Boys swim back-to-back CIF-SS Division 1 Champions, girls swim competes at first-ever State Champs


[For more photos of CIF prelims, click here.]
Staff Writer
UHS boys swim defended their CIF-SS Division 1 title with a resounding 317 points, almost 100 points ahead of second-place Dana Hills with 220. Girls swim also competed, placing 25th. After the Southern Section championships, some swimmers qualified to swim at the first-ever CIF State Championships. Although most of the boys team qualified, the team as a whole opted out due to prior commitments. The girls team competed in the meet with the 200 medley relay of Lauren Weins (Sr.), Joyce Yang (So.), Kathy Lim (Sr.) and Anne Jang (So.).
At the Southern Section championships, several school records were set for the boys team. Daniel Tran (Sr.) placed first in the 100 backstroke and the 200 IM, with a school-record and fourth-best in county history 48.20 in the backstroke, breaking his own record of 48.71 set last year. His first-place 200 IM finish of 1:47.16, followed by Ken Takahashi (Sr.) in third with a 1:48.50, earned Tran the third-best time in county history.
The 400 freestyle relay of Tran, Alejandro Ortiz (Sr.), Takahashi and Andrew Knoell (So.) broke the old school record of 3:06.47, first in prelims with a 3:05.84 and then again in finals with a 3:05.12, finishing in 6th place.
Judd Howard (Sr.) broke his own 55.97 school record in the 100 breaststroke in prelims with a 55.04 and again in finals with a 54.98, finishing second behind club teammate Tyler Lin (CDM).
William Hofstadter (Sr.) swam his typical combination of the 50 and 100 freestyle, placing second in both behind Hart’s Cole Cogswell. In the 100 free, Hofstadter broke his own school record with a county-leading 45.18. Hofstadter swam a 20.82 in the 50, just shy off his school record of 20.71.
The 200 medley relay placed first, repeating their win from last year. The team of Tran, Howard, Knoell and Hofstadter swam a county-leading 1:30.40, only 3 tenths off of the CIF and UHS record set last year. Hofstadter rallied the relay with an impressive 19.94 final split.
The Trojans were also helped by Jonathan Aizik (Fr.), UHS’s one diver at CIF, who earned 7 points for the team.
Other significant swims include the girls’ 11th place finish in the 200 medley relay, qualifying them for the State Championship, the boys’ fourth place finish in the 200 freestyle relay, Knoell’s sixth place finish in the 100 fly, Stephen Yang (Jr.)‘s 18th place finish in the 100 fly, George Horvath (So.)‘s 7th place finish in the 500 free ahead of Takahashi’s 8th place finish, Weins’ 12th place finish in the 100 backstroke, Ortiz’s 16th place finish in the 200 freestyle and 15th place in the 100 freestyle despite a minor shoulder injury, Christopher Havton (Sr.)‘s 17th place finish in the 100 breast and Joyce Yang’s 19th place finish in the 100 breast.
The team celebrated the end of its season at the banquet on May 31, honoring Tran and Hofstadter as the boys team’s Most Valuable Players (MVP) and Weins as the girls team’s MVP. Captains Matthew Wong (Sr.) and Lim received the Outstanding Leadership awards.
Ortiz said, “This is one heck of a way to end my senior year. We knew what we had to do to win and everyone brought their A game. These past 4 years on Uni swim have made a big impact on my life and I’m really happy to have been apart of it and this is the perfect ending to my high school swim career.”
Girls captain Lim said, “Even though we didn’t place high, I’m proud of our girls. We had a fun season together and we made memories that I’ll cherish next year when I’m at the United States Air Force Academy. It’s been a journey these past 4 years and I’m so happy for the boys, they definitely deserve this and it was awesome watching them achieve their goal.”