Piedmont High School swim team shines at WACC Championships

Cole Carnazzo (Photo by Kathy Rolefson)

Piedmont High School’s swim team showcased exceptional talent and determination at the West Alameda County Conference (WACC) championships.  Held under challenging weather conditions, Piedmont’s athletes delivered outstanding performances.

The girls’ team secured a commendable 2nd place for Varsity. Meanwhile, the boys’ team achieved a remarkable milestone, with Varsity placing first, marking their highest finish in 15 years. Both teams had exceptional relays, with Piedmont often clinching 1st and 2nd place.

Piedmont High School emerged as the top medal earner, top 3 finish, among all 12 teams, including much larger schools like Berkeley and Castro Valley. PHS amassed a total of 21 medals, surpassing Berkeley’s 19 and Castro Valley’s 15.

Taylor Rolefson (Photo by Kathy Rolefson)

Coach Colby Price commended the team’s performance, noting the challenges posed by larger teams with greater numbers. “Bigger teams gobbled up points in events where we just don’t have the numbers.” Despite these challenges, Price praised the boys’ team for their achievements with only 14 swimmers, highlighting the sheer talent within the team. For the girls’ team, Price said, ”Those teams are double our numbers in size, but the talent of our girls team always shines bright enough to stay in the mix, we just need more numbers to get all the way to the top.”

Nik Costello (Photo by Kathy Rolefson)
  • Girls’ Race highlights:
    • 4 first place finishes
      • Taylor Rolefson 
        • 200 Free 1:59.23, 1st out of 40 
        • 100 Fly 58.78, 1st out of 20. Personal best
        • Women’s high point winner of meet
      • Josie Oesterer 
        • 100 Back 1:00.80, 1st of 46.  Beat second place finisher by 4.66 seconds.  
        • Also placed 4th in 100 Fly 1:04.12 
      • 200 Free A Relay of Taylor Rolefson, Josie Oesterer, Abigail Jacoby, and Sonja ten Grotenhuis 1:42.72, 1st of 38 
      • 1 Second place finish for 200 Medley A Relay w/ Josie Oesterer on back, Abigail Jacoby on breast, Taylor Rolefson on fly and Sonja ten Grotenhuis on free 1:54.01, 2nd of 40 
  • Boys’ Race highlights:
    • 7 first place finishes
      • Owen Blanford 
        • 500 free 4:40.98 1st of 27 
        • 200 Free 1:42.74, 1st of 35 
      • Cole Carnazzo
        • 100 Breast 59.43, 1st of 45, personal best
        • 100 Fly 52.42, 1st of 26 
      • Dima Secor – 200 IM 2:00.21, 1st of 20, beat 2nd place by 8.45 seconds
      • Asher Takazawa
        • 100 Back 54.22, 1st of 33 
      • 400 Free A Relay of Owen Blanford, Asher Takazawa, Tom Rolefson and Nik Costello 3:14.53, 1st of 25, beat second place team by 6.7 seconds
    • 4 Second place finishes
      • Asher Takazawa 100 Free 49.10, 2nd of 57 
      • Evan Byun 200 IM 2:08.66
      • 200 Free A Relay of Owen Blanford, Dima Secor, Tom Rolefson and Nik Costello 1:27.88, 2nd of 36 
      • 200 IM A Relay of Asher Takazawa on back, Evan Byun on breast, Cole Carnazzo on fly and Dima Secor on free 1:39.08, 2nd of 32 
    • 5 Third place finishes
      • Nik Costello 200 Free 1:45.16 personal best and 500 Free 4:51.99 
      • Tom Rolefson 50 Free 21.93, 3rd of 71 and 100 Free 49.11
      • Dima Secor 100 Back 56.84

Looking ahead, PHS swimmers are gearing up for the North Coast Section (NCS) championships.  The top 40 qualifying times in each event will swim at Preliminaries on Friday, May 3rd at 10:30am at Concord Community Pool. The top 16 for each event will advance to compete in NCS Finals on Saturday, May 4th at 10:30am.  Coach Price said, “With a deep and talented team, Piedmont aims to qualify for finals in as many events as possible, competing against Northern California’s most talented high school swimmers.”  This will determine who will qualify for the CIF NCS State Championships the weekend of May 10th in Clovis. 

Representing PHS at NCS will be:

  • Senior Josie Oesterer – 100 Back
  • Senior Taylor Rolefson – 200 Free and 100 Fly
  • Senior Nina Schwab – 1 meter diving (see below)
  • Senior Tom Rolefson – 50 and 100 Free
  • Junior Owen Blanford – 200 and 500 Free 
  • Sophomore Nik Costello – 200 and 100 Free
  • Sophomore Dima Secor – 200 IM
  • Freshman Cole Carnazzo – 100 Fly and 100 Breast
  • Freshman Asher Takazawa – 100 Free and 100 Back

For the first time, PHS has 3 qualifying relays for both the girls and boys teams. 

Nina Schwab, PHS’ first and only diver,  clinched the top spot in WACC out of the 8 female divers.  She scored an impressive 457.3 points. This, along with her remarkable score of 481.5 points at a previous competition, exceeded the automatic qualifying score of 330 for North Coast Sectionals Diving Championship. Nina will compete at NCS Championships May 1, 2024 at 9am, also at Concord Community Pool.

Nina Schwab (Photo by Kathy Rolefson)

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