Swim team to compete at CCS this weekend

Frankie Comey, Author

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Santa Clara Valley Athletic League banners proudly show the varsity swim team's victories. Photo by Frankie Comey

Santa Clara Valley Athletic League banners proudly show the varsity swim team’s past victories. Photo by Frankie Comey

On the heels of having a junior swimmer break a longstanding record in the butterfly, the Palo Alto High School swim team will take its talents to the Santa Clara Swim Center and the Central Coast Section Finals this weekend. CCS Trials will occur on Friday, and those that qualify will return on Saturday to strive for victory.

Swimming is organized to focus on the individual: each event has a qualifying time that one must achieve at some point in the season to qualify for CCS, much like track & field. Four swimmers per event will go, and one relay team for each relay race.

At the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League meet last week, Paly varsity boys blew the competition out of the water, triumphing over their closest competition in Monta Vista High School by 101 points.

More waves were made when the boys 200-freestyle relay team broke the league meet record.

One swimmer who shined in particular was junior Andrew Liang, who broke the SCVAL 100-yard butterfly record set in 1967 by nine-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer Mark Spitz (then of Santa Clara High School).

Varsity girls finished fourth at the SCVAL meet. Although they did not win at SCVALs, many girls qualified for CCS and will swim there on Friday and Saturday.

Coming off their strong performance at SCVALs, the varsity boys team has its sights set on becoming CCS champs and dethroning Bellarmine High School, the crowned champions for the past 28 years.

Seeded to finish only 14 points behind Bellarmine, the varsity boys team likes their chances. “It will come down to our 100-, 200-, and 500-yard freestylers picking up some extra points and we could come home with the win,” junior Ethan Look said.

Boys swimmers to watch out for include Liang, junior Willy Lee, senior Alex Francis and freshman Andrew Cho. Girl swimmers looking to make their mark include senior captain Molly Zebker, junior Jayna Wittenbrink and freshman Katie Francis.