There might not be enough superlatives to describe what Karly Frangieh and the Los Gatos High girls swimming team did in the Central Coast Section Championships May 5-6 at Hollister High.
Record-breaking, superb, fast and spectacular are some of the words that come to mind as the Wildcats finished a program-best second place in the team standings in what is arguably Northern California’s top section for high school swimming.
No other section besides the North Coast Section (NCS) boasts the times CCS swimmers produce on a yearly basis. Frangieh, a junior, blazed to glory in winning the 200-yard freestyle in 1 minute, 49.88 seconds, and taking third in the 100 free in 50.84 seconds.
Not only are both times All-American Consideration (AAC) marks, Frangieh set personal and school records in the process. She also led the girls 200- and 400 free relay teams that set school records. Four races, four PRs, four records, three All-American Consideration marks.
Yeah, not a bad day in the pool for Frangieh and her Los Gatos teammates. When it was all over, Frangieh got to bask in the fruits of her labor and celebrate with her teammates, friends and family members.
“The first thing you think of is all the work you put into swimming,” she said. “The morning practices, getting up at 5am before school, workouts after school, always swimming. And it all kind of pays off because you put so much work into it which is really fun. To get second overall as a team, which has never happened before in Los Gatos history, was amazing to be a part of.”
The 400 free relay team of Frangieh, Katy Hawk, Ava Taylor and Kiana Koechlin was second in an AAC 3:29.92. Frangieh had the second fastest split time, at 51.15. The 200 free relay team of Frangieh, Hawk, Koechlin and Lily van Putten tied for fifth in 1:37.12, a State Qualifying Automatic time.
Frangieh swam the fourth fastest split in that race as both relay teams will be competing in the CIF State Championships starting May 11 at the Clovis Olympic Swim Complex on the campus of Clovis West High School. The 400 free relay squad has the No. 8 seed time for State.
Frangieh also has the No. 8 seed time in the 200 free and No. 9 seed time in the 100 free. Koechlin qualified for State in the 200 individual medley after finishing seventh in the CCS Championships in 2:05.37.
Hawk took sixth in the 200 free in a State Qualifying Consideration (SQC) time of 1:52.83, and Taylor finished eighth in the 500 free in 5:16.49. The 200 medley relay team of Sarah Schaevitz, Karissa Elliott, Taylor and van Putten placed 11th in a SQC 1:51.35.
Five swimmers from the Los Gatos boys team are headed to Clovis as well, four from the 200 medley relay team of Joshua Naim, Ewan Lonergan, Tyler Newton and Connor Sullivan, who went 1:35.66 to earn a qualifying mark.
Lonergan, a junior, placed fifth in the 100 breaststroke in 56.30, earning him the No. 10 seed for State. He’s returning to State for the second year in a row and looks to be peaking after overcoming an injury earlier in the season.
The Los Gatos diving team also had strong performances this season from Maddy Wong and Ava Lazovsky, who placed 18th in the CCS Championships. Nolan Parsa and Asa Wilde led the boys team, finishing 13th and 15th, respectively, at CCS.
Of Frangieh’s four races, the 200 free was the one that gave her extra pause for jubilation. That’s because she shaved three seconds off her personal PR established the previous week in the SCVAL Finals.
“[Going 1:49] was one of the most unexpected things that happened this weekend,” she said. “Obviously, you set goals and think you can do it, but after seeing that time, it didn’t feel real in a way.”
Frangieh, who does her club swimming for the De Anza Cupertino Aquatics (DACA) national team, has been swimming since she was 6. Frangieh is always honing her technique and in the last year has improved her turns and underwater swimming, shaving precious tenths of a second off her best events.
“Working on my form has been huge [in lowering times],” she said.
The CCS Championships were extra special because Frangieh’s older sister, Zoe, was able to attend the event after recently finishing her freshman year at Arizona State, where she played in all 24 games for the women’s water polo team.
Zoe, of course, was a standout water polo player and swimmer at Los Gatos High as well.
“She gave me a huge hug and it was really cool to have her there,” Karly said. “She was taking photos for the team and having her support me means a lot. I got to watch and support her [for ASU water polo) and she played quite a lot. It was really inspirational watching her.”
Up until this year, Karly was known more for her swimming exploits than her water polo resume. But that all changed after she finished the most recent water polo season as one of the section’s most potent offensive threats, scoring just north of 100 goals.
Frangieh is still deciding on which sport to pursue in college, but that will all shake out in the next several months. For now, Frangieh is enjoying each moment she’s in the pool, finding joy in the process as it leads to record-breaking results.