Pirates Make a Statement Against Rivals Bronx Science

The Pirates will be looking to extend their winning streak on their way back to the chip.

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The Stuyvesant Pirates, the defending PSAL swimming and diving champions, kicked off the season the week before Christmas with an impressive showing against our rival to the north, the Bronx High School of Science. The early season meet saw a faceoff between the city’s two premier swim teams, with both teams boasting lineups with nationally ranked swimmers. The state champions greeted the visitors to the Stuyvesant pool with patented team chants. On paper, the teams seemed even, besides the fact that the Pirates chose to compete without a diver and forfeited that one event to the visitors. Regardless, the Pirates set an early reminder of why they are the defending PSAL champions.

Of course, after last year’s performance, the Pirates came into the season expecting the gold standard in terms of training and translating the hours spent in the pool every day into success on gameday. For underclassmen especially, there is a lot of pressure trying to add to an already very successful team that has high expectations. “This was our first competitive meet, and I really feel that we are in great shape. A lot of our swimmers improved in a variety of events. We are going strong into playoff season,” senior and co-captain Axel Tolpina said. The captains, similar to many of the team's newcomers, will feel the pressure of living up to a historically very successful team. But the captains have confidence in themselves and their teammates. They have smoothly made the transition into prominent leadership roles, a transition that will be necessary if the Pirates want to defend the throne.

The underclassmen will be responsible for carrying the Pirate legacy after the seniors leave. Freshmen and sophomores alike proved that they can swim with the best of them early into their PSAL careers. “We had some very great underclassman performances. We had freshman Kai Mandelbaum go a 1.03.85 for the 100 breast and sophomore Bryce Lin go 55.22 for 100 free to name a few,” Tolpina said. The underclassmen showed great potential and composure on a relatively big stage against Bronx Science. Under the tutelage of the upperclassmen, as well as the coaches, the underclassmen will be looking to etch their names into the Stuyvesant record books and add to its storied history.

The Pirates have four meets left in the regular season, and they are looking to build steam and confidence on their way to the playoffs. They have some tough tests coming up against George Washington High School, Hunter College High School, Roosevelt Educational Campus, and Bronx Science once again. The Pirates want to prolong their winning streak, which extends back to last season, and are on their way back to the chip. As the old saying goes, it is hard to win a championship, but it is even harder to defend it.