Friends and family members gathered Wednesday at the Ventura Aquatic Center to watch Foothill Technical High School’s swim team compete against Santa Clara High School in their first home meet. Foothill varsity boys defeated Santa Clara High School with a final score of 181-16, and varsity girls won by a score of 119-53.
According to head coach Jason York, what stood out to him the most was the depth of his swim team’s roster.
“I knew we had some talented swimmers, and there were a few I expected to do really well.,” York said. “We have kids who are equally as good as each other, […] and when we finally go to our Frontier Finals in May, that depth is going to play a key role for us.”
Due to the small size of their team, a low number of Santa Clara swimmers were able to compete against Foothill in the meet. Several events had a combination of junior varsity, varsity, girls and boys competing.
Unlike other matches which include multiple heats where swimmers can compete with others possessing times near theirs, the match against Santa Clara had only one heat per event. There were also multiple events where only one Foothill swimmer competed, resulting in a default win.
Freshman Lily Armstrong pointed out the enthusiastic atmosphere created by her teammates.
“I think that everybody did a really good job cheering,” she said. “Pretty much everybody was standing there and cheering for everyone.”
There were several events where Foothill claimed first, second and third place. Sophomore Niko Ford, freshman Devin Pennington and Alex Abele placed first, second and third respectively in the 200-meter freestyle.
Following the event was the 200-meter IM with sophomore Josh Modglin, freshman Anson Tan and senior Ethan Tan also claiming first, second, and third, respectively.
Foothill continued the winning streak in the 50-meter freestyle with sophomore Parker Harris, freshman Camron Zimmer and Andres Coppa.
Lastly, junior Christian Lewis placed first in the 100-meter butterfly, Pennington placed second and freshman Michael Aguilar placed third.
A notable performance was by Armstrong, who swam the rigorous 500-meter freestyle and finished in first place with a time of 5.4762.
Foothill continued its dominant charge with freshman Jaina Malach who placed first in the 100-meter backstroke, and junior Sienna Romero who claimed first place in the 100-meter breaststroke.
According to senior Ethan Tan, Romero stood out among the rest.
“She swam in events that she’s never swam in before and she did a pretty good job, and she’s also been cheering on everybody else,” Tan said.
The meet also resulted in two swimmers earning CIF Automatic Time Standards: Armstrong in the 500-meter freestyle and Modglin in the 200-meter IM.
With the team just starting out, Tan noted that Foothill swimmers excelled in relays but had a few things they needed to improve on.
“[Considering] it’s the first meet that I’ve gone to, it’s running pretty smooth for a new team, but I think that we could’ve done better,” he said.
York has very high expectations for his swimmers “because [there is] at least one person who is good in every stroke, someone who has a specialty and stands out in a stroke.”
“I’m pleased because I know we have a lot of talent and I see how well we’re doing already after having only come together a little over a month ago. […] We’re already swimming relatively fast and it’s really great,” he said.
York also hopes to make up the time lost during spring break and over a number of other distractions, and aims to have his team improve over the next couple of weeks.
“I know we’re going to be a much stronger team as the season goes on,” York said. “In the next couple of weeks, [there are] going to be minimal distractions, and we’ll hopefully be healthier and have a full team. We still have had a lot of our sit-out period people [on the bench], this was their first week back and some of them didn’t get to swim today.”