The 2013 high school swim season should be picking up steam beginning this week if results from the 2013 Far Western Championships held over the weekend at the Morgan Hill Aquatic Center are any indication.
Sacred Heart Prep junior Ally Howe won a pair of races in meet-record time in the Girls 17-18 division on Sunday, Palo Alto junior Andrew Liang won twice and set one mark in the Boys 17-18 bracket, Menlo-Atherton junior Kindle Van Linge captured a race in the Girls 17-18 as did M-A freshman Brooke Stenstrom in Girls 15-16.
Howe competed only on Sunday after swimming a full schedule of four events on Saturday at the fourth annual California Catholic Invitational in Atherton. She came back strong by winning the 500 free in a meet-record 4:48.44 and the 200 IM 2:00.39, another record.
Howe's 500 free time would have eclipsed her school record of 4:56.03 had she been competing for the Gators in a dual meet.
Liang, meanwhile, was busy both Saturday and Sunday during the four-day meet while his Paly team was on spring break.
On Sunday, Liang won the 200 IM in 1:51.65 and came back to take the 50 free in a personal best of 20.90, which is faster than his Paly school record of 20.92. On Saturday, Liang won the 200 fly in a meet record of 1:48.44 and took second in the 100 back in 50.34, also faster than the listed Paly record.
In order to break school records, Liang will have to do it in a dual meet, league finals or the CCS championships.
Van Linge won the Girls 15-16 200 IM in 2:07.69 on Sunday and took second in the 100 fly (57.10) Friday, while Stenstrom took the division's 50 free in 23.72 after winning the 100 free (51.04) on Friday.
Gunn sophomore Jennifer Campbell was second in the 50 free in 23.81 in addition to finishing second in the 500 free in 4:50.23, which is faster than the Titans' school mark. On Saturday, Campbell won the 200 fly in 1:59.02 and finished third in the 100 back in 58.21.
On Thursday, Campbell won the 200 free in her division in a meet record of 1:47.83 and finished second in the 200 back in 2:03.82.
Gunn freshman Daichi Matsuda also made a splash while competing in the Boys 15-16 division. He won the 400 IM (4:01.26) and took third in the 100 fly (51.01) on Friday, won the 200 fly (1:50.02) on Saturday and finished second in both the 500 free (4:36.64) and 200 IM (1:54.76) on Sunday.
His 500 free and 200 IM times would have easily surpassed school records.
In other races involving local preps, M-A junior Maddie Pont was third in the Girls 17-18 200 free (1:55.61) and third in the 200 breast (2:27.85).
In some of the younger age divisions where swimmers could represent their club teams, Joe Molinari of Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics (PASA) won the 100 back (51.73) in Boys 15-16; Aaron Kuo of PASA took the 100 IM (59.56) in boys 11-12; Ryan Kim of PASA won the 100 breast (1:16.58) in Boys 10-Under; and Sophie Golub of PASA won the 50 back (31.62) in Girls 10-Under.
With most everyone back from spring break, dual-meet action heats up this week with Palo Alto visiting Gunn on Friday (3:30 p.m.) to highlight the week's schedule.