Boys Swim and Dive wins CCS, Girls Place Third


Both swim teams celebrate their respective finishes. Photo by Caleb Wong

Elizabeth Fetter, Staff Writer

On May 6th 2023, Palo Alto boys varsity swim and dive won CCS for the second year in a row and the girls varsity swim and dive placed third, up from eighth last year. 

The boys team in the water. Coach Danny Dye pictured front. Photo by Caleb Wong

“It was so fun competing at ccs this year and I’m so lucky to be a part of this amazing team,” Sophomore girls swimmer Llew Ladomirak said. “We keep improving every year and I’m excited for the potential we have in the future.” 

The meet started off strong with diving on Thursday the 4th. For the men, sophomore Gunnar Grubbs won in a close race, beating the top seed in the section by only 1.4 points. 

“[He] showed his steely resolve to [n]ail his last two dives,” Coach Danny Dye said.

Also placing in the top ten for the men were seniors Mateo Diaz Magalony and Charlie Miller. They finished seventh and eighth respectively. 

On the women’s side, junior Alena Lotterer who is coming back from an injury, placed fifth.

“This is an amazing accomplishment,” Dye said. “To train for 4 weeks and place so high at CCS shows her dedication, determination and resolve.”

This started the CCS meet off well, establishing success that would come for the swim team the following days. 

“[It was] a fun and exciting meet,” Dye said. “[The divers] are such a strong part of the team.”

On the swimming side, the boys did extremely well, placing first over all. Senior Ethan Harrington won the 50 and 100 freestyle, beating his previous best time and former CCS record. He will be moving on to compete at the state meet next weekend. 

Likewise, in the 200 individual medley, senior Arthur Balva won and in the 500 freestyle senior Henry Gibbs won and sophomore Peter Fetter placed fifth. All of them will be moving on to the state meet this weekend. 

Also racing this week at states with be all three boys relays: the 200 medley, the 200 freestyle, and the 400 freestyle. Notably, the 400 meter freestyle relay, swam by Harrington, Fetter, senior JJ Stoen, and Gibbs, placed first at CCS and is currently the second-fastest seed in the state. 

Senior JJ Stoen celebrates after the announcement of the scores. Photo by Caleb Wong

“Everyone really stepped up and brought their best game,” Stoen said. 

Also swimming that evening were sophomores Nico Ogawa in 200 IM, Stoen in the 100 freestyle, Nolan Lemon and James Meehan in the 500 freestyle, junior Lachland Kirby and Ogawa in the 100 butterfly and junior Jeremy Dukes in the 100 breaststroke. They added vital points to the team score. 

On the girls side for swimming there were also many strong showings. 

The women started strong with trials on Friday with various high points. Notably, the second place seeding in the 200 medley relay with freshman Romy Kirby on backstroke and sophomores Lucy Zhao, Charlotte Lungren, and Llew Ladomirak on breaststroke, butterfly, and freestyle respectively, and Ladomirak’s first-place seeding in the 200 freestyle going into finals. 

Saturday’s final likewise went well. The session started off with the aforementioned medley relay, which finished second and qualified for the state meet this weekend. 

In the 200 freestyle, senior Elizabeth Fetter finished fourth in the B final and Ladormirak placed fourth in the A final, missing the state “qualifier” of top three but achieving the automatic qualifying time of 1:51.18 by over half a second. In the 50 freestyle sophomore Katie Spitzer finished eighth in the B final. 

The women’s 200 freestyle relay also qualified for the state meet with the automatic time standard. Furthermore, later in the meet, Kirby swim in the 100 backstroke and Zhao raced in the 100 breaststroke, both with strong finishes that added points to the team score.

The girls meet ended with a first-place finish in the 400 freestyle relay in the B final. This was swum by Fetter, Springer, and seniors Alden Backstrand and Milla Cleveringa. Cleveringa anchored with a stellar split of sub-54. 

“I was so happy to end my swimming career with this meet and this amazing finish on the girls and boys side,” Backstrand said. 

All of the individual and team swims came together in the end to help the women to third place overall, up from eighth place last year. Ladomirak expressed how excited she is to compete not only at the state meet next weekend but also with her fellow teammates next year.

The girls team with the third-place trophy. Photo by Caleb Wong

“Our 3rd place finish is a huge improvement from last year (we placed 8th) and I’m super excited about our relays,” Sophomore Llew Ladomirak said. 

Overall, based on the scores, it seemed like the athletes were moving well through the water that day. Even Dye and assistant coach Laura Mitchell, who were pushed in at the end by their deliriously happy athletes, got a feel for it. 

See more photos of the meet (by Caleb Wong)