Swimming and Diving looks to replicate success from previous years

Adam Kreitzman

The boys’ swimming and diving team will look to defend its MCAL title this coming season, while the girls’ team will look to rebound after losing their 10-year winning streak in a second place finish last year.

For both teams, the main difference between this year and last year’s team is the addition of depth. According to senior Brandon West, more than one hundred students tried out for the swim team this year, an increase from the double digit numbers of previous years.

According to head coach Fred Ferroggiaro, there have never been cuts in the history of Redwood Swimming and Diving. However, Ferroggiaro said it is possible that could change this year because about 140 people signed up for swimming, and only 112 people can efficiently train in the pool at one time.

As of now, the coaching staff remains divided on whether cuts are necessary.

Senior Emma McCarthy said that making cuts, while unfortunate, is necessary for the team.

“Because of the limited pool space, cuts are necessary. If there are 10 people per lane, no one is going to be able to train to their full potential,” McCarthy said.

Ferroggiaro said that a swimmer cut from the team could still contribute as a diver.

“I have told people that there is a spot on the team for anyone who wants to dive, but so far there are no takers,” Ferroggiaro said.

He added that the lack of divers could prove problematic because not having any divers would mean the team would miss out on an opportunity to score points. Currently, there are no male divers on the team.

While the influx of new swimmers may result in cuts, it will increase the team’s chances at winning MCALs, according to McCarthy.

McCarthy says that the incoming freshmen will add a lot of versatility to the team, as Redwood will be able to enter multiple swimmers in each race.

“We may not win every event, but getting those second, third, and fourth place finishes rack up a lot of points,” she said. “We have a person to cover every event.”

In particular, McCarthy singled out freshmen Ivan Kurakin, Victor Sowa, and Claire Birchenough as underclassmen who could have an immediate impact on this year’s team.

Birchenough is a Junior National qualifier who is going to play a major part in the girls’ success this year, according to McCarthy. Birchenough swims both freestyle and breaststroke.

Another recent addition to the team is junior Monica Sears, who transferred this year from Drake. She won the 500 freestyle at MCALs last year and is a Junior National qualifier in multiple freestyle events.

McCarthy herself will also play a leadership role on the girls’ team, swimming the 100, 200, and 500 yard freestyle. Ferroggiaro said that McCarthy has been an impact swimmer on varsity since her freshmen year.

Other returning female swimmers who will play a large part in the teams’ success include senior Elizabeth Duncan, who has qualified for Junior Nationals in butterfly events, senior Emily Lewis, and junior Sarah Herzer.

However, Redwood is not without competition. McCarthy says that Marin Catholic, the defending champions, and Tamalpais will be the girls’ team’s biggest competitors. Both of these teams are large, though they have historically not boasted as many swimmers as Redwood.

According to senior Brandon West, the boys’ team’s biggest competitors are going to be Terra Linda and Tam.

“We won last year despite multiple disqualifications,” West said. “If that doesn’t happen again, we are in pretty good shape to contend for MCALs this year.”

West will contend in the 100 breaststroke and possibly the 100 backstroke. Like McCarthy, West was singled out by Ferroggiaro as a senior who will play a huge part on the team.

Other large contributors will be returning seniors Edward Peterson, Giorgio Cico, Jake Racich, and Abe Massik, as well as junior Emilio DeSomma, who has qualified for Junior Nationals in multiple events.

Photo by Sarah Kimball
Photo by Sarah Kimball