Spectators gathered at the Ventura Aquatic Center to watch as swimmers from 13 different high schools competed to win the Ventura County Championships (VCC).
The championships were spread out over three days, from March 24 to March 26. A total of three Foothill varsity swimmers qualified for the finals: freshmen Lily Armstrong and Josie Thorp, and senior Ariana Singer. Foothill placed 13th overall.
Those who placed in the top eight qualified for the championship final. Swimmers who placed ninth through 16th earned a spot in the consolation final.
According to senior Ariana Singer, the atmosphere was lively on the first day, with fellow swimmers cheering each other on.
“It was really great seeing everyone there cheering on people while they raced, even though they weren’t required to come due to sit-out periods,” Singer said. “It was also great seeing everybody giving it their all, even if they were not swimming their usual events.”
Armstrong finished the 200-meter freestyle in sixth place with a time of 2:07.99. She also finished in 13th place in the 100-meter butterfly with a time of 1:09.99, earning her a spot in the consolation final.
Thorp finished the 500-meter freestyle in 5:51.62 and placed eighth, guaranteeing her a spot in the Championship Finals. Thorp also finished ninth in the 200-meter freestyle.
Swim coach Jason York commented that Thorp “stood out, as she conquered two of the longest events offered and showed that she is in great condition.”
Singer placed 14th in the 50-meter freestyle with a time of 27.78, qualifying her for the consolation final.
Although no swimmers qualified for finals on the second day, York saw several notable performances, namely freshmen Richie Brandi and Michael Aguilar. Brandi finished the 500-meter freestyle in 6:41.80 and placed 32nd. Aguilar came in 33rd in the 500-meter freestyle with a time of 6:55.55.
“Although there were no CIF time standards achieved for the boys today, they all learned valuable lessons to help them improve and hopefully achieve their time standards at a future meet,” York said.
On the third and final day of the VCC, Foothill placed 13th.
Armstrong came in fifth in the 200-meter freestyle with a time of 2:04.55 and also placed 15th in the 100-meter butterfly with a time of 1:10.44.
Thorp finished the 200-meter freestyle in 2:09.16 and placed 10th. She also finished seventh in the 500-meter freestyle.
Singer finished in 12th in the 50-meter freestyle with a time of 27.69.
“It is very evident to me that we have the talent on our team to be very successful,” York said. “I anticipate our 13th place finish […] to be vastly improved next year. With the strength of our very young team […] we will be very competitive and it will be very rewarding to see our growth from one year to the next.”
Singer felt the team was “unfortunately underrepresented today, as there were only three people that swam fast enough to qualify for the races.” However, she’s hopeful that they will start doing better after the sit-out period is over, allowing more people to swim.
“I definitely think that we will start doing much better after more coaching and once the entire team can swim,” she said.