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Redwood Bark

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Transfer students prepare to jump in pool


After transferring from University High School in San Francisco this fall, junior Edward Peterson and sophomore Emilio De Somma are biding their time until the April 7th deadline when they can begin competing in dual meets.

Although Peterson has not yet swum a second in a Redwood uniform, he has been training with the North Bay Aquatics, a local club team, since he moved to Marin from England in 2010, as an eighth grader.

In the MCAL, Peterson will likely swim his premiere events, the 100 and 200-yard freestyle in which he will be competing for MCAL individual titles with seniors Nick Bigot from Terra Linda and Mitch Young from San Rafael – against whom his early season mark of 48 seconds compares favorably.

“You have to be really strong and powerful to swim the 100 free,” Peterson said, “but also very patient. There’s an emphasis on technique so you can be fast but controlled during the first 50 and bring the power on the last 50.”

De Somma will likely swim the 200 IM and the 200-yard freestyle.

In his spare time, Peterson avidly bikes and runs – hobbies that earned him a trip to the state cross country meet last year with University but that he shelved in his first year at Redwood for the sake of simplicity.

As a graduate from Del Mar Middle School, Peterson said that he felt the transition between teams was easier for him than for most transfer students who must acclimate to entirely new environments. Despite a three years respite from their company, Peterson spends time with many of the same friends, including members of the team that he knows through the North Bay Aquatics

Like other club swimmers, De Somma and Peterson only train with Redwood once a week, usually Wednesdays. On the other four week days, North Bay swimmers practice at College of Marin – a schedule that Peterson said detaches the club simmers from the team until the crucial final stretch.

“In the long run us training with North Bay is beneficial for the team because we [club swimmers] get a different kind of training in. We all understand that at MCALs when it really matters, we’ll be ready.”

North Bay practices with a cyclical regimen that alternates days of endurance and strength.

“Monday’s and Wednesday’s, we do more yardage, about 6000 yards. One thousand yards is 40 laps, so, you can do the math on that. But on Tuesday’s and Fridays, we do more power stuff with fins and parachutes or breath control and stuff like that”

Last season, the boy’s swimming team finished third at MCAL finals with 327 points, a mere 12 points behind winner Terra Linda. In the tight race for the MCAL pennant, De Somma and Peterson could likely push the Giants into first place.


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Blake Alm, Author