Two-teams, two-peats for Northwood swim and golf



SECURING SUCCESS: Boys swim and golf captains lead their teams to dominate PCL championships for the second year, qualifying for CIF.

Shreya Aithal, Staff Writer

As the 2023 sports year drew to a close, Northwood defended the den with both boys swim and boys golf returning as back-to-back Pacific Coast League Champions.

Record breaking swims dominate

Following a record-breaking 2022 season, boys swim won PCL for the third straight year, finishing with a 115 point advantage over second-place finisher Portola and setting four Northwood records along the way. 

“It was really great to celebrate our last PCL victory with this year’s seniors,” freshman Andrew Maksymowski said. “Jumping into that pool with a plaque and knowing we had closed out a great season with a huge win really gave us hope for the last few championship meets.”

In defending their title, the underclassmen also carved out their own legacy and blew their competition out of the water through outstanding performances. Maksymowski and sophomores Will Chen and Derek Hitchens set records in the 400 Freestyle relay alongside senior Chris Leung. Hitchens also set the 100 Backstroke record while Leung broke records in the 100 Butterfly and 100 Breast. 

Throughout the season, boys swim boasted an undefeated league run as they competed at the Mount San Antonio College High School Meet of Champions, where they secured a first place finish and set their focus on league championships.

“There have been many changes during the two years I’ve been on the team,” Chen said. “We got a lot of new freshmen and other people who were interested in swimming. There were many new personalities and I was really happy to see different people joining the team.”

Leung set another Northwood record in the 200 Individual Medley at the CIF-SS D1 Championships, where eight swimmers also qualified for State Championships on the weekend of May 13 and finished fourth place overall.

Boys golf swings into first

Coming off an undefeated 2022 season, boys golf finished this season with a 12-2 record and secured the PCL Championship title. 

After intense competition throughout the season, the last week of league matches brought good news for Northwood as wins over Sage Hill and Beckman High Schools left them with the best record. Freshman Michael Qu became the first player to earn a varsity letter while shooting under par during league, helping Northwood secure important wins.

Golf captain senior Pasha Besharaty, who has been playing golf since the age of six, motivated his teammates toward the championship after a surprising loss against University High School late in the season.

“Being captain this year has been great, especially being able to impart some of the knowledge I’ve gained over the years to the younger players, who have incredible potential,” Besharaty said.

From a school that couldn’t form a team to back-to-back champions, nurturing underclassmen and building a community of talented players has built a legacy for Northwood golf.

“I really hope I can get better alongside my teammates in junior year,” boys golf sophomore Steven Cheng said. “The community is so great, and being with my teammates in the van and coming back from matches is so fun.”

Boys golf sent sole individual qualifier Qu to the CIF Individual Divisional Championships on May 9, followed by team divisionals on May 15 where the team shot a school record setting 381.