Returning girls swim team members remember the heart-wrenching loss to Francis Lewis in last year’s semifinal meet at L.I.C. High School. Last year, Tech was ahead of Francis Lewis going into the last two swim events, 100-yard individual breaststroke and 400-yard freestyle relay. Lewis won the last two events and beat Tech 49 – 45, making it the second straight year that Lewis ousted Tech from the playoffs. Lewis went on to tie Stuyvesant in the PSAL finals and both schools were named 2013-2014 PSAL co-champions.
This year, Tech girls swim team met their toughest divisional rivals, Fort Hamilton and Midwood, early in the season. Tech won both dual meets with identical scores of 50 – 43. After conquering their toughest divisional opponents early in the season, Tech easily finished the regular season with a perfect 10 – 0 record and were named Brooklyn division champions.
Despite their undefeated season and becoming Brooklyn divisional champions, Tech received a low # 6 seeding by PSAL for the upcoming playoffs. This meant that Tech would not receive a BYE for the first round, like last year when Tech was seeded #3. This PSAL oversight was not lost on coaches, Brendan Quest and Joy San Augustin, who reminded the girls that they were better than their #6 seeding.
In the first round of the playoffs, Tech defeated #11 Susan Wagner 51 – 43. In the quarterfinal round of the playoffs, Tech beat #3 Hunter 55 – 37, and advanced to the semifinal round as a rematch with #2 Francis Lewis. Tech met Lewis at Stuyvesant pool for their semifinal meet. Lewis was heavily favored against Tech, the underdog, as many of Lewis’ best swimmers returned for this season. To make matters worse, Lewis had a diver in the meet. Even before the swimming events began, Tech was down 4 – 0 to Lewis, as Tech did not have a diver to compete with Lewis. With all the odds stacked against Tech, Tech evened the points halfway through the 11 events. Lewis appeared confident that they would beat Tech again this year, which would’ve made it their third time in a row. Lewis fielded a single 200-yard medley relay team and a single 500-yard freestyle swimmer (instead of 2 allowed for each swim event).
Tech eventually took the lead and was ahead in points going into the last two swim events, in a similar scenario as last year, when they lost to Lewis. Lewis swimmers had the advantage, as they hold this year’s fastest individual breaststroke and second fastest 400-relay times. They appeared on the verge of winning yet again. Tech completed the improbable upset by finishing in second place for the breaststroke event and second and third place in the freestyle relay event and beat Lewis by a score of 50 – 48. Tech finally had a reason to celebrate. They avenged last year’s loss, and they reached the PSAL championship finals for the first time since the 2011-2012 season, which was Tech’s all-time great Annie Zhu’s last season (Zhu holds majority of Tech girls swimming records). The last only time Brooklyn Tech girls swim team won the PSAL title was during the 1992 – 1993 season.
Kerry Pfaff’ 15 stated
Tech girls swim team will meet #1 Stuyvesant, defending PSAL champions for past 4+ years, on Thursday, November 13, 2014 at Lehman College. Before meeting Stuyvesant in the finals, Tech will showcase their best swimmers at the PSAL Championship Meet on November 8 – 9, 2014, at the Flushing Aquatic Center. The Outstanding Senior Athlete, the April Lao Freshman Award, and the Anna B. Stez Memorial Trophy for 1st Place Team Points will be up for grabs. All spectators are welcomed to cheer on the girls!