Carlmont swim team’s spirit makes a splash

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Sam Hansen

Senior Billy Picht nears the finish of his race. Picht is a captain and enjoys supporting the team. “The Blue Gray [meet] is really a fun way to introduce the new swimmers to a swim meet,” Picht said.

Carlmont’s swim team dove into the start of a new season with an intrasquad meet to foster team spirit and competition.

On Feb. 18, all of Carlmont swim split into two teams, Blue and Gray, and competed in both traditional and non-traditional events.

Decked out in matching shirts, tie-dye, and facepaint, the teams began by showing off their cheers to win spirit points in the competition. They went on to compete in various races to earn even more points.

Sophomore Joshua Lin decided to add some creativity to Blue’s cheer when he introduced percussion.

“I just brought my drum from drumline, so I decided to add some spirit points to my team,” Lin said. “[This event] is a lot lower stress, a lot more team-based, and a lot more fun.”

In addition to promoting team spirit, the event also helped prepare swimmers for an environment they hadn’t been in before.

Sophomore Joshua Lin strikes drums as part of his team’s cheer. “My favorite part is definitely the community around swimming. I like going to practices every day with my friends, going to meets with them, and just hanging out and having fun,” Lin said. (Sam Hansen)

“Some of the new swimmers have never been in a high school meet, so it’s their first time on the blocks with an official referee,” said Jim Kelly, the JV swim coach. “It’s just a little bit less pressure.”

Although the meet featured many serious events, there were also ones that were less traditional, such as a tug of war between two swimmers attached by a bungee belt.

“There are lots of fun events in this [meet], so it’s very beginner-friendly,” said Billy Picht, a senior and varsity captain. “We have an excellent amount of competition going on, and we’re all very friendly to each other. It just sets the tone for what a swim meet is supposed to be.”

Varsity swim coach Derek Koo values the grit and hard work required to swim, although he still recognizes the importance of other aspects.

“This Blue-Gray meet is great to experience the fun side of swimming, the team bonding aspect, and the fun side of competition,” Koo said. “We’re not competing for gold medals or anything like that. It’s just all-around good fun.”

I like seeing people push themselves and have growth. To see your achievements and the satisfaction you get out of that is incredible.”

— Derek Koo

Gray narrowly earned the victory with a final score of 379-377, starting the swim season with an exciting first meet. Koo is beginning his second year coaching at Carlmont and hopes to continue the team’s legacy.

“I’m really excited looking forward to the season,” Koo said. “[I’m] very confident in this team, and everybody is pretty solid.”