The Carlmont swim teams completed the four-way sweep of Burlingame High School in their final meet before Peninsula Athletic League (PAL) qualifiers.
On Senior Day, the Scots swam hard and fast, with boys varsity winning 105-63 and girls varsity winning 139-31, while the JV boys and girls won 125-85 and 124-64, respectively.
While the day was meant to be about the seniors, it was the underclassmen who stole the show. Four JV girls, Sydney Phan, Esme Grenstam, Rachel McCrea, and Jacey Kelly, broke the Carlmont JV school record in the 200m free relay with a time of 1:49.34.
Their time was over a second faster than the previous record of 1:50.46, set back in 2016 by now seniors Karen Li, Kylie Lin, Jade Margolis, and Mackenna Vickery.
The Scots will move on to the qualifiers with resolve, looking to win back-to-back PALs after completing a four-way sweep victory the previous season.
“It would mean the world to me, being with this team for four years now. When you’re on the team for that long, you grow an emotional attachment because you watch it build up and get to be the one that sets things off and see it go through, and then you get to come back and see them still winning,” said Tyler Rachal, a senior.
For the seniors, this would be their last chance to win a PAL final with Carlmont, as well as mark the end of their journey as a Scot swimmer.
“The best experience I had was definitely when the girls varsity won PALs my junior year. It was the first time I think in Carlmont history where we won. We did a four sweep, so varsity and JV boys and girls all won and it was probably one of the best moments when they were announcing it as we had all worked so hard for it,” said Amy Fullerton, a senior.
Fullerton and Rachal are two of the Scots’ senior leaders, and head coach Fred Farley looks towards this year’s juniors and sophomores to fill in the gap that the seniors’ departure will leave behind.
“A bunch of senior girls and one senior boy are leaving. Every year the seniors provide leadership, and we will miss it. Hopefully, JV can pick up the mantle as losing Tyler and eight girls will be rough, but the sophomores and juniors will provide leadership,” Farley said.
Despite the season being over, the seniors are not done leading this team. They will continue leading the Scots until they indeed are done, either winning or losing PAL finals.
Leading the Scots to one last victory may not be that large of a challenge. The Scots will try to maintain their momentum from their win against Burlingame and ride it to triumph.
“Coming off this win, especially since this is varsity’s 45th+ straight win just pushes the varsity guys and all the other teams to try their hardest, and it catches this phenomenal momentum that will ultimately propel this whole team to perform better in PALs and coming years,” Rachal said.
Win or lose, the swimmers who are part of the class of 2019 will leave a lasting impact on their younger teammates.
“My advice to the rest of the team is don’t quit. It may seem hard at times and going to practice every day is tiresome, but it’s worth sticking out until the end because what you work hard for will pay off in the end. If you come to practice every day for two hours and put in the effort, you will see it pay off in the pool during the competition,” Fullerton said.