Sweet smile– Tech Boys Swimming brings home City Second place after bitter loss to Stuyvesant

It was a breath-taking moment in the game.  One side of the pool at Lehman College had Tech Engineers cheering hysterically, leaving the Stuyvesant Pirates stare for a moment. Tech Boys Swimming just snatched the first and second places in the first relay, medley relay. This was definitely a shot in the arm to Tech Engineers.  Maybe… there is a chance we could win? Thought like this rumbled in engineer’s head. Standing up against their historical rival, Tech knew from heart that every event and cheering was extremely important. After the next three hours, memories of the 2019 Boys Swimming season came to an end as Tech lost to Stuyvesant High School in the final on February 14th with a mark of 36:58.

When asked what his most nervous moment was during the final, Gerald (Gerry) Yavorsky’20 responded, “It was stepping up on the blocks and looking at the team. I was thinking about we were going to put up a fight no matter what… but no, I didn’t expect us to win [Stuyvesant].” 

       Tech Boys Swimming brought back city championship in 2016 and has since had a zero-loss undefeated record in Brooklyn I league. Stuyvesant, however, has historically been Tech’s most formidable foe in Boys Swimming. Ever since 2016, Stuyvesant and Tech have been scrambling over the “city best.” In the past, despite many promising seasons along the way, Tech Engineers were unable to beat Stuyvesant in the finals. 

Speaking to this bitter loss, co-captain Dominic Chan’19 stated, “I think everyone did a good job today [February 14th]. It’s just that Stuy is better than us swimming-wide. Our team probably put in more effort to swim than them, but they have a lot more good swimmers.” 

This year, Tech Engineer had a brilliant season in its Brooklyn I division with a 10-0 winning streak, picking up wins by sufficient margins. After their auspicious 51-34 and 56-44 victories against James Madison High School and Tottenville, respectively, Tech moved on to the semi-final against Bronx Science, which was unexpected to some swimmers on the team, since the biggest issue Tech faced was the lack of divers, and Bronx Science is universally acknowledged for their competitive divers, meaning that Tech would forfeit all the points on diving. 

“Honestly I did not expect to win semis. We heard news about Bronx Science’s new swimmers and were intimidated. They were fast, but not fast enough apparently haha. Their divers were 4th in the states… very good diver. But we still pulled through,” Kyaw Naing ‘21 reflected upon his feelings after the season ended.

Besides staying undefeated in their league, Tech Engineers’ biggest accomplishment of this season is sending 7 swimmers to compete in the New York State Federation Championship from February 28th to March 3rd. With their close-knit rapport, Sophomore Penn Lee, Sophomore Tyler Lee and Sophomore Kevin Zahariev swam with captain Dominic Chan and together marked the first precedent in tech to qualify for the 200-Meter Medley Relay to the state level. Treating it as more than gaining a honored swim opportunity, the talented Tech Engineers went all out in the states competition. Noticeably, the 400-Meter Freestyle relay made into the top 20 out of 50 prestigious teams in the New York State.

The 8 seniors have spent 3-4 years on the team. They had witnessed Tech epic championship, fought hard like for every second with everyone on the team, and developed an indestructible brotherhood that tugs at all seniors’ heart as they are graduating. 

“The biggest accomplishment being a captain,” Chan’19 smiled as he recalled his time with his teammates, “is being the person to look up to. By the freshmen, the sophomores and the juniors. All sophomores swim very fast. But at least for the freshmen, I am pretty sure they all like me.”  

When asked for a message he wanted to send to his senior teammate, Yavorsky’20 said, “Tell Ritz I love him… Thanks for all the hype speeches.”

“This year the seniors have supported me throughout the season…” Tyler Lee’21 shared his post-season thoughts, “ he {Dominic} was like my older brother. Dom has always been by my side ever since my freshman year even if he’s almost a foot taller than me.”

While it’s undeniable that the dynamics on the team would be different, it’s guaranteed that the remaining Tech Engineers would stay ambitious and resilient. The loss of the seniors will be freshened by the rise-up of lowerclassmen stars, who have been and would continue swimming inside and outside of school all year round. 

“We gotta bring the chip back next year!” Yavorsky yelled out cheerfully upon the ending of the season. To Tech Engineers, the strong will of fighting in the water for a team pride has fused into their blood and will not change no matter what the outcome had been and will be in the future. 

Coach Derek Swartz sent a message to his senior swimmers: “It’s been a pleasure… {you} can be very, very good if {you} put in the time… {you} gotta figure out what {you} want to do when moving forward. {You} are very capable young men and {you} can accomplish anything in the water and out of the water as long as {you} are willing to put in the work.”

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