Turtles place fifth in citywide swimming championsiphs

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The Townsend Harris Turtles swam their way to an excellent finish for this 2013 season. On Saturday, November 10, and Sunday, November 11, ten of THHS’ best swimmers took their talents to the Flushing Meadows Aquatic Center to attend the PSAL Girls A Division Swimming and Diving Championships for the preliminary and finals round, respectively.

With 21 of New York City’s best swim teams present, the Turtles were able to place 5th in the entire competition with their combined total of 152 points. Even though formidable competition from schools such as Stuyvesant, Brooklyn Tech and long time rival Francis Lewis, shook a number of Townsend swimmers, they were able to leave those feelings of nervousness behind and compete.

“Champs was really intense,” said freshman Alexis Sarabia, “As I was watching a couple swimmers from other teams, I got really nervous because they all looked so fast and so many of the swimmers were wearing technical suits. However, my teammates helped me calm down a bit by boosting my confidence.”

Alexis, who won four events in the A Division Championship, was clearly not too shaken up by her competition. She placed sixth in the Girls 200-yard IM (individual medley) with a time of 2:24.01 and sixth in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 1:05.8. She also contributed to both the 200-yard medley relay and 200-yard freestyle relay coming in third and fourth, respectively, alongside teammates senior Amy Hao, senior Alessandra  Taboada, and sophomore Victoria Wozny.

One of the senior captains, Amy Hao, also performed exceptionally well in the A Division Championships, placing fourth in the 100-yard butterfly (1:02.23) and finishing third in the 100-yard breaststroke event with a new personal record of 1:12.51. Amy’s excellence in swimming was rewarded when she received the Fran-Schnarr Award for outstanding senior swimmer.

She expressed her amazement, saying, “I was shocked that I received this award. Being sick all week and a bit out of practice, I was not expecting this. It still feels a bit surreal and like such a great honor.”  Other teammates could not be any prouder of Amy and her accomplishments and knew that this was a well-deserved award.

All in all, each member of the Townsend Harris girls swim team put their best efforts into this meet. Sophomore Victoria Wozny placed seventh in the Girls 50-yard Freestyle, with a time of 26.96 seconds. Senior Katelyn Schob, junior Carina Acosta, junior Shirley Lin, freshman Angelica Moratos, junior Brenda Zhang, and sophomore Jane Zhang also represented their team as a part of the PSAL A Division Championships, working hard to take their team forward.

Co-captain Alessandra Taboada expressed her contentment with the team’s performance, explaining how everyone was able to break their own personal records and advance to future rounds.

Angelica summed up her first season as a Turtle, “This season was a fun experience, as I made many new friends. We supported each other along the way, while breaking our records and earning points for the team.  I learned that with hard work and determination anything can be accomplished.”

The Turtles’ performance at the weekend A Championships earned them the title of fifth place in the city.