Rio swim ended the 2012 season on a high note with successes in league and section championships. Both girls and boys repeated as Capital Athletic League champs and girls again claimed the section title while setting numerous records.
Undefeated in league meets, the team entered the league championships April 27 with hopes of continuing their win-streak.
Although the powerhouse varsity and junior varsity women’s teams expected a sure win at the meet held at Rio’s pool, the dwindling number of varsity male swimmers was a cause for concern. As a result, the junior varsity men’s team was reduced to only five swimmers, and underclassmen like sophomore Kyle Kulper were put up against the varsity teams of El Camino and Antelope.
“There weren’t many guys in varsity so I knew some of us would get moved up,” Kulper said. “I’m glad it happened though, because I gained varsity experience and got to race some incredible swimmers.”
Although El Camino and Antelope won early races on the men’s side, as the meet rolled on, Rio started emerging as the expected victor.
The poolside thundered with cheering, as both Rio girls and guys won their races.
Swimmers like junior Erin Van Zanten cheered for their teammates during every race, and the same support was received.
“I really loved the fact that the whole team was motivating each other,” Van Zanten said. “The whole team felt unified, and I think that definitely helped all of us swim well.”
After Friday’s prelims, Rio held a solid lead going into finals on Saturday.
Junior varsity and varsity girls won by championships by a wide margin. Through the help of the added junior varsity swimmers, varsity guys were also able to pull a victory, followed closely by Antelope and El Camino.
Surprisingly, even though they were reduced to five swimmers, the junior varsity men were able to pull off a third place, doing well against the odds.
For seniors the meet was especially satisfying, as both girls and boys have won the league championship for the past four years.
The girl’s team surpassed all expectations, setting new school and section records.
The long lasting section record of 1:36.71, set in 1995, for the 200-freestyle relay was broken by senior Lexie Franz, sophomores Morgan McClure and Robyn Butler, and ju