Patriots reach CIF championships


Cj Gorospe

Sophomore Petra Vass finishes the 100 yard breaststroke event at California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Swim Championships on May 3.

Cj Gorospe

The Birmingham Patriots finish their season off placing eighth at the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Championships after swimming against fierce competition.

“It was very intimidating because of the competition,” sophomore varsity swimmer Petra Vass said. “Overall, it was a great experience to be able to swim with my teammates at a big swim meet like this.”

Reaching the CIF Championships at Exposition Park filled returning swimmers like sophomores Petra Vass and Amelia Sanchez and senior Ben Sanchez with confidence and anxiety due to the fast competition. Freshman Audrina Murphy and sophomore August DeFore experienced the competitive atmosphere of CIF Championships for the first time on May 3.

“It was a pretty good experience,” varsity freshman Audrina Murphy said. “Hopefully, I can do it next year.”

Varsity swimmers Petra Vass and Amelia Sanchez both excelled in their individual events with Vass placing first in the 100-yard breaststroke and Amelia Sanchez placing first in the 200 yards free. Freshman Audrina Murphy and sophomore August Defore showed stellar performances in their 4×100 freestyle relay by swimming faster than their previous times with Defore swimming 53 seconds in the 100-yard freestyle and Murphy swimming a minute flat in the 100-yard freestyle.

Senior Ben Sanchez participated in his last CIF Championship swim meet and made sure to not disappoint. Sanchez placed second in the 500-yard freestyle earning a spot in State. He will not be participating in State instead he will spend the remaining weeks of his senior year with his Birmingham teammates and coaches.

“Most of the preparation was mental,” sophomore August Defore said. “I really listened to Ben for most of it like when to dive and how fast I should be swimming.”

The 2019 swim season comes to a close with the Daniel Pearl Magnet High School swimmers shattering their own times and building and strengthening friendships with each other.

“My teammates motivated me to do my best and not give up,” Vass said. “The team is really funny and close and they are like a second family to me.”