The Galileo varsity swim teams are off to a strong start this season, with the boys (2-1) and the girls (2-2) currently in 3rd place. So far the team has exceeded expectations as the team hoped to place 4th in the standings this season.
“This year we have a good chance of getting 4th place as Lincoln and Lowell usually fight for 1st and 2nd while Wash is right below them. This leaves us to challenge against Balboa for that 4th place spot,” explains senior swim team captain Kayla Tam.
The team is looking strong thanks to the steady hand of Coach Mikal, who is in his 4th year of coaching this season, and the addition of assistant Coach Matt Thorson, who was joined the staff thanks to the suggestion of Athletic Director, Mr. Winterling.
“We beat Lincoln recently so that’s going well. We have a handful of beginner swimmers that are rising up and potentially be dominant by their senior year. I’m taking every last minute that I have with the seniors this year since they started the same year I started coaching and I really want them to cherish their last memories of high school,” says Coach Mikal.
The team currently consists of 20 guys and 5 girls, which include 5 seniors. Some of the seniors are four year veterans including Kayla Tam, Dandar Ganbold, Mateo Langston, Joseph Lu, and Andy Xie.
The seniors have mixed emotions about competing in their last season for Galileo. Dandar said, “I’m relieved. I’m also tired and happy to have experienced it with the fantastic competition.” Kayla added, “I’m really sad to be leaving after this season.”
One of the reasons the seniors feel so good about this year is because of the tremendous improvements the team has made. According to Kayla, “I feel that the team is a lot more bonded and friendly this year as last year was very hostile between the veterans and new recruits”. The swim team also hopes to “smash” new records this year, similar to how the JV boys broke the all city record for relay last year. “ It’s gonna be a great season”,says Manager Andy Xie.
The team also some new freshman swimmers that have the potential to carry this team forward. “Brandon Wong is one of those people that I think will be unstoppable by senior year. He has to swim in Varsity events now since he was considered too fast for JV”, said Kayla.
The swim team will also be receiving new team jackets. The team recently did a fundraiser at the beginning of the season raised about $600 selling clothing and hopes that the amount is enough to cover the entire costs of the jackets for everyone to proudly wear. “ We haven’t started designing them yet but we will soon and I promise that it’ll look good this year,” said Kayla.