With the season in full swing, Berkeley High School’s (BHS) boys’ varsity swim team is looking to win league and the North Coast Section (NCS) championship. The season started in late January, and the team is currently 5-1. The only loss they suffered all season was against Castro Valley High School. That being said, they are excited to compete against their 50-year-rival, Alameda High School in the only meet left in the season before the NCS championships.
According to Head Coach Bill Gaebler, the team’s end goal is to for both teams to be in the top two at the championship meet. He added that the boys’ varsity team “has a good chance to claim the championship.”
Gaebler noted that Alameda is the team’s biggest rival, with “over 50 years of head to head league competition. Unfortunately, the team hasn’t been able to “test themselves against [Alameda] yet. They are our final two meets before championships.”
Team Captain Jameson Wang said, “our team is very strong this year. We are a stronger team than last year and our ceiling is a lot higher. We were set back last year due to injuries and other unforeseen circumstances, so we are definitely excited to bounce back this year.”
So far, they are indeed bouncing back, but having yet to swim against Alameda, their winning streak will be put to the test. Wang said that the team has the ability to beat Castro Valley because of their “talent and work ethic.” Despite their admirable mentality, the team fell short against Castro Valley earlier in the season.
Gaebler shares this sentiment. He explained that the team has a good composition of swimmers. Gaebler said the team lost “only three senior boys to graduation last season and our best swimmers this year are juniors.” This year, according to Gaebler, “we only graduate seven seniors, so we’re in a great position for seasons to come.”
Gaebler also explained that the team has a “dedicated core of swimmers who train hard and are constantly improving and a good mix of newer swimmers plus veterans.” Moreover, the team’s roster could become even stronger, with them possibly gaining two or three championship caliber swimmers next year. Thus, the BHS swim team appears to be in good hands in the near future.
In terms of advantages the team holds, Gaebler mentioned the diving program. At each meet, the BHS diving program gives the team “valuable points.” He explained that not all schools have as developed programs, giving the BHS team a leg up.
Additionally, Gaebler said the team has “some really stupid-fast swimmers” and “a secret weapon” which he did not elaborate on.
Coach Gaebler disclosed that the team has a “special swim meet pre-race secret superfood snack, which guarantees fast swimming.”
The season ends April 27, at the league championship meet. Until then, the team still has to compete against Alameda.
It is apparent that the team has formed strong bonds with one another over the course of the season. When speaking about his teammates, Wang said “the swim team is really like a family to me.” Wang summed up the ability of the team saying, “we have the talent, we just have to put in the work.” As the season comes to a close the swim team has the support of the BHS community in their pursuit of NCS.