At the Taipei City Meet on Jan. 8, seven Taipei American School swimmers qualified to race at the national meet in Taichung this April. To qualify, athletes must both place in the top six of an event and also swim faster than the set standard time for each race.
In accordance with the Taiwanese categorization system, the four freshmen swam in the middle school division. Ethan Dawn (‘21) achieved a gold medal in the 50-meter backstroke with a time of 28.71 seconds, which tied with the meet record. He also earned fourth place in the 100-meter backstroke. Jason Lin (‘21) won a gold medal in the 50-meter breaststroke, a silver medal in the 100-meter breaststroke, and a bronze medal in the 200-meter Individual Medley. Hironori Kondo (‘21) won a silver medal in the 50-meter backstroke and a silver medal in the 100-meter backstroke. Daolong Yang (‘21) earned a silver medal in the 100-meter butterfly.
“I’m glad I got first place and that I hold a Taipei record. However, I went to the race with my eyes on crushing my personal best, and I’m happy that I achieved my goal,” says Ethan. “In the end, swimmers have only one competitor to beat: the clock!”
Jason prepared for the meet by swimming every day and practicing yoga, but he still felt nervous before the race and expected to perform poorly. “After the race, I was just shocked, like literally. I didn’t know I could swim that fast,” he says. “Now that I’m feeling a bit more confident, I’m aiming for a medal at the national competition.”
Swimming in the high school division, Jessica Wegner (‘18), Shawyuan Hsu (‘19), and Sharon Kuo (‘19) each qualified for various events. Jessica achieved first place in the 50-meter backstroke, second place in the 50-meter fly, and fourth place in the 100-meter fly. Shawyuan qualified for the 100-meter freestyle, the 50-meter backstroke, and the 100-meter backstroke; earning sixth place, third place, and fourth place respectively. Meanwhile, Sharon swam the 50-meter breaststroke, placing fourth.
“First of all, I am so proud of the team. These are the best results we’ve ever had at this meet,” Jessica says. “Training for this meet was hard but worth it. I hope that I can place at nationals.”
Justin Wu (’19), Lucent Lin (’19), Benjamin Wei (’19), and David Wang (’19) also raced in the 4×100 meter medley relay, earning sixth place.