Swim Prepares to ‘Fly’ into PCL Finals After Historic Win Against Northwood High

Making swim team history, boys’ swim (4-3) and girls’ swim (5-2) won against Northwood High with a point total of 552-433 in a home meet on April 11. With Northwood High being Portola High’s undefeated rival, this win is particularly significant for the Bulldogs, according to head swim coach Kellie Lawicki. 

“Northwood has notoriously been one of the top teams in the league, so to get five out of six levels winning was pretty significant for us,” Lawicki said. “This was kind of our final dress rehearsal for PCL next week, so beating Northwood definitely helped the girls get some confidence going into PCL. We’re in a position where we could get first this year and win league.”

Throughout the meet, the Bulldogs and the Timberwolves maintained similar point scores until the Bulldogs broke away in the final relays, where they consistently scored first and second. The teams across all levels entered the pool with strong dives and underwaters, which gave the Bulldogs an early edge in the event. Though these wins were largely the result of a well-rounded line-up of relay swimmers, the team’s demonstration of support and comradery likely played an equally important role in their success, according to Lawicki. 

This year, the Bulldogs have placed an especially strong emphasis on strengthening the team’s bond. Activities such as team brunches, hikes and beach practices are organized by captains as a means of fostering positive team culture. 

“Before the meet happened, we had spring break and beach practices, and I think that the team really got to bond during that time,” open swimmer and junior Cody Le said. “I think that overall, the bonding helped us win because we were more united. Once the final events started happening, the team got together and started cheering for one another in a way that Northwood didn’t share, or at least not as much as us.”

This bond has been a distinguishing aspect of swim and an integral component of the team’s success, something they intend to continue during PCL finals. 

“Just seeing everyone work together towards one goal is really cool, because a lot of people think swimming is just an individual sport, but in reality, it’s a team sport,” swim captain and senior Kiana Fan said.  “The girls have a really good chance of winning League, but you can’t depend on a sole two or three swimmers to win at all; you have to work together to win.”