By Minnie Nguyen
On April 26, Oakland High School’s swim team competed in the Oakland Athletic League Finals at Mills College, against Skyline High School and Oakland Technical High School. The event determined each school’s final position in the OAL rankings. OHS placed second in the 2014 OAL Finals, coming behind OT and beating Skyline according to Clare Burger, OHS swim coach and teacher.
Swimmers were expected to be at Mills College at 7 a.m. in order to help prepare for the day’s activities; the event went from about 8 a.m. till noon, according to Burger. Varsity and Junior Varsity swimmers were awarded medals or ribbons with the place they received in the event.
“I’m hoping that [the OHS swim team] would at least be placed first, but I think OAL is really fun and wish [the OHS team] the best of luck,” said Irene Benschop, junior and former OHS swim team member, in the days leading up to the event.
The OHS swim team, known as the Catfish, had been training for a little over a month for the OAL Finals. They started practice in the morning at 7 and after school at 3:30 p.m. every school day, and sometimes even Saturdays. There were roughly 25 students on the swim team, ranging from freshmen to seniors. The conditioning for swim season began in February, the season began in March and ended in April.
“They are really hardworking and I always see them practice every day after school,” said Sokunthea Muth, a senior. “At the meets, they always seem really spirited and happy. They look like they get along really good. I hope they win first place!”
During the 2014 swim season OHS, OT, and SHS have met repeatedly to compete. The only other school the Catfish swam against this season was Berkeley High.