Long Beach Poly Swimming Wilson

ROUNDUP: Long Beach Poly, Wilson Swim Meet Highlights Unparalleled Tradition

Ears will be ringing across the Long Beach aquatics community for days to come. Friday afternoon’s Moore League dual meet between host Long Beach Poly and Wilson showcased one of the best athletic traditions in the city over the last century. It was the return of the epic event, which hasn’t been present in its full form for the last three years.

Wilson was going to host Poly on March 13, 2020, the day that LBUSD campuses first closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic–the swim meet was the first sporting event canceled at the beginning of what ended up being almost a full year without high school sports. By contrast, the scene at Poly Friday felt like a return, with a packed natatorium and an absolutely deafening crowd on hand for a meet that simultaneously meant everything and nothing at all.

The results were dramatic. Poly’s boys handed Wilson just their second loss at a dual meet dating back to 1972, and Wilson’s girls beat Poly for the first time in several years. Ultimately, the dual meet result won’t mean much in the hunt for the league title–that will be decided at Moore League Finals April 28-29.

But while the meet may not carry much water in the race for the league crown, the significance of the event to all in attendance was obvious.

Wilson senior Hank Rivers will swim for Cal next year and has swum all over the country at the highest levels of youth swimming. He was just a freshman the last time that Wilson and Poly got a real dual meet.

“I was caught off guard at how loud it is and all the people here,” he said. “It’s Long Beach sports, right here.”

Poly coach Eddie Kim reiterated how unique the tradition is.

“Being a club coach and an ex-club swimmer, an ex-D1 swimmer, there’s no environment like Poly Wilson,” he said. “It’s March Madness times 1,000 on steroids. Referees can’t hear and coaches can’t hear and it’s just echoing in here.”

Click here for our article about the Poly boys’ win over Wilson

Click here for our article about the Wilson girls’ win over Poly

Click here for our highlight video of the meet

Click here for a photo gallery from photographer Tracey Roman

Click here for a photo gallery from photographer Stephen Dachman

Event Winners

GIRLS 200 Medley Relay: Poly (Brys, Hong, Puckett, Sumortin), 1:55.66

BOYS 200 Medley Relay: Poly (Geer, Fourzon, Sar, Hammond), 1:35.68

GIRLS 200 Free: Sammie Hamilton, Wilson, 1:56.39

BOYS 200 Free: Hank Rivers, Wilson, 1:41.53

GIRLS 200 IM: Sofia Brys, Poly, 2:17.15

BOYS 200 IM: Colin Geer, Poly, 1:51.88

GIRLS 50 Free: Maya O’Dea, Wilson, 0:25.83

BOYS 50 Free: Gray Carson, Wilson, 0:21.41

GIRLS 100 Fly: Maya Guevara, Poly, 1:02.86

BOYS 100 Fly: Mordox Sar, Poly, 0:53.69

GIRLS 100 Free: Maya O’Dea, Wilson, 0:55.5

BOYS 100 Free: Gray Carson, Wilson, 0:46.78

GIRLS 500 Free: Sammie Hamilton, Wilson, 5:11.11

BOYS 500 Free: Evan Jue, Poly, 4:40.94

GIRLS 200 Free Relay: Wilson (Hamilton, Grover, K. O’Dea, M. O’Dea), 1:41.53

BOYS 200 Free Relay: Poly (Geer, Fourzon, Pruett, Hammond), 1:27.7

GIRLS 100 Back: Sofia Brys, Poly, 1:01.24

BOYS 100 Back: Colin Geer, Poly, 0:51

GIRLS 100 Breast: Nina Gonzalez, Poly, 1:13.47

BOYS 100 Breast: Hank Rivers, Wilson, 0:55.26

GIRLS 400 Free Relay: Wilson (Hamilton, Grover, Marr, M. O’Dea), 3:44.66

BOYS 400 Free Relay: Wilson (Carson, Dominguez, Torres, Rivers), 3:15.34

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Mike Guardabascio
An LBC native, Mike Guardabascio has been covering Long Beach sports professionally for 13 years, with his work published in dozens of Southern California magazines and newspapers. He's won numerous awards for his writing as well as the CIF Southern Section’s Champion For Character Award, and is the author of three books about Long Beach history.
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