With their first meet right around the corner on Feb. 28 against  Menlo-Atherton and Menlo,  the Paly Varsity swim team is looking strong and ready to dominate the season once again in order to defend their SCVAL league champion title.
Led by a medley of strong swimmers, including senior captains Eren Kiris and Bret Pinsker as well as junior swimming prodigies Willy Lee and Andrew Liang, the team is headed toward a promising season.
“I think that we have a strong team this year and although we lost quite a few seniors last year, we definitely have leagues locked down,” Lee said.
In order to prepare for the season, the swimmers have dedicated their time to both morning practices for yoga exercises and weightlifting and after school practices for in water training according to Rockwell, to get into shape and shave time off their respective events.
“We are splitting up into sprint/stroke and distance groups this year for training,” Kiris said. “We are bringing up the yardage now to around 8.5k-9k and around 10k for the distance group.”
Furthermore, in order to increase team chemistry, swimmers have gathered together outside of practice for team bonding activities like bonfires to build personal connections.
“As a captain, I try to bring the team together on a more personal level and I believe that our teammates should get to know the people that their spending time with.” Kiris said.
“I also try to lead sets and let others know what is expected of them in the pool.”
With Lee looking faster than ever on 100 meter backstroke and the 200 IM (individual medley which includes butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle) events and Liang able to win on nearly any event the team needs him to swim according to junior teammate Rajiv Vasudevan, the team feels quite confident in succeeding this season.
“I think we have a lot of strong swimmers and I think we are poised to easily win leagues this year,” Rockwell said. “This is the best team we have had in a long time.”
The main goal for the team according to Kiris is to win the CCS championship title although in order to do so, the team must dethrone Bellarmine, the defending CCS swimming champions.
“We need most swimmers frequently placing top 8 and 16 to beat out Bellarmine.” Kiris said. “I think it’s a reasonable goal if the whole team really focuses on what they need to do in order for us to be successful.”

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