Boys’ swim defeats Middleton 91-79

“Let’s get ready to rumble guys,” said Hillsborough High School swim coach Tom Paloumpis, better known among team members as coach P. The Terriers begin their warm for races against Middleton High School, and the tension in the air is muted by the sound of Party Rock Anthem looping on a portable speaker accompanied by junior captain Eric Xie’s announcements of the team’s prescribed routine. As the swimmers prepare for their competition, senior captain Colton Tyler offers words of encouragement. “The most important thing is to have a good time, make sure everyone swims their best and to beat Middleton,” said Tyler.

Coach P arrived at Copeland Park with high hopes for his team, especially for the boys. “Our girls are going to have a lot of competition, our boys are going to have competition, and the boys are going to be the one to watch because it’s the toughest one,” Paloumpis said. However, the boys are held to higher standards, because the girls’ team is composed of almost all freshmen and sophomores, meaning they have less experience. “They’re ready, but not to the point where I want them yet, because I have a lot of young girls,” Paloumpis said.

Team members shared their coach’s optimism, including freshman Jessica Chao. “I hope to beat my personal record, which for my 50 freestyle would be 27 seconds,” Chao said. During the event, Chao was scheduled to participate in 3 events, including the 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle and a 4×100 relay race. In order to cope with the pressure caused by 3 competitive races, Chao relied on the support of both her teammates and her coach. “I feel really prepared,” Chao said. “My coach and my team are really supportive of me, so I’m really excited for this.

The fast pace competition involved 21 races, which are divided into different techniques. In the end, the boys’ team was victorious over Middleton with a score of 91-79. The girls’ team fell short of their opponent by 6 points with a score of 73-67. However, Paloumpis believes this loss can be attributed to the shortage of girls racing. “If all the girls had been swimming, the girls would have won,” Paloumpis said. “But my boys did really well, and my girls did fine.” Swimmer Jessica Chao was proud of her results as well. “I won my heat for the first one, so I’m really happy about that,” Chao said. “In the second race, I was racing against one of my friends and we got first and second, so we’re proud.”