By Raquel Serruya
At the conclusion of the boys varsity swim team’s fourth consecutive undefeated season, seven team members traveled to Buffalo, New York, to compete in the State Championships. Led by Coach Andy Berlin, juniors Richard Pak, Daniel Mo, Marko M., and Benjamin Ching, and seniors Patrick Yang, Sam M., and Noah Cheng all swam in the championship.
The team credits its success to preparation, dedication and perseverance. “The boys worked very hard to get themselves ready for this big competition,” said Coach Berlin. A typical practice consisted of warm-ups, sprints, long distance swims, and warm-downs.
Marko M. said, “We were swimming extra hard and honing our skills to improve our performance.”
Some members of the team began training in August with the girls varsity swim team, while others trained outside of school. “Most of us swim on an outside team, so we’ve been practicing with our individual teams,” said Junior Richard Pak.
Both Marko M. and Pak feel that their hard work paid off. Marko said, “Getting to states means a lot to me, and I’ve been receiving a lot of respect.” Pak agreed, saying it was a major accomplishment and that he felt “lucky to swim there.”
Going to states also brought the team closer together. Pak said, “We bonded, not only at the swim event, but also at the hotel by eating Buffalo wings, getting trapped in an elevator and relaxing on the bus ride.”
According to Coach Berlin, going to states “fostered a feeling of dedication to a lofty goal of always striving to be the best team we can be.”
The boys have high hopes for next year, including another undefeated season and swimming in the County and State Championships. Marko M. said, “Our team set an example for the future, so our team will become stronger in the following year.” Four of the seven team members who traveled to states this year will be on the team again next year, and Coach Berlin believes that with new members and experienced leadership, next year’s team should be just as successful.
He said of this team’s accomplishments, “I couldn’t be any more thrilled with how hard the swim team has worked over the years, achieving four County Championships in a row. The boys, with their hard work and dedication, have set a very high standard to follow. As a coach I am very happy to see a group of boys that are willing to do what it takes to achieve their best results. It is a pleasure and honor to work with such outstanding young men.”