Boys swimming dominate as CIF
Northwood’s boys swimming team capped off its season with an undefeated record in the Pacific Coast League (PCL) and a 3rd place finish in the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) playoffs.
In total, nine members of the squad qualified CIF standards at the venue. After individual event swimmers and all three relay teams placed in the top nine count seven times, the Timberwolves captured 3rd place overall. Led by junior Hunter Hitchens, Northwood finished third with 236.5 points behind second place Loyola High School with 282.5 points and first place Dana Hills High School with 292.5 points.
“We truly believed that we had a chance to win and did not take anything for granted,” junior Henry Wu said. “Everyone on all levels embraced their roles on the team and we all worked hard and performed to the best of our abilities.”
Under the guidance of head coach Alex Nieto and assistant coaches Cameron Nelson, Riki Yamamoto, Steve Riches and Sheila Shaikh, the team finished 1st in PCL with a 4-0 record.
“Our team’s success was due to how deep of a team we are, having so many talented athletes,” junior Collin Press said. “This depth also created a very competitive atmosphere, making everybody work to their full potential to get that varsity spot.”
There were several record-breaking performances throughout the season. Hitchens turned many heads with his impressive freestyle times. He set the new school record for the freestyle with a time of 45.62 seconds. Hitchens also finished 4th place in the finals with an impressive 200 meter freestyle time of 1:39.72. Junior Gabriel Munoz showcased his prowess in his backstroke, shattering the 2014 backstroke school record with a time of 50.17 seconds. He took 6th in the 200 meter individual medley finals with a time of 1:49.63.
The future of the team looks as bright as ever with 6 of the 11 students on the varsity squad returning to swim for Northwood next year.
“Next year, I think we are going to be even more successful due to our insanely strong junior class,” Press said.