Fountain Valley High School’s swim team competed against the Newport Harbor Sailors on April 19. The Barons ultimately pulled through with a narrow win with a final score of 496.5 points to 480.5 points.
The meet started off with the the 200-yard medley relay. The girls’ team consisted of freshmen Leyna Nguyen and Kaitlyn Nguyen, junior Yen Dang and senior Phoebe Munholland. They secured a sizable lead and finished first with a time of 1:52.48. The boys team had juniors Benjamin Pham and Justin Chen and seniors Tyler Vuong and Gavin Rose who also took first with 1:42.36.
After the medley was the 200-yard freestyle where Leyna Nguyen finished second followed by freshman Jayme Finnerty in third. Junior Brendan Pham then took third place for the Barons in the boys’ heat.
In the 200-yard individual medley, Kaitlyn Nguyen dominated the heat, winning by over seven seconds. Following Kaitlyn Nguyen in second place was sophomore Reese Meister. In the boys’ heat, Chen and Benjamin Pham also secured first and second place, respectively, with Chen winning by over six seconds.
Munholland had a key swim in the 50-yard freestyle with a first place finish of 24.97 seconds followed by sophomore Jianna Balta’s 26.35. In the boys’ heat, Vuong and senior Bryce Leach also finished first and second, respectively, with times of 22.81 and 23.14.
In the girls’ 100-yard butterfly, Kaitlyn Nguyen and Dang both touched far ahead of the competition. Ultimately, Kailtny Nguyen won the heat with a time of 59.29. The boys also out-swam their competitors in the 100-yard butterfly with Benjamin Pham finishing first at 55.41 seconds and junior Jaden Herman finishing second at 56.38 seconds.
About halfway through the meet, Meister and Munholland touched less than two-tenths of a second apart to win first and second place in the girls’ 100-yard freestyle, respectively, both at least five seconds ahead of the rest of the heat. While the boys’ fought hard in their heat, they were out-swam by the Sailors and did not place in the top three for this event.
The girls did not place in the top three for the 500-yard freestyle, but Brendan Pham was able to out-touch his opponent to earn third place for the boys.
In the 200-yard freestyle relay, the girls’ team of Kaitlyn Nguyen, Balta, Meister and Munholland earned a win with a time of 1:42.95. Meanwhile, the boys’ team of Vuong, Rose, sophomore Gavin Tran and senior Sean Kemick also took first with 1:32.61.
Leyna Nguyen then touched third in the 100-yard backstroke, while Chen and junior Brandon Doan earned first and second in their heat, respectively, for the boys.
In the 100-yard breaststroke, junior Peyton Sherwood secured the victory in the girls’ heat with a time of 1:12.84, and senior Emme Nguyen followed behind in second. For the boys’ heat, the Barons swept the Sailors and took all top three spots; Vuong took first, sophomore Goten Huynh took second and freshman Ranen Herman took third. Vuong had an especially impressive race with a time of 1:02.87, far ahead of his competition.
To close out the meet, Meister, Dang, Balta and Leyna Nguyen achieved a substantial win in the girls’-400 yard freestyle relay; they finished about 13 seconds ahead of second place. The boys’ team consisting of Kemick, Benjamin Pham, Leach and Chen also placed first and were followed by the other FVHS relay team who touched just a few seconds after.
Varsity captain Vuong feels that the swimmers did well, especially considering that they just came off of spring break. At the same time, head coach Christine Locke hopes for the team to work a little more to improve in the coming meets.
“We [have] got to pick it up. I know everyone’s a little bit tired. So we just got to get our focus back and just focus on doing well and not letting little things distract us from having amazing swims,” Locke said. “Overall as a team — [everyone is] there for each other. They really went and swam for the team.”