Girls swimming heads to MCALs

Hard work before the season paid off when the girls swim team beat Justin-Sienna at home on March 4th.

The team placed first and second in all of their relays thanks to sophomore Katie Baca, senior Kristin Sato, junior Sami Harvey, sophomore Jeanne Shepherd, junior Ali Coopersmith, sophomore Kim Baca, junior Maggie Whalen, and freshman Roisin Duffy. The rest of the team did great, taking first, second and third in five events and taking Justin Sienna down with a score of 135 to 26.

Drake proved a tough meet, but it ended strongly; Tam has not beaten the Pirates for many years, but came home with a 102-84 win. The team was very nervous throughout the meet as each race passed with a first or second place for Tam. One of the most nerve-racking races was the 200 freestyle relay where Coopersmith made an amazing catch-up with the Drake leaders and Shepherd made an astonishing finish. The timers had to check all the clocks to see who won. Drake won, but it was an intense race and one could feel the excitement of the team when Coopersmith ran up and hugged Shepherd after the race. This exhilaration brought a new intensity to the 400-meter relay, in which Tam placed 1st and 3rd.

The upset of the season was Marin Catholic. The girls put up a good fight but in the end came down to the last relay. The team was missing three of their best swimmers: two were in Florida at the Junior Nationals and one was at the Junior Olympics. Tam lost the last relay causing a ten point swing in Marin Catholic’s favor, which ended the meet 98 to 88.

“I felt horrible that I wasn’t there,” said Junior Melissa Fineman, who was in Florida. “But I think we have a great chance at beating them at MCALs this year.”

The Terra Linda meet was an expected win, but with the rain and the close races, no one could be sure what the outcome would be. But with solid relay teams and the first meet for Fineman and sophomore Brigitte Winkler, the win was guaranteed.

“I regret having missed our last three meets but my performance at the Terra Linda-Tam meet was very good. I am proud of how I swam and how the rest of the team perormed,” said Winkler after the meet.

Tam’s early success has expectations high. “We definitely got a shot of winning MCALs this year because Redwood is missing many of their swimmers who are in college already,” said sophomore Katie Baca. Tam gained many new capable swimmers this year who are working hard to get an MCAL victory for the school and maybe a shot at NCS.

The Tam varsity girls have been working exceptionally hard perfecting their strokes and cutting down their times to compete for the MCAL championship.

“The team this year looks really strong. We have a bunch of new great additions to the team. We have a lot of great new potential this year, and I am really excited about the whole season.” said Fineman.

Though they have lost two record holding seniors, Mattie Winkler and Erin Schlueter, the team has worked hard throughout the beginning of this season holding a record of 3-1 with wins over Justin Sienna, Drake and Terra Linda, and a loss to Marin Catholic.

“We most definitely have a shot at winning MCALs this year.” said Fineman. “Our team is stronger than ever, and we have developed incredible depth. The goal for us is to have four swimmers in every final, which at this point looks like a real possibility. MC is our biggest challenge, and I have a good feeling we will [beat them in MCALs],”

“I am lucky to be able to coach such a dedicated and talented group of swimmers.” said Coach Jeremy Engman.

 

Written by Kristie Lee. This article originally appeared in the April 2011 issue.