By CHRISTIAN ZARAGOZA
The Boys Varsity Swim team kicked the season off well by participating in the preliminary Millikan Relay Meet on March 12 and placing second. As a result, the team is now ranked third in Orange County.
The UHS Girls team also began the season well. The girls beat Laguna Hills High School in a decisive 98-69 victory. At the meet, many of the girls had remarkable races. First, Alondra Ortiz (So.) was able to swim a time in the 100 meter backstroke fast enough to be considered for CIF eligibility, the first to do so this season. The 200 meter freestyle relay team, consisting of Claire Jang (So.), Celine Nie (Jr.), Sarah Sharifi (Fr.) and Bella Khamseh (So.), was able to qualify for CIF consideration as well.
Girls swim also competed at the Millikan Relay Meet, in which the 200 meter medley relay team of Riley Lexould (Fr.), Elysia Ouyang (Sr.), Anne Jang (Jr.) and Ortiz managed to lower its CIF consideration time down to 1:55.95. The members hope to drop this time as much as possible.
All relay teams that races that day were notified on the following Saturday afternoon that they had qualified for finals. Unfortunately, many team members were absent for finals because of the Junior Classical League State Convention, which resulted in a relatively poorer performance in the finals for the team as a whole.
At the Santa Margarita meet on March 17, girls swim faced off against the Division 1 champions of CIF. Both the girls and boys teams lost. And although a few members improved on their CIF qualification times, Nie said, “We felt we could’ve definitely done better. We’re all training really hard for our first league meet this Wednesday!”
Last year, the Boys Varsity Swim team won CIF for the second consecutive year.
“After last year’s seniors graduated, we lost some great swimmers, but this year’s team is hardworking and has a lot of potential especially under our new coach Ryan Vande Wydeven (Physical Education Dept.). He really pushes us to make sure we are putting in 110% and really cares about our success not only as individual swimmers but as a team and family,” said boys captain Jarod Yoshihara (Sr.).
The girls team placed second in league last year.
The upcoming match for UHS will be against Beckman High School (BHS), where the preliminary and final meets will occur on March 22 and March 23, respectively. The first meet to be swum at home is also the Game of the Week (GOW), which will occur on April 27. Both UHS swim teams have been training hard in preparation and hope to continue their strong start to the season.