Swim Team Starts off Strong

It was a gorgeous (and warm) afternoon on Thursday, 2/15 as the Acalanes swim team gathered after school to establish their base times for the season! Swimmers “raced” in ten different events: the 200 Free, 100 IM (JV), 200 IM, 50 Free, 50 Fly (JV), 100 Fly, 100 Free, 500 Free, 100 Back and 100 Breast. The mood was lively as parent volunteers set up the pool and handed out t-shirts while the approximately 70 swimmers warmed up under the direction of Coaches Brett and RJ. If you’ve ever been to a swim meet before, you know that a typical dual meet (two teams) can take about 3 hours. Since time trials was just for AHS swimmers, and they are all in the same age group, all races were completed in about an hour.

Quick as that may be, there were quite a few exciting highlights that came out of that action-packed hour! Sophomore Ella del Rosario, who led the girls varsity water polo team in scoring last fall, started off strong with an NCS consideration time (CONS) of 2:02.67 in the 200 Free, the first event of the afternoon. She was quickly followed by senior Taryn Veronda (who will swim for Amherst next year) with a 2:18.02 (CONS) in the 200 IM. Taryn would also follow that up with a CONS time of 1:01.59 in the 100 back later in the afternoon. 100 back is her strongest event – she currently holds the 4th fastest time in AHS history! Next, it was time for junior Sadie Suppiger to show what she could do. Sadie is a year-round swimmer for the ultra-competitive Crow Canyon team, she’s all over the AHS record boards, and is being heavily recruited by several colleges. She went to the Winter Junior Nationals last December, so it was no surprise to see her top the 50 free trials with a CONS time of 25.11. Known mostly as a backstroker, she showed out with a CONS time of 1:00.55 in the 100 fly. She can do it all! Other highlights include senior Brooklyn Plomp (who will play water polo for Cal State Long Beach next year) finishing 2nd in the 100 back with a CONS time of 1:03.96, and frosh Kendall Lee, who finished 3rd with a CONS time of 1:04.94 in the 100 back. Frosh Anna Motes (whom I have personally been a fan of since she was 7, swimming rec for LMYA) topped the 100 breaststroke trials with a CONS time of 1:10.18.

What is a CONS time exactly? This is a time established by the top 40 swimmers’ times in each event from the previous season at NCS. A swimmer MAY qualify to compete at NCS this coming May with a CONS time, IF that time ends up in the top 40 times recorded during the season across all NCS school swimmers. There are automatic NCS qualification times as well – this cutoff is established by the top 20 swimmers at NCS the previous season. If a swimmer records an NCS time, they will AUTOMATICALLY be entered to swim at NCS in May.

In the hunt for CONS times were three senior boys: Cale Hanson, who is 0.87 seconds away from the cutoff with a strong time of 1:52.86 in the 200 Free, Hans Ramirez, who topped the 50 free trials with an impressive 23.06 (0.51 seconds off) and Alex Butler-Kurimai, finishing 2nd in the 50 free with a 23.47 (0.92 seconds away).

There were also three other girls who finished with close times. Frosh Adelyn Horciza, who was the starting goalie for the varsity girls water polo team last fall, finished 2nd overall in the 50 free with a 26.28, which is 0.62 away from the CONS cutoff. Ella del Rosario came so close to earning her second CONS time by clocking a 56.89 in the 100 free (0.34 sec away), and Frosh Tess Veronda – chasing her big sister Taryn in the 100 backstroke with a 1:05.10 – only 0.11 seconds off the CONS cutoff!

It was so encouraging to see a strong showing by several frosh swimmers! The Class of 2027 made their presence known in the pool on Thursday. Anna Motes finished 2nd, 4th and 1st overall in her three events. Kendall Lee finished 3rd, 5th and 3rd in her three events, and Tess Veronda finished 2nd and 4th overall in her two events! On the boys side, Andrew Tanimura finished 1st, 3rd, 3rd and 3rd overall in his four events. The future of Acalanes swimming is here and they are talented!

It was a strong showing by our swimmers on Thursday and the potential is there! It will not be surprising to see several of these swimmers make their way onto the Acalanes all-time Top 10 lists this season! Sadie Suppiger is chasing her fifth Top 10 list- she is 1.56 seconds away from making the 100 fly list. She already holds spots on the lists for 50 free, 100 free, 200 free and 100 back! Anna Motes, in her very first meet and only third swim as a Don, is already merely 1.7 seconds off the 100 breaststroke Top 10! Hans Ramirez is chasing the 50 free Top 10 – he is 1.49 seconds off!

Time trials set the AHS swim team up for a very exciting season! Next meet is Wednesday 2/28 at College Park. GO DONS!!!