotten surprisingly fast, recently.”

The last relay of the day was the 400 Freestyle. Both men and women’s “A” teams were victorious. Women finished with a time of 3:39.59 and the men swam it in 3:30.24. Both relay teams qualified for CCS.

“Liv really helped us win this one,” Lee said.

The Section Challenge takes place at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, here at the Paly pool.

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