Swim Team Ends Season on High at PAL Championships

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On Saturday afternoon, the PAL Bay Division Championship Meet took place at M-A’s very own Spieker Pool. M-A hosted both the varsity and junior varsity (JV) swim teams of Carlmont, Burlingame, Sequoia, Aragon, Woodside, and Mills High Schools. 

Ready for a full day of competition, coach Lauren Lesyna said, “At prelims, we swam really well. We had a lot of best times and great final positions, so I’m really excited to see more best times today and score a lot of points.” In addition to high spirits and sunny weather, a barbeque and bake sale took place outside the pool, encouraging both spectators and swimmers to enjoy burgers, hotdogs, and sweet treats made by M-A students. 

Beginning the meet with relays, the girl’s varsity team started off strong with the 200 yard Individual Medley (IM), where freshman Maya Earley, sophomore Hailey Preuss, and juniors Natalie Scafetta and Heidi Chen finished with a time of 1:51.71, earning third place for M-A.

Soon after, the boys’ varsity team took third place in the same event, finishing at 1:40.67 with freshman Micheal Powell, sophomore Jack Bullard, and juniors Paul Whelan and Justus Howell in the water. 

Team captain and senior Abby Ko expressed her enthusiasm for the competition. “I’m so excited to hop in the pool and swim well,” Ko said. School swim events allow swimmers to reunite with fellow club swimmers and old friends. “PALs are really cool, it’s fun to see everyone from all the different schools,” said junior Conrad Gullixson. “My favorite part is seeing my friends from other schools.”

Junior Adrian Kunze-Briseno swam the 100 backstroke and 200 IM, gaining new CCS cuts with times of 2:01.85 and 57.58. 

Winning first place in the 200 yard freestyle with a time of 1:51.95, Preuss secured a CCS cut by over eight seconds and won points for the M-A team. Soon after, Preuss went on to break the current PAL Championship meet and M-A record for the 100 breaststroke with a ground-breaking time of 1:03.47. 

“I think the meet is going pretty well,” Preuss said after her event. “Morale is very high and everyone is cheering and checking in for each other—everyone’s really excited.” 

In the final few events of the meet, the girl’s varsity team took first place in the 400 freestyle relay. With Earley, Preuss, Scafetta, and Sophomore Elise Miller swimming in the relay, the Bears ended the day with a victory. 

Finishing the meet after a long day of cheering, swimming, and spirit, both the JV and varsity girls took third place with a total of 385 points for each group. The JV boys team took a win with 555 points in first place, and the varsity boys team with 310 points in third place. 

“This has been the most spirited meet I’ve been to,” Freshman Vesta Kassayan said. “I think all the cheering makes us go faster.”

Isabel is a sophomore at M-A beginning her first year of journalism. She is excited to write about exciting events and subjects. Outside of school, some of her hobbies include playing tennis, water polo and swimming for M-A, and reading, drawing, and writing.

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