By Staff Writer Mingxin Wang
MSJ Boys and Girls Swimming competed against the American High School Eagles in their last meet of the season on Friday, April 16. Instead of a typical swim meet with both teams on the pool deck, the Warriors and Eagles each raced at their own pools and ranked the swimmers based on their individual times. After tallying up the points, MSJ Boys and Girls Varsity defeated the Eagles, while Boys and Girls Junior Varsity (JV) suffered losses. The overall score after adding points from all divisions, however, was 271-241, with the Warriors winning by 30 points.
With strict social distancing guidelines, this season has looked very different for the swimmers. Girls Varsity Swimming Co-Captain Senior Rebecca Zhang said, “Usually, we have one big practice with both Varsity and JV, but this year we had to split practices and cut around half the team. In a normal year, we have 15 Girls Varsity swimmers, but this year we only had nine.” Despite the smaller team, restrictions during practices, and virtual meets without spectators, the team was still able to perform consistently at the top, as all divisions finished the season with a 6-1 record.
In their meet against the Eagles, Girls and Boys Varsity swam exceptionally well, winning 73-55 for Boys and 85-43 for Girls. Boys Varsity Swimming Co-Captain Senior Kyle Wong placed first for his 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:11, while Boys Varsity Swimmer Freshman Aiden Ta placed second in the 200-yard Individual Medley with a time of 2:11. Zhang commended Girls Varsity Swimmer Freshman Colleen Yu, who placed first in all of her events — 200-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle, and 100-yard backstroke — and finished her last laps with a noticeable lead. “[Yu] has really been carrying our team. She’s got a lot in store for her the next four years,” Rebecca Zhang said.
Unfortunately, both JV teams lost, ending their 6-0 winning streak. However, the scores were still close, as Boys JV lost 54-74 and Girls JV lost 59-69. Several JV swimmers were still able to step up and earn a substantial amount of points for the Warriors. Boys JV Swimmer Sophomore Jasper Zhang placed first in all of his events, while Girls JV Swimmer Freshman Lucina Tonoyan placed first in two events. Wong said, “I think the teams did really well given the circumstances. They were able to adapt to the online meets, and I am sure they will be able to accomplish great things next season.”
Following the meet, all the swimmers gathered together on the pool deck with packs of chips, boxes of candies, and heartfelt posters to celebrate the eight seniors’ — Zhang, Wong, Liem Nguyen, Ryan Cheung, Jatin Chadha, Arthur Gan, Joseph Allred, and Anish Aerrabotu — last swim meet of high school. “It feels bittersweet. These guys are family, and I am going to miss them,” Rebecca Zhang said.