YISS MS Swim Team captures championship

by Jason Van Galder, Yongsan International School of Seoul
Stripes Korea

The stars are still hanging in the night sky, the traffic of Seoul at a quieter hum, the alarm clocks ringing at 5am as the devoted swimmers of YISS wake hours before their peers, let alone most of Seoul, as they make their way to the often cold water of YISS' swimming pool; The day in the life of a YISS MS Swimmer.

Tracking over 140,000 meters, 140 kilometers of swimming first semester (not counting the swimming our swimmers accumulate after school) the MS swimmers of YISS and their hard work came to a testing point this last weekend as YISS hosted the first ever Middle school All-Star Championship where the elite boys and girls, from all over Korea and from the KAIAC league, converged in a highly tense and much anticipated swim meet.

The kids had trickled onto the campus grounds with a solemn tone and a seriousness thicker than the water they were about to swim into. Never had they been tested in this way as they had added pressure from the parents and classmates peering down from the spectator seating hanging over them at the pool.

And then it happened...

The echoing sound of the starters beep blasting loud as the backstrokers of the girls medley relays responded with an explosion off the walls rocketing underwater. WIth a few moments of silence the first girl pops up to commence her first stroke and then the second, third, and the rest...racing... not hearing the cheers and screams of their teammates.  With such single minded focus, one leg after another, until the final leg of the relay, the YISS girls raced to the finish to a school record breaking time and setting the first of many All-Star records.

The first relay set the tone for the rest of the meet, but not without challenge. The boys, absent several key swimmers, were challenged in every event. They had reason to be concerned as they played second fiddle to an outstanding SIS boys team, but something happened stepping into the last relay that no one saw coming.

Determined to finish strong, the first leg of the YISS boys 200 Free Relay went out with a bang and raced to an early lead. The second leg equalled the effort and built on the lead. SIS boys then came back with an outstanding performance in the third leg.  The Middle School season came to it's finish, in that final leg, as the field of swimmers raced to the wall where our boys 200 Free Relay finished with a school record as the pool erupted in cheers!

The final outcome of the meet? The YISS MS Swim Team finished and kickstarted the first All-Star Championships by winning it! 
1st:    YISS  806 
2nd:   SIS     667  
3rd:    KIS     316

The follow girls won the Girls Overall Championships:
Rachel Kim
Rebecca Kim
Meredith Bacon
Yoona Choi
Jeri Kim
Jocelyn Ra
Lina Pak
Jiyu Shin
Kelly Yun
Yehjee Kim

School-wide Record:
Rebecca Kim, 12 years old:  50 Fly    35.08

The following swimmers won their individual events:
Jeri Kim
Rebecca Kim
Yoona Choi

The following swimmers set YISS Records:
Kevin Rhee
Leo Mattos Brentano
Sebastian Elizondo
Hyunsue Kim
Jeri Kim
Kelly Yun
Jiyu Shin
Rebecca Kim

Congratulations on a hard-fought season! Go Guardians!

-Coach Van Galder and Coach Fritz

Subscribe to our Stripes Pacific newsletter and receive amazing travel stories, great event info, cultural information, interesting lifestyle articles and more directly in your inbox!

Follow us on social media!

Facebook: Stars and Stripes Pacific
Flipboard: Stars and Stripes Community Sites

Looking to travel while stationed abroad? Check out our other Pacific community sites!
Stripes Japan
Stripes Okinawa
Stripes Guam

Recommended Content