CHS swimmers enjoy winning season

While some spring sports might be struggling, the Claremont High School swim team’s season is going, well, swimmingly.

On Wednesday the varsity teams had a pretty easy time defeating visiting South Hills, with the girls winning, 125-44, and the boys, 91-69. The junior varsity teams had a split result with the boys winning 71-58, but the girls were hampered by several scratches in key events and lost 69-80.

“It was a good meet,” Coach Nate Harding said. “All of the kids on the JV end are learning the ins and outs of competitive swimming, so it is definitely a growth meet for both boys and girls.”

Claremont’s standouts, including Aurora Sheridan, Matthew McCarthy, plus twins Toby and Sophie Jackson, all won their signature events.

Palomares league is very competitive this year, with Diamond Bar, Glendora and Ayala all fielding solid teams.

“We have a pretty strong varsity girls swim team. We are pretty deep, so we have girls who can swim every event well,” Coach Harding said.

Varsity boys are learning how to swim in certain events, like junior Alex Stockwell who had a personal best time of 2:02 in the 200 freestyle Wednesday.

“That is rare in the middle of the season,” Coach Harding said about Stockwell’s performance. “I worked the varsity kids very hard yesterday, so they are all pretty sore. To have a best time when you are sore is pretty impressive.”

With the win, the girls are now 3-1 in dual meets and the boys have advanced to 2-2.

Claremont has nearly 90 swimmers, which is good for team depth but can also be a lot to manage.

“It’s a good group of kids at Claremont. My job is hard not because of the kids but because there are so many of them,” Coach Harding said.

“Since this is my first year as head coach I have tried to instill some foundational things for the program. It’s definitely a growth year, not just with times and how good the kids are, but changing the culture.”

CHS is on spring break next week so the team will have a chance to rest before returning to competition. Claremont has an away league meet against Bonita on April 11, and two days later the Pack will participate in the Husky Swimming Invitational at Chino Hills High School.

“We use the Husky Invitational to gauge where we are for the kids who will qualify for CIF, but most important for league finals,” Coach Harding said.

The high school season goes by super fast—it’s slightly under two months from start to finish—but looking forward, Coach Harding has a simple plan.

“Just keep training. The kids have been training hard, work a little bit on our team bonding. Later in the season they get their best times and we expect them to get better as the season progresses,” he said.

—Steven Felschundneff


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