On Saturday, October 12, the CHS Swim Team competed at the annual Dragon Hunt Invite at the Carroll Natatorium in Southlake. This meet was the team’s first real measure on the road to District/Region/State at the end of the season. The team performed well beyond expectation and walked away with several victories, many top-3 finishes, and countless personal best times.
“We are in a luxury position here. If the team at a relatively insignificant early meet already records about 85% best times, we can feel confident that what we do at practice works. The team is not even near half way through the season, so the kids have little work under their belts at this point. Plus, they are racing in poly suits which doesn’t exactly enhance speed. There is no telling what they can do in tech-suits in a few months when they are rested at the end of the season plan,” said Coach Mastebroek who also emphasized team cohesiveness as an attributing factor to the team’s early success.
The most impressive boy performance came from team captain Emil Aaltonen. Aaltonen, now a senior, has been waiting for a while to make his move. His remarkable time drops in all of his events indicate this may well be his break-through year. He sped to a 25.4” in the 50 butterfly leg of the 200 medley relay. This performance makes Aaltonen the prime butterfly candidate for this relay, which is expected to challenge the school record later on in the season. In the 100 fly he raced to a time of 58.5”which was first time under 59 seconds. He also gained speed in the 50 breaststroke in which he lowered his best time by more than a full second to 29.7”. In the final event,Aaltonen showed remarkable versatility by racing to a 53.2” in the 100 free, another generous time drop. With this time, Aaltonenbecame one of the main contenders for the 400 freestyle A-relay.
Sophomore Justin Kim knocked on the door of the same relay. His 53.1” 100 freestyle time in the relay surprised everyone. With this time, the team’s main Brea stroke specialist learned that he has potential in the freestyle sprint as well. In the 100 breaststroke Kim approached his best time with an unexpectedly fast early-season-time of 1:05.2”, which is much faster than his results from a year ago around this time. Newcomer Nathan Lim justified his Varsity spot by recording an impressive 32.7” in the 50 breaststroke, which makes him a welcome addition to the team’s breaststroke squad lead by Kim.
The CHS boys delivered an unusually strong showing in the freestyle events. The team’s top sprinters, Johan Pretorius, Ivan Lau, and Ben Borchgardt recorded solid times in the 100 and 200 free (49.3”-51.9”-53.3” and 1:51”-1:54”-1:57”, respectively). Pretorius also scored high the 100 butterfly in a time of 56 seconds. In the same event, Elieser Gonzales reached a milestone by breaking the minute barrier for the first time. Ivan Lau branched out and competed in the 500 free, which is a new event for him, and recorded an impressive time of 5:17”. Captain Matthew Rodman keeps getting faster in the same event in which he raced to a time of 5:27”. He also dropped significant time in the 200 free, in which he lowered his best time to 2:03”.
Many lower level Varsity boys showed improvement and potential in the freestyle events. Some displayed a clear intention to establish connection to the team’s top freestyle group. Sophomores Hector Romero and Neil Uprate impressed with best times in the 50 and 100 free (25.0”- 25.4” and 55.7”- 56.4”, respectively). Upreti also showed potential in the 200 free with a big time drop and best time of 2:08”. Freshman Scott Moyer put pressure on the group with a speedy 26.1” in the 50 free, which provides ample promise for the years ahead. Freshman Tommy Ku and Sophomore Raul Habib raced to best times in the same event (27.2” and 28.9” respectively) and Ansh Deshmukh’s 58.9” in the 100 free was fast enough for an immediate promotion from JV to Varsity. Gabe Cooper saw hard work pay off when he dropped a remarkable 3 seconds in the same event, down to a time of 1:00.9”.
On the girls side, Aurelie Migault stood out with season openers in the 100 free (55.9”) and 50 breast (31.4”) and amazing 4-second time drops in both the 200 individual medley (2:15”) and 100 backstroke (1:01.6”). Since her arrival at CHS a year ago, Migault has been on a ferocious quest of reaching the elite level of high school swimming. With the times recorded at this meet, she created all kinds of possibilities for this season and the remainder of her high school swimming career.
Freshman, Isabella Malick, had reason to celebrate after breaking the magic minute barrier in the 100 freestyle in a time of 59.9”. Reesha Goes, AnamarijaRadicic, and Shreya Tirumala displayed the same intentions in this event by recording 1:00.0”, 1:00.6”, and 1:00.6”, respectively. Tirumala’s time was especially impressive, since it was several seconds faster than her best time. She also raced to best times in her signature event, the 100 backstroke (1:04.7”), the 50 back (30.2”), and the 50 fly (30.2”). Newcomer Sofia Simula showed potential in the 100 backstroke with a whopping 5 seconds time drop to 1:09”. Freshmen Carly Yang and Claire Jiang had strong showings and best times in the 200 and 500 free (2:14”- 2:18” and 5:51”- 6:12”, respectively). Sathvika Pallela saw significant improvement in the 100 free (1:05.1”) and 50 backstroke.