Swim Triumphs in Third Straight State Championship

Gabe Reyes, Sports Managing Editor

Another season, another trip to the states for the boys and girls varsity swim team at RHS. Last year the team won states, led by alumnus Griffin Alaniz(16).

This season, the team advanced from the division three championships, the METROS and the States Regionals towards the State Finals. In their last regular season meet, the boys defeated Blake High School 100-69, and the girls lost to BHS 114-57.

Head coach James Castonguay has now been to his third state championship in a row, this time without leader Griffin Alaniz.

The season went fantastically. The boys won the division, the girls improved upon last year, we broke some records, and improved in each meet,” Castonguay said.

In the division three championships, the boys came in first and beat all the other schools with a total score of 427. The closest any team got to beating the boys was by 44 points, and that was Gaithersburg High School. The girls lost the meet, placing fourth place out of the five teams competing, with a total score of 286.

In the METROS meet, the boys were lead by sophomore Nathan Watts, who placed ninth for the boys 500 yard freestyle race with a time of four minutes and 45 seconds for a total of 14 points. Watts set a new record for the RHS swim team for the 500 yard race and also came in second for the boys 100 meter freestyle race. In the State Regionals, Watts also led the team in the 500 yard freestyle race, where he placed second.

“I’m pretty excited, I think we’re going to do pretty well, our relays did really well last year, we lost Griffin Alaniz but were still pretty strong and i’m pretty excited because I’m seeded second in the 500,” Watts said before states.

Junior Tony Guardado has been on the swim team for the past three years and has helped set a new record for RHS. In the State Regionals, Guardado set the record for the fastest breaststroke for 100 yards, at one minute and two seconds. Also at regionals, he placed fifth for boys 200 yard freestyle race, with a time of one minute and 50 seconds. In the METROS he timed at one minute and three seconds for the 100 yard breaststroke.

Guardado said, “Overall I think that we have improved over last year’s season, even though we did lose Griffin, our record was better, the girls record was better, the boys record was better.”

In the METROS meet, the boys and girls teams both gained 21 points, while in the State Regionals the girls placed fifth and combined for 189 points. The boys placed third and combined for a total of 261 points. During Regionals the RHS record for fastest 200 yard freestyle relay was broken by junior Joshua Grammer, junior Lucas Garcia, sophomore Mitsuo Kumagai and junior Adam Snyder.

In contrast to last years state championship where the boys won it all, the team was again lead by Watts and Guardado. Watts placed first, followed by Guardado in second in the 200 yard relay race. Guardado placed eighth in the 100 yard breastroke, he timed at one minute and three seconds. While Watts placed first in the 500 yard freestyle race, with a time of four minutes 47 seconds.

The loss of Alaniz was a large part taken out of the team. Last year he placed first in the 100 yard backstroke. As well as first in the 100 yard freestyle, where he timed at 46.45 seconds. He also contributed in the 400 yard freestyle relay and in the 200 yard relay.

Castonguay said, “ Griffin was a singular talent, but the whole team stepped up to try and fill his shoes.[…]Nate is another singular talent. He is actually faster than griffin than Griffin was as a sophomore.”

In the State Championship, the boys placed third overall in the tournament with a score of 197.5. While the girls came in 19th place with a total score of 35 points. In the meet Guardado tied for third in the 200 yard freestyle and placed fifth for the 100 yard breastroke with a time of one minute and one second. Watts placed first in the 500 yard freestyle and came in eighth for the 100 yard backstroke.