by Keith Peters
The Palo Alto Swim Club may be entering its 44th year of existence, but it’s only getting better with age. At least that’s how PASC coaches Tony Batis and Tish Batis see it. “Each year it just gets better,” said Tony, whose club just concluded arguably its finest season in years. “Our club is doing some pretty good things. I’m excited about the coming year.”
One reason for his optimistic outlook is having a new pool facility. Age-weary Rinconada Pool finally is undergoing a much-needed renovation, which will give the team a quality home to match its talent. The $3 million facelift is expected to be completed in the fall, just in time for the new training season.
Batis can only hope the 1998-99 season matches the success the club enjoyed this past year while it shuffled its training between four different pools.
Palo Alto High graduate Jeff Hopwood, for example, broke a Pacific Association record in the 200-yard breaststroke with a 1:59.76. That’s the fastest in the nation by a prep boy. He also moved among the 1998 world rankings, at No. 57, in the 200-meter breaststroke following his 2:18.31 clocking at the U.S. Swimming National Championships in Clovis last week.
Hopwood also joined with Dmitriy Ayrapetov, Matt Messmer and John Samotyj to lower the Pacific Association record in the 200 medley relay by more than a full second at the Far Western Championships in Concord. During the short-course season, Hopwood, Messmer, Ayrapetov and Ali Asadullah broke the association record for the 200-yard medley relay.
From Palo Alto Weekly