The Berkeley High swimming and diving team closed out the 2000 home season with a moral victory of sorts on Friday afternoon, setting a number of personal records in individual and relay events in a 53-111 (boys) and 47-114 (girls) losses to the much larger San Ramon Valley contingent.
“Most of our kids who don’t usually stand out had good meets today,” BHS coach Keith Brooks said after the final scores had been tallied. “We didn’t have a sense that we could beat San Ramon – half their team is still bigger than our team – but we had a whole lot of personal bests today.”
Among the highlights for the Yellowjackets on Friday were the exploits of the relay team of Andrei Afanasiev, Jonah Bilovsky, Evan Conyers and Raymond Chetty, who combined to finish the 200m freestyle relay in a season-best 1:39 to get by the Wolves.
On the girls’ side, Sallie Oto turned heads with a first-place finish in the 100-meter freestyle, breaking the minute mark with a time of 59.6. Lindsay Rodgers and Frances Stohlman added wins in their respective events, while Audrey Peterson took first place in diving to key a BHS sweep in that event.
“We’re not measuring ourselves by how well San Ramon swims, we’re measuring ourselves by our own performance,” Brooks said. “The improvement showed today. (We had) third- and fourth-place kids swimming their lifetime bests today.”
With just one more road meet until the end of the 2000 regular season, the Yellowjackets are beginning to look toward May 6’s East Bay Athletic League championship meet. Though the small Berkeley High squad does not figure to be especially competitive as a team, Brooks expects several Yellowjackets to compete for berths in the North Coast Section postseason meet.
Among those with NCS potential are Joel Fatherree, a 500m specialist, and Chetty, who competes in multiple individual events and relays. Oto and Rogers are both candidates to advance to the postseason for the girls, as well as their relay teammate, Andrea Fagans. Brooks also hopes to be competitive in some of the relay events – especially the boys’ and girls’ 400m medleys, in which they have already put up qualifying times.
“We’re going to see how many kids we can get qualified for North Coast,” the BHS coach said. “I’m faced with the challenge of figuring out who’s in what relays. We’ll put together the best teams we can to qualify.”
The ’Jackets bring the regular season to an end next Friday, when they travel to San Ramon to take on California High. According to the Berkeley High coach, the meet against the Grizzlies will be important in establishing momentum for the EBAL meet.
“We’ll start aiming past Cal High next week,” Brooks said. “We’ll use Cal High to figure out what little technical things we can focus on. Out in the valley with all those guys again, it’ll be a challenge, no doubt.”
Friday’s events kick off at 3:30