Portola Pilot

Saying Hello to a CIF Swim Season

Lined+up+at+the+blocks%2C+swimmers+leap+into+the+water+and+swim+one+lap+of+each+stroke+with+10+seconds+between+each+set+of+swimmers.+
Lined up at the blocks, swimmers leap into the water and swim one lap of each stroke with 10 seconds between each set of swimmers.

Lined up at the blocks, swimmers leap into the water and swim one lap of each stroke with 10 seconds between each set of swimmers.

Jane Zou

Jane Zou

Lined up at the blocks, swimmers leap into the water and swim one lap of each stroke with 10 seconds between each set of swimmers.

Jane Zou, Copy Editor

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Although the swim team is only in its second year, head coach Kellie Lawicki successfully petitioned the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) to place the Bulldogs into Division 1 of four divisions. The next swim meet is the Irvine City Relays on March 2. at 3:00 p.m. The inaugural swim team consisted of 51 freshmen, and the current season has 69 swimmers.

“Our first year at CIF, being placed in Division 1 is going to be really challenging, but we can make it this year,” Lawicki said. “Last year, we already won two of the four levels, so this year we’re trying to have a clean sweep and win all four.”

This swim season may be the first time freshmen swimmers are representing their school instead of their swim clubs. Club swimmers have a new team and practice style to experience compared to the style taught by their club coaches.

“[CIF] is basically a really high league in swimming and in all other sports too,” freshman and club swimmer Tiffany Lee said. “And since we’re placed in Division 1 this year, the time standards are actually really high, and we’re hoping to achieve those times.”

Swimming is the only sport thus far with a varsity ranking until other sports are able to join a league.

“Swim is in varsity because swim is unique and because the team is so large,” Lawicki said. “So, it would be a little weird and unusual for a team to ask another team for a swim meet and only play against frosh-soph or JV, because they will usually bring their varsity team too.”

Although swimming is a time-based sport where swimmers can be competitive with other skill levels, the time on the stopwatch does not define each swimmer’s full potential. Club swimmers tend to be faster than casual swimmers because club swimmers’ times are the result of years of swimming ingrained in muscle memory.

The club swimmers in the 2018 season are Kai Wong, Gabi Taylor, Haley Truong, Tiffany Lee, Bryce Nishikawa, Dylan Lee, Justin Pai and Ethan Ho. Other notably fast swimmers are Jun Kim, Allison Kramer and Eden Yeh.

“Always keep a positive mental attitude because sometimes swimmers are negative, and it can actually affect them, like what they’re thinking, so if they’re positive, then they can do better,” sophomore and captain Haley Truong said.

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Saying Hello to a CIF Swim Season