By Evangeline Giannopoulos
Imagine being part of an undefeated sports season. Now, imagine experiencing that four times. On Saturday, Feb. 11, the boys varsity swim team completed their 10-0 season by being named Division A champions for the fourth consecutive year.
The team began practicing in mid-November, yet several members had already been practicing with the girls’ team since August as well as outside of school.
Coach and South Middle physical education teacher Mr. Andy Berlin said, “There was a very strong aspiration for greatness, and each individual team member was willing to work extra hard to attain our goals.”
A typical practice, one of six in a week, consisted of warm-ups, sprints, middle and long distance swims, and warm-downs. Often, there was also “joking around and fun stuff like that at practices,” according to freshman Christopher Zheng.
As the season advanced, meets were held regularly about three times per week. Meets against Jericho and Long Beach were particularly difficult. “The whole team is very supportive of each other,” said senior Chris Rocco. “It’s awesome to not have any ‘L’s’ on our record, just ‘W’s’”.
This year, the team consisted of several strong swimmers who will advance onto States, including seniors Sam M., Noah Cheng, Patrick Yang, junior Marko M., and others. Out of all the schools in the state, South will be sending the most swimmers to the state competition.
Cheng said, “Our work ethic and desire to win accounted for our successes. Everything was worth it, though, because it is the best feeling ever to be so victorious.”
Additionally, the team currently holds the fastest times in the state for the 100-meter breaststroke, the second fastest for the medley relay, and the fastest relay times in all of Division 8.
Berlin stated, “We certainly had high expectations coming into the season, but the extent to which we achieved the times we swam outdid my expectations. I am thrilled to have been able to have worked with such fine young men over this season.