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The Foothill Dragon Press

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Foothill Tech athletes stir up water at CIF

Amber Duhs
On May 1, 2024, a handful of swimmers from the Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) swim team headed to Mt. San Antonio College after qualifying for the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Division 3 prelims. The girls 400-yard freestyle relay team, composed of Cynthia Hu ’26, Camilla Lewis ’25, Rihanna Samples ’25, and Mikaela Clabaugh ’25, placed 22nd overall with a time of 3:59.13, shaving off milliseconds from their previous best time.
Qualifying for his 500-yard freestyle event, Kylan Jaeger ’26 joined others on his team to swim in CIF Division 3 prelims. Placing 31st overall, Jaeger swam a personal best with the time of 5:17.65, which was 5.62 seconds faster than his seeded time. (Amber Duhs)

After a long season of battling their way through meets, the Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) swim team advanced to the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) prelim and final, where on May 3, 2024 they faced off against the best swimmers in their division. The Dragons rose to the level of competition, setting new personal bests and achieving their individual goals.

The atmosphere was intense as teams from all across Southern California convened at the Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. Sac) Aquatic Center for a highly anticipated preliminary meet, which harbored immense value to many athletes. Family members and fans filled the stands as the meet began, with Foothill Tech hot off the heels of their impressive performance at league finals, they went into the meet with the confidence of potentially advancing some athletes into finals.

Mikaela Clabaugh ’25 qualified for CIF Division 3 swim prelims for her time in the 200-yard Individual Medley. Placing 33rd in prelims, Clabuagh raced a 2:31.00 for her 200-yard IM. (Amber Duhs)

The first Dragon to hit the water, Cynthia Hu ‘26, swam a time of 2:12.40 in the girl’s 200-yard individual medley (IM). Hu was able to edge out the person in fourth and secure a third place finish, allowing her the opportunity to advance and move on to CIF Finals. Hu would later in the meet go on to perform in the girl’s 500-yard freestyle, where she would have another impressive performance taking second place with a time of 5:06.91.

Fellow Dragon, Mikaela Clabaugh ’25, also performed in the girl’s 200-yard IM, culminating her junior season with a time of 2:31.00. 

Following suit, after impressive races from his fellow teammates Kylan Jaeger ‘26 hit the water in the boy’s 500-yard freestyle. He swam away with a time of 5:17.65, placing 31st in his race and setting a new personal best by six seconds. 

Jaeger would reflect on his race sharing,” I think it’s cool to be able to go to experience CIF. I feel good about closing the season with a PR at an exciting meet.”

Cynthia Hu ’26 qualified for CIF in both her 200-yard Individual Medley and her 500-yard freestyle events. Swimming a 2:12.40 in prelims for the 200-yard IM, and a 5:06.91 for the 500-yard freestyle, Hu placed third and second respectively and secured her spot in finals. Returning to CIF finals on May 3, 2024, Hu swam a 2:11.08 for her 200-yard IM and placed third overall. Hu also swam a 5:09.45 for her 500-yard freestyle, placing third out of all the other swimmers. (Amber Duhs)

Concluding the CIF Semifinals was the girl’s 400-yard freestyle relay, where a team composed of Hu, Camellia Lewis ’25, Rihanna Samples ’25, and Clabaugh collectively clocked in a time of 3:59.13, just skimming under the 4 minute mark. 

While this was the end of the season for most of the athletes, Foothill Tech’s Hu would be the sole athlete to advance and go to CIF Finals, where she swam in both the 200-yard IM and 500-yard freestyle. She would make the Dragons proud, closing out the season taking third in the 200-yard IM with a time of 2:11.08 . She would later race the 500-yard freestyle, where she would exit the water in third with a finish time of 5:09.45.

Hu commented on her sophomore season, adding, “As the only swimmer for Foothill, I felt a lot of pressure to perform well; earn more points for our team. Overall I think the season was pretty good … our whole team did great.”

With their season concluded, the Dragons reflected upon their experiences, as they bid a farewell to their departing seniors and look ahead to the future.

Editor’s note: The photos used above were taken at a different meet than the one referenced in this article.

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About the Contributors
Dane Dodos
Dane Dodos, Reporter
“I don’t know how to put this, but I’m kind of a big deal.” - Ron Burgundy
Amber Duhs
Amber Duhs, Writer
Second-year writer, chai latte lover and autumn enthusiast.

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