Olympians, NCAA champs share pool with high school swimmers

SANTA CLARA — A month ago, Gunn junior Sarah Snyder dove into the pool alongside her teammates at the George F. Haines International Swim Center in celebration of a Central Coast Section swimming and diving championship.

Flash forward four weeks, suddenly the 16-year-old shared the pool with a myriad of Olympians and NCAA champions this past weekend during the latest stop of the TYR Pro Series at Santa Clara.

“My freshman year I don’t think could imagine coming to anything like this,” said Snyder, one of the many swimmers representing Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics at the meet. “I think my freshman year I came and watched. I saw Ryan Lochte and I was like, ‘Oh, my God!’ And then today I was in the same lane as Ryan Lochte. It was crazy.”

She added: “We swim at this pool so often and we always swim short course, too. So to see it become long course and a complete different pool … and then, suddenly, you have Katie Ledecky and Nathan Adrian swimming in this pool, it’s like a totally different vibe, but the same pool — which is super weird.”

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Four times over three days, she advanced out of the morning prelims into the evening finals.

Snyder’s best finish — 25th in the women’s 100-meter freestyle — left her one spot behind St. Francis sophomore Nicole Oliva, state runner-up and CCS champion in the girls 200- and 500-yard freestyle.

FYI: Yards equals short course, meters equals long course.

“It’s really cool to swim at this level since I have people to look up to and its more motivation to get better,” said Oliva, who trains year-round in the same pool with the Santa Clara Swim Club.

More of a distance swimmer …read more

Source:: The Mercury News

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