The Hollister High boys swim team is trying to accomplish what
no other boys swim team has done before them – win a league
The Hollister High boys swim team is trying to accomplish what no other boys swim team has done before them – win a league title.

The Balers will be tested this Friday when they host Live Oak in a crucial Tri-County Athletic League meet with first call just before 3 p.m. The Acorns, who were defeated by the Balers earlier this season, have a strong swim tradition along with a strong 200 IM relay team. That’s the kind of challenge Baler head coach Joel Sims desires.

“They have some good swimmers,” said Sims of the Acorns. “It will be an interesting meet because their team is similar to ours in that they can move their swimmers around. David Dunn is a great swimmer and their IM relay will probably beat us.”

The Balers (4-0) haven’t been beaten this year as a team and are starting to become a sure bet to take the league title. They’re led by senior Greg Henneman, who has the fastest time in the Central Coast Section in the 50-freestyle of times which have been submitted thus far. Henneman, who won the Monterey Bay League championship in the 50 and 100-free a year ago, has a PR of 22.33 in the 50 and 50.04 in the 100. The 6-foot-4 Henneman’s success is amazing considering he didn’t begin swimming until his freshman year.

“Greg’s a good swimmer because of his size,” said Sims. “He has the perfect size for swimming. Plus, he has a powerful stroke. I think he can get in the Top 8 of CCS in the 50 and the 100, as well.”

Henneman has a shot at breaking the school record in both events, owned by Lars Nordstrom (’01). Nordstrom finished fifth in CCS in the 50-free, the only Baler to finish in the Top 8. His 50-free record time is 21.48 while his 100-free record stands at 47.54.

“I’d like to break the school record,” said Henneman, who will play water polo for either West Valley College or Long Beach State this fall. “But Christian Smith will break it next year anyway.”

Smith, a junior, is one fourth of the Balers’ two formidable freestyle relay teams. Both the 200 and 400 relay teams are comprised of Henneman, Smith, Nik Barr and Greg Wilson. The 200-free relay has clocked 1:33.4, while the 400-free has a best of 3:32.

“If they put it all together in one day they could break the school record in the 400 relay,” said Sims.

“We swim the 400 relay at the end of the dual meets and we’re usually tired,” said Barr. “Our time is going to improve when we go to the league meet and we have more time to rest between events.”

Barr, who signed with Loyola Marymount University to play water polo, has yet to be beaten in the 100-backstroke and 200-freestyle in league this year. His best in the 100-back is 1:03 with a PR in the 200-free of 2:01.13.

Meanwhile, Wilson, who will major in Mechanical Engineering at UC Santa Barbara this fall, has been pushing Henneman in the freestyle. Wilson has a PR of 24.01 in the 50-free and 53.80 in the 100-free.

“I expect Greg Wilson to finish second or third in league,” said Sims. “He has been coming on strong. He sometimes gets overshadowed by Henneman.”

“I think our 200-free relay is our strongest relay,” said Wilson. “We can finish in the top 12 of CCS.”

Also having a fine season is Robbie Shattuck, the best breaststroker on the team. Shattuck, a junior, has a PR of 1:04.87 in the 100-breast. He’s also the mainstay of the Balers’ 200-IM relay team.

“Robbie is a good swimmer because he works hard,” said Sims, who was born in Lebanon, Oregon, a small town near Salem. “That’s the biggest thing about him.”

“It takes a lot of endurance to be a good breaststroker,” said Shattuck. “It’s also a mind game. One has to be strong mentally.”

There is a lot of water to be tread for this Baler team. The league diving finals are May 7 with the Tri-County Athletic League meet on May 9 at Live Oak. Mark the latter date down. It might be historic in regards to boys swimming at Hollister High.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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