Just keep swimming and winning, baby

Patriots snare
more league titles, school records


FOR THE LOVE OF THE IVY LEAGUE—Viewpoint High senior Kate Kaplan, who will attend Princeton in the fall, is a standout swimmer for the Patriot girls’ team. Kaplan excels in the 100-yard butterfly race. Photos by BOBBY CURTIS/Acorn Newspapers

FOR THE LOVE OF THE IVY LEAGUE—Viewpoint High senior Kate Kaplan, who will attend Princeton in the fall, is a standout swimmer for the Patriot girls’ team. Kaplan excels in the 100-yard butterfly race. Photos by BOBBY CURTIS/Acorn Newspapers

One slogan isn’t enough for Viewpoint High’s swim teams.

The Patriots should combine two sayings—one from the forgetful fish in “Finding Nemo,” the other from former Raiders’ owner Al Davis—to sum up the Patriots’ reign in one motto: Just keep swimming and winning, baby.

SPRING INTO ACTION— Viewpoint’s Edan Klier practices with the Patriots on May 8. Klier helped the boys’ team win a 14th straight league title this spring.

SPRING INTO ACTION— Viewpoint’s Edan Klier practices with the Patriots on May 8. Klier helped the boys’ team win a 14th straight league title this spring.

Viewpoint swimmers, once again, did both this season. The boys’ team captured its 14th straight league title while the girls won their 12th straight league crown.

“I think people have started to recognize, with our success, that Viewpoint is one of the teams to look for,” said head coach Greg Bisheff, in his 13th year at the helm.

The Finello twins, Vincent and Thomas, seniors, rule the record board at Viewpoint.

Thomas Finello, who will be a preferred walk-on at USC next season, owns four individual school records: 200-yard freestyle (1 minute, 41.18 seconds), 50 freestyle (20.60), 100 butterfly (51.15) and 100 freestyle (46.01).

Vincent Finello has the school record in the 100 backstroke (53.15). Finello was chasing the 200 IM record, one of three Viewpoint boys’ records to not have the Finello name attached it, at the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 meet on Wednesday. Results were unavailable at press time.

The Finellos teamed up with sophomores Andres Concha and Tariq Stack to break the 200 freestyle relay record (1:28.67) earlier this spring.

Concha, who competes in the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly, earned CIF consideration times in both of his events. Stack earned consideration times in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyles. As a freshman, Stack competed with the 400 freestyle relay team that won last year’s Division 3 consolation final.

Edan Klier, a sophomore who earned a consideration time in the 100 breaststroke, will compete in his first postseason meet.

“It’s going to be a fun experience, even if I don’t make the finals,” Klier said. “I just want to get comfortable at big meets so I know what to expect in the future.”

Klier, who said he wants to break the 100 breaststroke record in his time at Viewpoint, said he’s learned a lot from the Finellos.

“They’ve given me a lot of advice,” he said. “Swimming with them has pushed me to be more like them.”

The boys’ squad also boasts talented freshmen Jack Albrecht (who earned consideration times in the 200 IM and 100 backstroke), Ethan Schreier (100 butterfly, 100 backstroke, 200 IM and 500 freestyle) and Sekander Ali (100 butterfly and 200 and 500 freestyles).

“There’s so many swimmers,” Albrecht said. “To be at CIF as a freshman is a really big accomplishment for me.”

The girls’ team, recently crowned CIF-Southern Section Team Academic Champion with a combined grade-point average of 3.89, was no match for other Gold Coast League foes.

“Our depth has always carried us,” Bisheff said.

Kate Kaplan, a senior who maintains a 4.7 GPA, qualified for her fourth straight section meet in the 100 butterfly.

“She’s definitely our veteran,” said Paige Lathrope, a Viewpoint assistant who swam at UCLA. “We have a lot of first-time CIF swimmers this year, so she’s kind of showing them the ropes.”

Kaplan, who will attend Princeton next year, has embraced the leadership role.

“I love being able to encourage the young swimmers and watch them realize they have potential,” said Kaplan, who is co-president of Community Outreach for Everyone, on the executive board of the Model UN and on the board of Math Mentors.

Chase Sumpter-Gillyard, a junior, is a first-time CIF qualifier. She swam a consideration time of 25.55 in the 50 freestyle.

Rebecca Danese, a junior who swam consideration times in the 100 backstroke and 500 freestyle, returns to the postseason after competing in the 500 freestyle at CIF last year. She’s the only girls’ swimmer to qualify in two individual events this spring.

Emily Garber, a senior bound for the University of Wisconsin, where she’ll study business, took last season off.

“I’m also a little allergic to the chlorine,” she said. “(Last year), I had a little issue with my skin, so I got some antibiotics so I could swim.”

The senior, who also plays tennis, said this has been a special season.

“This year, I felt like I had a more fun time because I got to connect with more people,” she said. “I got to meet a lot of the younger kids I wouldn’t normally talk to in the hallways.”

Bisheff said he’s excited to see what his swimmers can do at section finals today.

“For me, CIF is just the culmination of all that hard work,” he said. “This is the meet we train for.”

Viewpoint in a nutshell

• Viewpoint High’s boys’ and girls’ swim teams captured Gold Coast League titles under head coach Greg Bisheff. • The boys’ team snagged its 14th straight league title while the girls’ made it 12 in a row. • Vincent and Thomas Finello, senior twin brothers, have their names attached to eight of the school’s 11 boys’ school records. • Kate Kaplan, a senior girls’ star in the 100-yard butterfly, qualified for her fourth straight CIF-Southern Section postseason meet.