It was a scene to behold at Palomar’s Wallace Memorial Pool, over the weekend of Feb. 5 and 6, as schools from around San Diego and beyond came together to ring in the new season with the annual two-day Waterman Festival.
The festival gives swimmers a chance to compete in all events in order to prepare for the new season.
“It’s like a fun meet so everyone on all teams competes in all the events,” said Palomar sophomore, Lucy Gates. “I’m very excited to improve my times.”
Coach Jem McAdams, Palomar’s swim and dive coach, said he was confident about his team. “When they train hard, do what they’re supposed to do, they’re gonna be able to accomplish some of the goals they set throughout the course of the season.”
Palomar’s swimmers did just that on Friday, Feb. 5 and had a solid combined effort with at least one first-place finisher in every event, which included the 50-meter butterfly, 50-meter backstroke, 50-meter breaststroke, 50-meter freestyle, and the 100-meter individual medley.
For the men, Neal Gorman placed first in the 50-meter backstroke with a time of 26.87, while Travis Lane took first in the 50-meter breaststroke with a time of 29.00. Sophomore Ryan McCauley, who said he is excited about being a leader on the team this season and aspires to place top three at state championships, finished with the Palomar men’s top combined time in all events with a total of 2:40.32, good enough for a 4th place overall on the day.
For the woman’s side, Morgan Hage placed first in the 50-meter butterfly, 50-meter backstroke, and 100-meter individual medley, with times of 31.63, 33.12, and 1:11:05, respectively. Lucy Gates finished first in the 50-meter breaststroke with a time of 35.62.
Carley Woods had first place finishes in four different events, with times of 35.14 in backstroke, 35.66 in breaststroke, 29.57 in 50-meter freestyle, and 1:13:34 in the 100-meter individual medley.
The festival continued on Saturday with more races, including the highly anticipated relay races. Woods and Gates finished in first and second in the Women’s 100-yard breaststroke with times of 1:18.20 and 1:18.47, while Palomar’s Paulina DeHaan finished first in the women’s 100-yard butterfly with a time of 1:06.13, just ahead of teammate Morgan Brown who finished second at 1:06.38.
Michelle Jacobs, another Palomar swimmer, had two first-place finishes, including one in the women’s 100-yard backstroke with a time of 1:04.05 and the 200-yard individual medley where she lapped the field with a time of 2:23.01.
For the men, McCauley placed first in the 400-yard individual medley with a time of 4:32.13, while fellow Comet, Andrew Bertotti, endured to take first in the 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 11:17.75.
Palomar took victories in nine of the 17 relay races on the day, including a 1-2 finish by their A and B teams in the men’s 350-yard breaststroke relay.
In the women’s 200-yard medley Palomar’s Relay A team got a timed 2:02.58, just edging out San Diego Mesa College’s A team, who finished with a 2:06.39.Palomar finished the day strong with a first place victory in the men’s 400-yard freestyle relay with a 3:27.34.
Palomar’s next meet will be at home against Southwestern College at 2 p.m. on Feb. 19 at Wallace Memorial Pool.