Girls’ varsity swim readily prepares for PAL and CCS Trials


Amanda Nolan

Burlingame swimmers compete in the 100-meter freestyle in a meet against Woodside High School on Friday, April 7.

Amanda Nolan, Social Media Coordinator

With only one loss against league No. 1 Carlmont High School, girls’ varsity swim (3-2-1 overall) has had a resoundingly successful season in the PAL Bay Division. Now, as the post season looms, seven girls have made CCS cuts, including seniors Esther Kim and Claire Guglielmi, junior Sofia Kim, sophomores Jeannine Chiang, Karena Huang, Charlotte Chan and freshman Catherine Kwong. 

But before they can begin CCS training, the girls side is focused on winning its final meet of the season on Friday, April 21 against Menlo-Atherton High School — the team that is neck-and-neck with Burlingame for second place in the PAL Bay.

And ahead of CCS, the Panthers have PAL Trials on Wednesday, April 26, where they will race against a “pool” of swimmers from teams across the three PAL divisions.  In the PALs, the top 16 finishers from each event advance to the league finals on April 29. Unlike CCS, the PAL championship doesn’t have specific time requirements. Instead, the fastest swimmers in each event automatically advance. 

“[By winning PALS] you get a lot of personal gratification. You get to meet a lot of people,” coach Terry Horn said. 

According to Guglielmi, a co-captain, the period following PALs is essential preparation for CCS Trials, with practices focused on personalized events and relay training. 

“If you’re going to win at PALs, it’s definitely a stepping stone for you to go to CCS and try to have a really good meet there,” coach Traci Kreppel said. 

Because all of the CCS swimmers are dual members of a club team and training at Burlingame’s rigorous practices, Kreppel plans to hold lighter practices to close off the season. And despite no CCS qualifying times from the boys’ swimming team, Guglielmi has seen a drastic increase in support and team spirit since the start of the season. 

“In the past couple of meets, our team spirit has sored upwards, which I’m super excited to see. People laughing, and talking and just feeling the connectivity means more than any times or race that we can win,” Guglielmi said.