Oak Park’s swim team kicks off

Team spirit prevails over a season opening loss


@oakparkswim (public instagram)

The first swim meet in school history took place on Tuesday, Mar. 1. Athletes of the newest sport on campus faced Viewpoint High School in a dual head-to-head.

Leading up to the meet, students shared their excitement about being able to swim. 

“[The team] is super positive and supportive,” Smith said. “[It has] some of the best people I’ve ever met.”

Following an afternoon of events, Viewpoint beat the Boys’ team 120-37 and the Girls’ team 114-36. For Freshman Haley Trang, the large loss did not overshadow the meet experience.

“I never thought [the swim team] would be a real thing,” Trang said. “It feels like a trophy moment to say hey, I was a part of the first-ever swim team at OPHS!”

At the meet, many Eagles still found individual success. For Girls’ Varsity, Sophomore Emmie Tsai placed first in the 100 yard breaststroke with a time of 1:15.68. Junior Maddie Tran swam all four strokes, butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle, to take first in the 200 yard individual medley. Boys’ Varsity’s Senior March Yuan swam a total of 20 pool lengths in 5:13.13 to secure the 500 yard freestyle win. 

“The team is so full of energy and ambition,” Coach Calley Prezzano said. “I’m glad to be able to participate in giving students a chance to compete in a sport they love with their high school peers.”

Tsai, Tran and Yuan led the way as 13 swims from the meet qualified for CIF Division 4 Championships. This included Girls’ and Boys’ relays where teammates raced in groups of four. Results are posted on the OPHS Swimming Twitter page, where OPUSD Superintendent Jeff Davis congratulated the team.

“Congrats to all of our swimmers and Coach Calley,” Davis wrote. “All of you made history yesterday.”

In a swim meet, a team’s overall score is an accumulation of points based on every race. The faster an athlete swims, the higher they place and the more points they score. A team is at a disadvantage if they cannot place swimmers in every event. 

“We all cheered really loud for each other at the meet. A lot of [our loss] was just that our team is small,” Smith said. “There were events where no one from Oak Park was competing. It was all Viewpoint swimmers.”

Senior Emily Hallevi, Sophomore Hunter Glass and Freshman Armin Pourmohammadi also won their respective events for the junior varsity team. 

“Considering it’s the first year for us ever as a school and team, I’d say we are doing very well,” Pourmohammadi said. “My hopes are that we continue to grow and bond. I can’t wait for the day when Oak Park’s swim team is renowned around the state.”

The next meet, on Tuesday, Mar. 8, will be away against Oaks Christian. 

“We are starting small and focusing on technique and teamwork. Swimming is a lifelong sport,” Prezzano said. “This is just the beginning!”