Swimming: Huang and Woo lead Lowell to AAA titles
By Mike Bebernes
Standout performances from senior Stanton Huang and freshman Emily Woo helped Lowell High School continue its dominant streak of wins in the AAA/CIF-San Francisco Section Swimming Championships held at City College of San Francisco on Saturday.
The victory gave Lowell its 14th straight boys team championship and its 20th consecutive girls team title.
“We’ve been very, very fortunate to get some of the premiere swimmers in the city,” said Lowell Head Coach Jon Riley. “The benefit of that is they get to work together at our practices and improve with each other.”
Lowell swimmers finished first in 13 of the 22 total varsity events held in the meet. The Cardinals also set league records in the girls 400 yard freestyle relay, boys 200 yard medley relay, and boys 200 yard freestyle relay.
Lowell’s boys team was led by Huang, who finished first in all four of the events in which he competed. Huang won the 100 yard freestyle, 200 yard freestyle and swam anchor on two record-setting relay teams.
“I was feeling pretty good coming in,” said Huang. “I was just pushing it, head down, my arms moving as fast as I can. I didn’t want my last year to be a loss, so I just tried to do my best in everything I swam today.”
Woo led the Cardinal girls team with four first place finishes of her own. She won the 200 yard freestyle, 500 yard freestyle and was a member of two winning relay teams.
“It’s kind of nerve-racking, because it’s my first time [in CIF competition] and I’m not used to this. I’m like the youngest one here,” said Woo. “I definitely have to work harder to get better.”
The future looks bright for Lowell’s girls team, as the relay team that set the league record in the 400 yard freestyle was comprised of three freshman and one sophomore.
“I’m very excited. I see these girls [compete]. They’re going to set not only records, but make the team as a whole better,” said Riley
Standout performances from other schools included Lincoln freshman Jared Vu, who broke the 200 yard individual medley record and won the 100 yard backstroke. Mustangs sophomore Kristie Chan also finished first in two girls events, the 50 and 100 yard freestyle.
Washington senior Anthony Phan set a new league mark in the 100 yard butterfly.
While Lowell did win both divisions handily, the margin of victory wasn’t as substantial as in some years past.
“To be honest, way back when it was kind of us swimming against ourselves,” said Riley. “The league as a whole is coming up. [Other schools] are just as competitive as we are, that makes me excited. Some coaches would fear that, but I welcome the challenge. Our goal is to get the AAA as a whole better.”
50 yard freestyle – Brian Zhong (Washington) 23.01
100 yard freestyle – Stanton Huang (Lowell) 50.87
100 yard backstroke – Jared Vu (Lincoln) 55.87
100 yard breaststroke – Jonathan Lu (Galileo) 1:04.60
100 yard butterfly – Anthony Phan (Washington) 54.63
200 yard freestyle – Stanton Huang (Lowell) 1:53.93
200 yard individual medley – Jared Vu (Lincoln) 2:00.66 (AAA record)
500 yard freestyle – Jeffery Phan (Washington) 5:13.20
200 yard freestyle relay – Lowell (Nicholas Kwan, Nicholas Paspuinzo, Kevin Lee, Stanton Huang) 1:32.11 (AAA record)
200 yard medley relay – Lowell (Anthony Li, Kevin Lee, Nicholas Pasquinzo, Stanton Huang) 1:43.35 (AAA record)
400 yard freestyle relay – Lowell (Anthony Li, Jeffery Lau, Henry Quach, Nicholas Kwan) 3:34.24 (AAA record)
Final Team Standings
1. Lowell – 128 points
2. Washington – 91 points
3. Lincoln – 31 points
50 yard freestyle – Kristie Chan (Lincoln) 25.25
100 yard freestyle – Kristie Chan (Lincoln) 54.62
100 yard butterfly – Kaitlin Leung (Lowell) 1:01.38
100 yard backstroke – Erica Fung (Lowell) 1:04.01
100 yard breaststroke – Amanda Chun (Lowell) 1:11.42
200 yard freestyle – Emily Woo (Lowell) 2:06.62
200 yard individual medley – Verna Huang (Lincoln) 2:17.64
500 yard freestyle – Emily Woo (Lowell) 5:37.44
200 yard freestyle relay – Lowell (Kaitlin Leung, Asia Azus, Emily Woo, Cerise Tang) 1:46.00
200 yard medley relay- Lowell (Erica Fung, Monica Morucci, Amanda Chun, Leslie Fung) 1:54.32 (AAA record)
400 yard freestyle relay – Lowell (Asia Azus, Kaitlin Leung, Emily Woo, Leslie Fung) 3:48.07 (AAA record)
Final Team Standings
1. Lowell – 157 points
2. Lincoln – 58 points
3. Washington – 42 points
Slideshow photos by Tawnya Gray and A.J. Canaria.