Depth Buoys Swimmers over Dons

Kelly Pien, News Editor

Both the boys’ and girls’ varsity swim teams won their Diablo Foothill Athletic League (DFAL) meet against Acalanes at home on April 9. Cougar swimmers won 40 out of the 44 events contested.

Both Campolindo varsity squads remain undefeated in DFAL meets this spring. Previous appoints have included Dublin, Alhambra, and Dougherty Valley. The team has 2 more DFAL meets, against Las Lomas and Miramonte.

Senior swimmer Spencer Tagg said, “I don’t think there was any record breaking, but a lot of people got a lot of best times, due to the intensity of certain events.”

Tagg broke his 50 yard freestyle personal record. He swam the relay in 22.2 seconds, which is 0.6 faster than his previous best performance.

“It felt good,” Tagg said. “It shows improvement, so I’m pretty happy that at least some people are working hard and getting a better time.”

With the end of the season approaching, head coach Ron Heidary wanted to use the Acalanes meet as a way to measure their progress and identify areas in need of work leading into the post season.

Prior to the competition, Heidary said, “We’re trying to get prepared for the league meet and North Coast, so this will be a good tune-up. There will be a lot of close races. We kind of want to use the meet to see where we are in terms of competing, [and] in terms of turns and starts and things like that.”

Heidary’s team has the the attention of area coaches like Acalanes’ Matt Martinez. “I mean Campo’s a great squad. I swam for Orinda Aquatics years ago, as a club team, when I was in high school, and I always swam against Campo in high school at De La Salle. I know that Campo’s always a really competitive program. I know that it’s going to make our swimmers swim up to their ability level, and I always love when my team swims against a very high powered opponent, because it brings out the best in my program,” he said.

Though Mary Ashby respects the Dons’ program, she also believes that her team is still the class of the league. “There’s a new freshman at Acalanes that’s really good at IM [individual medley], and they have a couple really strong swimmers, but I think Campo has more depth and ability,” she said.

Depth, Ashby explained, is a huge advantage: “We have a lot of people who are good, whereas a lot of teams have few people who are good – a few very talented people, but we have many, which really helps out a lot.”

Like in most sports, Acalanes is an opponent the swim team takes an extra measure of satisfaction in beating. However, they did not do anything unusual in their preparation for the meet.  Heidary was more concerned with the long-term goals of his squad.

“I don’t think we prepared differently,” Heidary said. “I think it’s just preparing for the end of the season, just trying to get better every week. We’re trying to work on starts and turns, winning the turns and underwater, and we’ll see if we get better.”

For the Dons, their coach stressed consistency in the way they approach each meet. “We take all of our dual meets pretty seriously. We make sure to be prepping the same way for every meet,” Martinez said. “Mentally, the kids gotta get up for it, but physically we’re training the same way.”

Not everyone considered the matchup a particularly significant one. “I think Acalanes treated it more like a rivalry meet, like we do to Miramonte. But I think we treated it more like a regular meet,” said senior varsity swimmer Garrett Felix.

Rather than being worried about a single team, Felix is more focused on the post season. “I think that going into DFALs, I don’t want to jinx anything, but we should do pretty good,” Felix said.

With Acalanes in the rear view mirror, Heidary feels confident about the possibility of a perfect regular season record. “I think [our league prospects are] pretty good. Las Lomas will be tough. The girls and guys will be a very competitive meet,” said Heidary. “They gave us a good meet last year, and I think we should be good against Miramonte, so we’ll see how this week goes.”