Stuyvesant’s boys’ swim team continued their quest for another PSAL City Championship, as the Pirates defeated the Bayside High School Commodores 64-31 on Friday, February 3, at Stuyvesant High School.
The Pirates dominated the Commodores in a meet that included many personal best times. “We took first place in most of the events, broke a school record, and qualified for states in the 400-yard freestyle relay,” coach Peter Bologna said.
Their first playoff meet this season started with diving from senior Noam Altman-Kurosaki and sophomore Alexander Gurvets. Altman-Kurosaki executed the highest scoring dive of the meet, which consisted of a forward one and a half somersault with a full twist, to earn 18 out of 20 possible points—a nine from each of the judges present.
The Pirates then took first and second in the 200-yard medley relay and extended their lead to eight points. Sophomore Brandon Koo swam his seasonal best time of 1:53.03 to win the 200-yard freestyle and senior Harrison Zhao finished second with a personal best time of 2:00.47.
Though the Pirates finished second and third in the 200-yard individual medley, sophomore Glib Dolotov dropped three seconds to swim his personal best time of 2:11.81. Freshman Andrew Guo came in third, but also with personal best time of 2:14.46.
Senior En-Wei Hu-Van Wright smashed his previous school record in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 21.62 seconds to touch first. Senior Dennis Kan finished second in the same event.
“I was actually quite surprised because I’ve been battling with back problems for the past few weeks,” Hu-Van Wright said. “However, I am very pleased with my swim and can’t wait for [the PSAL Swimming and Diving Championships on Saturday and Sunday, February 11 and 12].”
In the 100-yard butterfly race, senior and co-captain Kevin Lin and senior Nicholas Ng finished first and second, respectively. Lin swam a personal best time of 54.54 seconds. The Pirates came in first and second in the 100-yard freestyle and 100-yard breaststroke, with personal best times from all the swimmers.
The Pirates finished first and second in the 200-yard freestyle relay. In the last event of the meet, one of the team’s 400-yard freestyle relays, which included Wright, Lin, Koo, and junior Han Chen, qualified for the State Championships in Buffalo, New York on Friday and Saturday, March 2 and 3, with a time of 3:18.57.
“This first win in quarterfinals versus Bayside High school marks only the first step in the Pirates conquest for [the] PSAL City Championships,” senior and co-captain Andrew Qiao said.
The Pirates will face Midwood High School, which beat the Francis Lewis Patriots 54-47, in the semifinals.
Bologna felt confident going into the meet and was pleased with the team’s performance. He said, “I think we are peaking at the right time and are prepared for what [more] is to come in the postseason.”
Stuyvesant High School Pirates 51, Midwood High School 38
By Alison Fu
The Stuyvesant High School Pirates defeated Midwood High School 51-38 in the PSAL team semifinals on Tuesday, February 7, at the Stuyvesant High School pool. This victory brought the team’s win streak to 36, and sent the Pirates on their way to yet another PSAL City Championship meet.
Even before the competition started, the Pirates showcased team chemistry with a raucous pre-game chant. This unity was re-emphasized throughout the meet, with the team performing special gestures on the sidelines when each player started their split during relays.
“Some of the rules that the swimmers have to follow force them to be together more often than some other teams who don’t require so much,” Bologna said. “We’re all in it together. I try to have a family-type atmosphere. They know that I’ll do anything for them at any point if they need me for any reason, inside or outside of school. They know that I’m out for their best interests, so I think all of that is what makes us one big happy family.”
The meet started with the 200-yard medley relay, when the Pirates jumped to a quick 9-1 lead, placing first and second. The team never looked back, finishing in the top two spots in all but two events.
Various Pirates achieved personal best times. Kan finished second in the 50-yard freestyle with a personal best 23.13 seconds, and junior Brian Chen broke his previous personal best in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:04.59. The 200-meter freestyle saw Stuyvesant finish in both first and second place as well as swim new personal bests, with times of 1:50.19 and 1:59.03, respectively.
Altman-Kurosaki and Gurvets performed in the six-dive event. Altman-Kurosaki executed the highest-scoring dive of the meet: a forward dive with a one-half twist that received a score of 9 out of a possible 10 points from the judge.
The results at this semi-final meet stay consistent with how the Pirates have been performing throughout the season and are the by-product of a steady method for approaching games.
“We’re staying with the same routine, working hard in the pool,” Qiao said. “We’re also doing dry-lands as usual after tenth period to condition our bodies for the water.”
Combined with their dedication to practices, the success that the Pirates have experienced up until now makes them determined not to settle for anything less than a third consecutive PSAL City Championship title.
“Our team is the fastest that we’ve been so far, so if we don’t win the championships it’ll be a pretty big upset,” senior and co-captain Kevin Lin said.