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Review: Peninsula Athletic League Swimming Championships -- June 5, 1998

by Keith Peters

San Mateo, CA - Matt Messmer is one of the fastest swimmers in the CIF/Central Coast Section. Give him a deficit and he'll make it up. Give him a lead and he'll hold it. Being fast, however, isn't worth much if one is tardy.

As fast as he is, Messmer was late for a race during the Peninsula Athletic League finals last month at Aragon High School (San Mateo, CA). While the mistake was more embarrassing than costly--Menlo still swam away with the league title.

With senior Lance Fenton taking over first place during his third leg of the relay, victory was a lock with Messmer swimming anchor. When Fenton touched the pool wall, however, Messmer was not on the starting block.

Messmer was running down the pool deck after spending too much time in the warmup pool. By the time the Menlo junior got to the block and dived in, the Knights had fallen from first. While Messmer quickly made up some of the deficit, Menlo still finished fourth. Menlo-Atherton won in 1:36.55.

That slipup also cost Menlo a chance to win all but two events at the PAL meet.

"We had some goals coming in, and that was trying to win every event," explained O'Malley, who's never had a team that had a chance to achieve that goal until this season.

From Palo Alto Weekly