SWIMMING: Mustangs save their best for last

Gilroy's Brian Pribyl swims the 100 yard butterfly on the first

Top times eclipsed at CCS Semifinals, girls’ 200 medley relay
makes finals
Gilroy High swimming coach Tom Clark lost a bet Friday. One he didn’t mind paying forward.

“Now I have to take her to Hard Rock Cafe,” Clark said moments after Anna Brolin touched the wall at the conclusion of her 100 butterfly race at Friday’s Central Coast Section Semifinals at the Santa Clara International Swim Center.

Brolin clocked a season-best 1:00.53, breaking the 1:01 mark for the first time of the season and winning the friendly wager in the process.

The freshman began a trend of personal-record swims for the four GHS swimmers and three relay teams at Friday’s prelims, saving their top performances for the section’s premier meet.

Though the girls’ 200-yard medley relay was the only GHS representative to make it through the semifinals and into Saturday’s finals, the Mustangs’ elevated effort in the pool was rewarding in and of itself.

Friday began with the 200 medley team of Kimmy Davis, Michelle Shields, Anna Brolin and Christina Collett recording a 1:57.17.

“Did you see that?” Clark said enthusiastically. “That should get them in.”

The foursome shaved one-half second off their CCS qualifying time which did turn out to be just enough to get the foursome into the consolation finals in the 16th and final spot. They finished sixth out of eight in the consolation final on Saturday.

Brolin also took a few tenths of a second off of her 100 breaststroke time, registering a 1:10.16.

“I’m really happy that I’ve improved,” Brolin said after experiencing her first trip to sectionals. “If I want to make consols or finals, I know that I’ll have to keep practicing.”

Brian Pribyl walked back and forth on the pool deck waiting for his heat in the 100 fly, taking a few minutes to lounge on a bench in the shade, eyes closed and resting. Nearly two hours had flown by before Pribyl finally hit the pool.

Even Clark seemed to have a sneaking suspicion that Pribyl was primed for a solid race.

“I just want him to get his best time,” Clark said.

The free time may have served Pribyl well as the senior delivered an efficient 55.56 second race, taking a full second off of his seed time. Pribyl seemed to exit the pool and get to his coach even quicker, anxious to share the news of his personal top time.

“I felt really good,” Pribyl said. “When I started warm-ups i just felt extremely loose. It feels really good to do that at this race.”

Shields sprinted to a 25.81 in the 50 freestyle – her fasted electronically timed heat of the year and quicker than her 2010 showing.

“That was a good race for her,” Clark said.

The junior came back later in the day to compete in the 100 free, subtracting two-tenths of a second off of her qualifying mark with a 55.68.

Kyle Collett joined the faster-times party late in the day, posting a 58.16 in the 100 backstroke. The 200 free relay of Christina Collett, Brittney Malick, Ashley McDermott and Davis, swam in 1:50.97 – its fastest race as a foursome.

And why not end Friday with another top time? The 400 free relay – Christina Collett, Brolin, Malick and Shields – wouldn’t have it any other way in the meet finale. The group eclipsed its seed time by about a half-second.

“That’s what you train for,” Clark said. “You train for your best times at the last meet.”

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