As far as anyone can remember, Bishop’s has never won the CIF Championship in swimming. As of May 4, the Knights can check that box off. This is a big bookmark in the history of swim at Bishop’s and a bright, beautiful day to remember.
Bishop’s began the meet down six points to Cathedral Catholic, as they earned points in diving where we did not have a competitor. When the final race - the 400-yard freestyle relay - came to the blocks, the score was Bishop’s 315, Dons 314.
That final head-to-head event was set up by a successful day for the entire team. The Knights took second in the 200-yard medley relay (Greyson Davies ‘22 - backstroke, Michael Xu ’19 – breaststroke, Mason Morris ’21- butterfly and Lucius Brown ’22 – freestyle) at 1:33.78. Pierce Dietze ’19 and Mason finished first and fourth in the 200-yard freestyle (1:39.32, 1:43.18). Greyson and Nathaniel Parsons ’21 took fourth and sixth in the 200-yard individual medley (1:55.10, 1:57.23).
Lucius was second in the 50-yard freestyle (21.25). Mason and Max Brown ‘19 secured second and fifth in the 100-yard butterfly (50.41, 51.40). Pierce and Lucius finished third and fifth in the 100-yard freestyle (46.30, 47.02). Bishop’s put the pedal to the metal in the 200-yard freestyle relay (Max, Michael, Lucius, Pierce) with a 125.05 win, edging out Cathedral.
Greyson took third in the 100-yard backstroke (CCHS took second), Michael and Nathanial delivered a two-five finish in the 100-yard breaststroke. These were key points added to the tally as the CCHS swimmer took first.
This made it 315-314 in Bishop’s favor as the whistle blew on the final race, the 400-yard freestyle relay. Because of race dynamics and the limits on races swam, a unique wrecking crew was put together by Coach Jim Jordan ’83. Substantial splits by Mason, Kyto Fraley ‘21, and Perry Mikic ‘20 handed Pierce a slight lead that allowed him to take the race at 3:09.55. The most exciting three minutes in Bishop’s swimming history went down to the wire with the surface tension creating a lot of short breathing. But the first-place finish secured the 355-344 final and gave the Knights the crown.
The obligatory team jump into the pool was enjoyed by the entire team, including coaches Jordan, Doug Peabody and Kaylee Kastrup ’11, and former coach Sean Guthrie (2016-18), who was also instrumental in the growth of this squad.
“I can’t say enough about how proud I am of these boys, especially the boys who don’t swim year-round,” Coach Guthrie said. “They made a difference. They all came together to experience what swimming is all about and that is a team effort. A special shout out to coaches Peabody and Jordan; they all rallied together for this big win!”
“This is an amazing feeling,” Coach Peabody added. “These kids put in so much work in their lives, sometimes swimming once, twice, three times a day. A team of freshmen and seniors, we had a long talk prior to this championship about banding together, staying together and being a team and winning a title together, and they did that today. They saved the best for last. For tiny little Bishop’s, like Hickory High in Indiana (from the movie “Hoosiers”), they wrested the grip Cathedral Catholic had on this title for years and brought it to planet Bishop’s.”
Coach Jordan said, “This kind of a win is not just about talent; talent definitely helps, but it takes hard work and it’s got to mean something. This win feels great. It also helps to have some good freshmen who came in and contributed right away, not just relying on the big guns to win the day. That last race was not a foregone conclusion. It went back and forth to the very end. The underclassmen delivered up that last leg to Pierce, who did not disappoint.”
With the CIF win in their pockets, there is a bonus round: the California State Meet in Clovis May 10-11. Numerous swimmers will compete for the state championship due to qualifying times. The team will compete in the 200-yard medley relay, 200-yard freestyle (Pierce), 50-yard freestyle (Lucius), 100-yard butterfly (Mason), 100-yard freestyle (Pierce), 200-yard freestyle relay, 100-yard backstroke (Greyson), 100-yard breaststroke (Michael), and the team’s specialty, the 400-yard freestyle relay. Go get ‘em, boys!