Northwood swim captures first place at Pacific Coast League finals


Frenzy of Firsts: Northwood’s swim team takes a triumphant plunge and holds up number one hand signs to celebrate their first time winning first place at the Pacific Coast League Finals.

Yejin Heo, Staff Writer

Northwood’s boys and girls swim team both secured the overall team championship at the Pacific Coast League Finals held at the Woollett Aquatics Center on April 29. Both the boys and the girls team went undefeated in league this season, which, for the girls team, is the first time in school history.

“Even though swim is largely an individual sport, the synergy between the teammates was unmatched at these meets,” JV swimmer junior Evan Eich said. “Though some individuals didn’t qualify for finals, the team still cheered every single person on until they reached the end of their race.” 

Their PCL Finals title was won after the team successfully secured the overall team championship at the 2022 Spring High School Meet of Champions held at the Mt. SAC Aquatic Center from April 15-16. 

At the Mt. SAC meet, the boys team won first place with a final score of 589 points. The girls team placed first as well with a score of 547.5. The team’s ongoing success is a result of their persistent practices. 

“During practice, we work on everything from making sure we have good starts and finishes to building up our endurance,” Varsity swimmer senior Carolyn Nguyen said. “We also do a lot of strength training and out of the water work like weights and running.” 

Northwood’s boys team set meet records at both meets. The boys 200 medley relay team, composed of freshman Derek Hitchens, junior Christopher Leung and seniors Jason Kim and Eric Zhu, clocked a meet record time of 1:32.37 to beat the 2018 Northwood record at the PCL Finals. At Mt. SAC, another meet record was set during the boys 400 free relay, which included freshmen Will Chen and Hitchens, sophomore Elson Lee, and Leung with a time of 3:06.32 seconds. 

Standout swimmer Leung capped an automatic All-American time qualification with his 20.31 anchor in the 200 medley relay, as well as another qualification in the 100 butterfly with a 48.74 time during Mt. SAC. Leung also broke the school record for the 50 Yard Freestyle with a time of 20.86 seconds at the PCL finals.

“I didn’t have any high expectations going into the meet, but after the meet I was super proud of both the girls and boys team for both of their spectacular performances,” Leung said. “The best part about swim is the community and friends you make from swimming.”

Come out and support our swimmers at the CIF final meets that begin on May 4 and continue throughout the first few weeks of May.