Swim Squad Wins SoCal Invite

Madeleine Singh, Opinion Editor

Varsity swimming earned the combined gender championship at the annual Mission Viejo Invitational in Southern California on March 23. Out of 23 teams, the boys placed 1st and the girls placed 3rd for a combined score of 1,028 points.

According to coach John Studebaker, notable individual performances included junior Tom McGuire’s 100 fly and 200 IM, freshman Maggie Hawkins’ 100 breaststroke, senior Christina Crum’s 200 freestyle, the girls’ medley relay, and the boys’ 400-yard freestyle A and B relays that placed 2nd and 3rd, respectively.

Though he defines himself as a water polo specialist, McGuire placed well in his events. “This is the 1st year I’ve done Campo swim for varsity, and these are the 1st times I’ve ever swum these events because during the summer I do rec, but it’s only 50s and 100 IM, so it’s not really serious either, and I don’t go to many of those practices,” he explained.

With nearly 50 swimmers, the number of Campolindo athletes making the trip was higher than in past years. Yet, some of those who attended did not actually compete. “It’s a bummer not everybody gets to swim– because it’s such a competitive meet we can only put in so many kids– but at the same time it’s nice that you have extra people to cheer and just be there as a group,” said Studebaker.

“[I enjoyed] cheering for everybody and being cheered for when you’re racing; getting all the support is really nice,” said McGuire.

The meet lasted around 12 hours, with many athletes swimming a handful of events throughout the day. “Being at the pool all day was really tiring, but it was fun in the end because we won the meet, and it was good to see we have potential for NCS and league,” said sophomore Natalie Ung, who swam the 100 breaststroke and 50 freestyle.

The trip also gave swimmers an opportunity to get to know their teammates. About half of the varsity team practices with the Orinda Aquatics club team, while the other half practices under Studebaker and Campolindo’s program.

“I really liked it, it’s good to talk to all the people I normally don’t get to talk to because I’m on Orinda Aquatics and we don’t practice with the other Campo varsity people,” said Ung, who is a 1st-year varsity swimmer. “I feel like if I went as a freshman, I would’ve been a little more nervous not really knowing people.”

Coaches were pleased with the team’s performance. “My favorite part was just people having good swims and the weather not being rainy, and that we got back at a reasonable time on Sunday night,” said Studebaker.