By Olivia Nouriani
Assoc. Opinion Editor
Five Tiger swimmers who seized qualifying times during CIF Section Championships headed to Clovis for the first ever California State High School Swimming Championships on May 21 and 22.
The boys’ squad sent sophomore Jacob Mullen, junior Aaron Ogita, and seniors William Jo and Garrett Tse to compete. In the preliminary round on Friday, Tse swam the 200 Yard Individual Medley, Mullen swam the 100 Backstroke, and all four of the boys swam the 200 Medley Relay. Of the four, only Mullen qualified on Friday to return and compete on Saturday, after taking 15th in the 100 Back with a time of 50.98.
Senior Sabrina Zavala was the only member of the girls’ team to qualify for State, and swam the 500 Freestyle in prelims. She swam a 5:02.32 and took the second alternate spot for Saturday’s Championships.
Zavala and Mullen both swam the following day. Zavala gained time in her event, the 500 Free, but managed to take 16th in the event. Mullen gained time as well, also taking 16th in the 100 Back.
This marks the end of one of the most successful Tiger swim season in the past decade. A noteworthy number of school records are held by current team members, and the qualification of five swimmers for State Championships signifies significant improvement on past years. The boys’ team in particular has gained immense improvement under the current coaching staff, and took first in Rio Hondo for the first time in recent years.
“I am really hopeful for the seasons to come, especially since our underclassmen have so much spirit,” Zavala said. “They really bonded this season and I’m sure that they will be able to bring us more victories in the future.”