Coming into the season, Tara Shima had high hopes for the Crossroads swimming teams.
The boys boasted a combination of returning talent and standout freshmen. The girls stood to benefit from an influx of young prospects.
And the Roadrunners have validated their coach’s early optimism.
Numerous athletes have recorded CIF-qualifying times as the squads have blown through their regular-season schedules, setting the stage for what could be a particularly successful postseason in conference championships and beyond.
“We have some extremely talented swimmers who are definitely going to make an impact,” Shima said.
Crossroads’ final home meet of the season was held Tuesday against Calabasas-Viewpoint, and the Gold Coast League prelims and finals are slated for May 2 and May 5, respectively.
Shima noted before the Santa Monica private school’s last home meet that Viewpoint features numerous year-round swimmers, an advantage that could serve as an obstacle for the Roadrunners. But it seems they’re in pretty good shape nonetheless.
Crossroads went undefeated in its first three conference competitions, defeating Brentwood 119-21 on the girls side and winning 93.5-45.5 on the boys side April 21.
“It was a fantastic day,” Shima said, “with Crossroads boys and girls winning all of the relays and picking up some great individual personal-best times.”
Leading the way for the boys are junior Luke Young and freshman Mitch Mortenson. Young, who won the 100-yard freestyle race at the Brentwood meet in 49.81 seconds, has earned CIF-qualifying marks in that race as well as in the 200 free and the 100- and 500-yard backstroke events. Mortenson has met or exceeded the standard in the 200 free, 500 free, 100 butterfly and 200 individual medley events.
Young and Mortenson joined Finnegan Wong-Smith and Zev Miguel-Strah to help the Roadrunners win the 400 free relay against Brentwood.
Meanwhile, freshman Matthew Rhee swam a season-best 2:01.51 in the 200 free.
“Our boys are stacked with talent,” Shima said. “I did know that our boys team was going to have some strong depth this season from talented returning swimmers and some quick newcomers.”
Crossroads juniors Clare Larsen and Olympia Nagel-Caland have stepped up for the girls this season. Larsen has CIF-qualifying times in the 100 breaststroke, 100 free, 200 free and 200 individual medley, while Nagel-Caland has hit the pre-set marks in the 50 free, 100 free and 100 fly. The two juniors joined freshmen Daniela Contreras and Dara Yu to win the 200 free relay against Brentwood.
With the help of junior Riley Jackson, the Roadrunners have also qualified in the 400 free.
“I anticipated a year of growth and development for my girls team that is stacked with young swimmers,” Shima said. “What I didn’t anticipate was, our fastest girl has been sick and has not been able to join the relays. I was absolutely thrilled with how the ladies stepped up to make it happen.”
Both the boys and girls teams have posted CIF-qualifying times in all of their relay events, Shima said.