Individual swimmers qualify for Division I state championship


Claudia Wong ’17 swims the butterfly. Wong broke the school record held by Dara Torres ’85 in the 100 fly. The girls’ squad went undefeated this season, with a 4-0 league record and a 7-0 record overall. They finished first in the Mission League. Credit: HW Athletics

Juliana Berger

Claudia Wong ’17 placed 10th for the 100-yard fly with a time of 55.58 at the CIF State Swimming Finals May 21 in Clovis. Wesley Chang ’17 placed 15th in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 58.34.

There were 16 swimmers in each race.

Earlier this season, Wong beat the school record set by Dara Torres ’85 in the 100 fly. Torres went on to swim in the Olympics.

“It’s really incredible that she broke a 30-year record,” Haunani Bautista ’17 said. “She really deserves the record. She’s one of the hardest-working people I know in and out of the pool, and honestly, I wouldn’t expect anything less of her. She’s an incredibly versatile swimmer, holding the school record in the 200 free, too.”

This year’s squad was especially strong in relays, Bautista said.

The squad had at least one boys’ and one girls’ relay team final at the CIF Division I Championship. Furthermore, the team as a whole was able to unite with dedication to the sport.

The girls’ squad went undefeated this season, with a 4-0 league record and a 7-0 overall record. They finished first in the Mission League, and the boys’ team finished second to Loyola with a league record of 3-1 and an overall record of 5-1.

“For the girls, getting first [in Mission League] really set the tone for CIF and even for future seasons,” Bautista said. “We went from third last year to first, and I don’t see us slowing down anytime soon.”

Swimming and Diving Program Head Jason Schwartz finished his first season with a focus on creating an aquatics community focused on success.

“Our new coach brought our swim team and water polo team into one large aquatic program,” Chang said. “Because of this, everyone was more willing to train with each other and cheer each other on, helping everyone achieve better goal times.”

In the future, the team is likely to focus on making small changes to create a large impact, and the speed of swimmers is expected to increase. But the team views this season as a success.

“Our biggest strength this year was really uniting as one team and all striving for the same end goal,” Bautista said. “The entire team really bought into swim this season and put forth all of their effort and dedication. I really cannot think of a weakness in our team. Maybe confidence? But that came with the progression of the season and more team victories. I think we were all pleasantly surprised at how well we did from the very start of season, beating preseason teams that we had lost to in the past year.”