CIF-CCS Preview: Palo Alto Boys Could End Bellarmine’s 29-Year Reign; Mitty Girls Look Strong

2014 CCS Psych Sheet

Boys’ Meet

This could be the year. In fact we think it will be the year. Just about every dynasty comes to an end eventually, and after 29 years of CCS dominance, Bellarmine may be passing on the crown.

Bellarmine is loaded with talent, with Aidan Burns and Michael Messner leading the charge. But the Bells aren’t alone in star power: Saint Francis boasts Curtis Ogren and Benjamin Ho, who together should tally four individual wins and St Ignatius will be counting on individual points from Clark Sun, and Stefan Kranenburg.

And then there’s Palo Alto. The Vikings’ roster includes the Liang brothers, senior Andrew and freshman Alex, William Lee, Winston Wang, Andrew Cho, and diver Reed Merrit, amongst others. There is a lot of depth on their bench, and the team with the most depth will carry the meet.

Of course anything can happen. Relays will play a key role in the outcome, as will sneaking extra swimmers into “A” finals. But without DQs or other unforeseen events we are predicting a Paly victory by a significant margin. St Ignatius, Bellarmine and Saint Francis will battle fiercely for second, with Monta Vista and Gunn not far behind.

Boys Standings

  1. Palo Alto
  2. St Ignatius
  3. Bellarmine
  4. Saint Francis
  5. Monta Vista
  6. Gunn
  7. Los Gatos
  8. Junipero Serra
  9. Leigh
  10. Burlingame

Must-See Events

200/500 free: Burns of Bellarmine is the hands-down favorite, but there should be a great battle for second between Monta Vista’s Lucca Martins and Paly’s Alex Liang in the 200, and among Martins, Liang, and Gunn sophomore Daichi Matsuda in the 500. *record watch* Burns has been as fast as 4:17.97 which, if he could repeat, would be under the 4:18.26 CCS mark.

200 IM: *record watch* Current record-holder, Saint Francis senior Ogren, went a lifetime best 1:45.01 at this meet last year. It will be interesting to see what he’s got in the tank for his last high school performance. The real race will be for second; Bellarmine junior Messner went 1:50 last year while Paly’s Lee has been 1:51. Dark horse: senior Gabe Bolender of Santa Cruz.

100 fly: *record watch* Paly senior Andrew Liang is within striking distance of Tom Kremer’s 2012 CCS mark of 47.12. He went 47.19 at this meet last year, and broke 47 at Sectionals in College Station in February.

100 breast: *record watch* Ogren of Saint Francis set the CCS record last year with a personal best of 53.90. He’ll have less competition than in the IM so for the most part he’ll be racing the clock, but we may see a new record.


Girls’ Meet

Defending champions Monta Vista are coming off their historic win at the De Anza League meet and are revved up and ready to repeat at CCS. The only thing in their way is a very strong Archbishop Mitty squad.

Mitty’s Morganne MacKennan, Sarah Shimomura, and UCLA-bound Marie-Pierre Delisle alone are expected to contribute somewhere around 95 points from individual events. The trick will be to see how many other swimmers and divers they can get into finals. Monta Vista returns a deep bench led by seniors Carly Reid and Sarah Kaunitz, both of whom are headed to UCLA in the fall. Sarah’s younger sister Lisa Kaunitz and diver Qianyi Pang also add firepower. The Monta Vista free relays are particularly strong.

Gunn should lock in a third place team finish, thanks to junior Jennifer Campbell and senior Gabrielle Bethke in the distance and sprint free events, respectively. The next spot should feature a close race among Los Gatos (with Alex Grimes), Menlo-Atherton and Burlingame (home of Leah Goldman).

Girls Standings

  1. Mitty
  2. Monta Vista
  3. Gunn
  4. Los Gatos
  5. Menlo-Atherton
  6. Burlingame
  7. Palo Alto
  8. Saint Francis
  9. Sacred Heart
  10. Presentation

Must-See Events

200 IM: *record watch* Although she comes in seeded second with a 2:03, Sacred Heart senior and Stanford commit Ally Howe just missed breaking Jasmine Tosky’s CCS record last year with a 1:58-low. Burlingame’s Goldman, who is off to Duke next year, is the top seed with 2:01.85. Presentation sophomore Chloe Isleta has also been 2:01. If Howe breaks away from the pack, the excitement will be for second among Goldman, Isleta and Mitty’s Delisle.

50 free: The girls’ splash-and-dash looks to be more exciting than the boys’. The top four seeds are all sub-24 sprinters: S Kaunitz (Monta Vista), Grace Zhao (Palo Alto), Reid (Monta Vista), and Bethke (Gunn). Three seniors and a freshman. It’s going to be a good race.

100 back: *record watch* Current record-holder Howe of Sacred Heart went her lifetime best at this meet last year, 52.32. No one else in the field has ever come close to that time. Top-seeded Isleta of Presentation and third-seeded Alex Grimes of Los Gatos both come in very near their personal bests with 55s. The battle will be for second.



Friday, May 16

Boys diving
Warm-ups 7:00am; Competition 9:00am

Swimming preliminaries
Warm-ups 12:30pm; Competition 2:30pm

Saturday, May 17

Girls diving
Warm-ups 7:00am; Competition 9:00am

Swimming finals
Warm-ups 12:30pm; Competition 2:30pm


Meet results will be available on Swimphone and on Meet Mobile.

For more information, take a look at the Participant Information Bulletin.

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Ha ha ha!


Would be nice to see real competition in the team race, but let’s be real, nobody has close to Bellarmine’s depth. They come close to placing 4 in the top 16 in every single event. As always they win by at least 100 points.


I agree


Ally Howe 51.84 today at trials for national independent record. Old record 52.30 by Missy Franklin at altitude.

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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