The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

Scots continue waves of success in close meet against Dons

Nathan Paris
Junior Zerach Chan swims breaststroke for the 200-yard medley relay. Chan completed his 50 yards in 27.9 seconds.

The Carlmont varsity boys swim team defeated the Aragon Dons with a final score of 94-74 on Friday, March 15. Having already secured two victories this season, the team is currently undefeated. The Scots came for revenge after losing to the Dons at last year’s Peninsula Athletic League (PAL) championship.

The Dons proved a more formidable opponent than the Scots’ previous matchups. The Scots’ first match against the Burlingame Panthers ended with a score of 138-0, with the reason for the blowout being the Panthers’ disqualification due to harassment towards the Scots. The Scots were triumphant in their second match against the Woodside Wildcats, winning 113-55.

“Aragon was our hardest opponent this season. They have a lot of fast swimmers and they won the championship last year,” said coach Jim Kelly.

Adding to the challenge, coach Derek Koo, who works primarily with the varsity swimmers, was unable to attend the meet.

“Even though Coach Koo isn’t here, I think the energy is still strong. Meets are always fun because when you’re waiting for your event you can chat with friends and have a good time; it’s a very inclusive environment,” said sophomore Ryan Choong.

We have some new freshmen who will add to our team even more. I think we’ll have a very successful season if we continue with our practices.

— Ryan Choong

A typical swim meet consists of 11 events. Events can be either a relay or an individual event, and the number of points earned is determined by the finish order.

The meet started off with the 200-yard medley relay. The Scots and the Dons had three teams competing, all of whom were close throughout the race. The Dons managed to get first place, and the Scots secured second and third.

The meet continued with the next event being the 200 freestyle, where junior Will Garrish and senior Ziad Sellami finished with impressive times of 1:51.2 and 1:53.5, racking up points for the Scots.

“Aragon has some great swimmers, while at Carlmont I think we’re a lot more spread out with a lot more well-balanced swimmers,” Garrish said. “Everyone on the team competes in three or four events. I usually compete in freestyle because that’s my strongest stroke.”

The events continued with loud cheering and applause after every race. The races continued to be tight, with the competitors as close as only a tenth of a second apart.

Freshman Matthew Vignanker breathes during the 500-yard freestyle. 500 yards consists of 20 laps of continuous swimming. (Nathan Paris)

“For the 50 freestyle, you can see people winning by one-hundredth of a second, which is why there are touchpads to see who accurately wins,” Choong said.

The meet ended with the 400 freestyle relay. The Scots gathered together to cheer on the last racers, managing to end the 400 free relay with a time of 3:29.9 and securing their win against the Dons.

As coach Kelly looks forward to future meets, he anticipates that the most significant challenge will be at the PAL championship meet. The Scots won the PAL championships from 2015 to 2019. However, COVID-19 put a break on their winning streak in 2020 and 2021. When the competition resumed, they tied with Aragon in 2022 for the championship and lost to Aragon the following year.

“All our meets and practices are geared towards the PAL championship. It’s at the end of April so we have to prepare for that. Aragon won last year, and we hope to win it this year,” Kelly said.

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About the Contributor
Nathan Paris
Nathan Paris, Staff Writer
Nathan Paris (class of 2026) is a sophomore at Carlmont High School, he is a first-year writer for Scot Scoop. In his free time you can find him listening to music, hanging out with friends, and eating ice cream.

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