Coronado High’s Samuel Quarles went against the best in the state this past week after an impressive showing at the San Diego CIF Division II swimming championships.
The Cal-bound senior, who wasn’t able to compete last year because of COVID, placed second overall in Boys 100- and 200-yard freestyle races at the 2023 CIF Swimming & Diving Championships in Fresno.
Quarles flew to a 43:17 time in the 100 free, but was runner up against Ethan Harrington of Palo Alto, who set a state record of 42:92 to repeat as state champion.
Quarles recorded a 1:35:69 mark in the 200 free, which was won by Rex Maurer of Loyola at 1:33.84.
And it’s likely Quarles will be seeing more of the two state champs as Harrington and Maurer are committed to Cal’s rival Stanford, according to the online site Swim Swam.
Quarles performance, which included a 200-yard freestyle relay that didn’t make it into the finals, notched 34 points for the Islanders.
Top 20 finish in state
That allowed the Coronado boys to tie for 19th with Davis High School out of 85 teams.
“Samuel was a big part of the team’s success. Other than just all of the points he was able to score, he did a lot to encourage his teammates and help them get better.”-Coach Paul Folts.
“Samuel was a big part of the team’s success. Other than just all of the points he was able to score, he did a lot to encourage his teammates and help them get better,” Coach Paul Folts said of Quarles. “They were able to learn from him by watching his performances and knowing that he was going to throw down some big swims helped inspire them to rise up themselves.”
Folts credits the team’s overall success to the comradery and togetherness they possessed, explaining that the way teammates held each other up was crucial.
“These kids did a lot to encourage each other and be their best so they could contribute to the team. They also made the season a lot of fun for each other,” he said.
Folts continued to echo the team’s philosophy of comradery, choosing “better together” as the phrase to describe this year’s team, explaining that although swimming is an individual sport, support from teammates is still pertinent.
“Over the course of the season everyone started to understand the team aspect of swimming,” He said, “Even though it’s just you in the lane during your race, your individual performance is a vital part of the team succeeding and this is connected to how you hold yourself every day in practice.”
Prior to the state championships, the Coronado High swim team had high expectations, but even Quarles was taken aback after the Islanders set a combined 18 season bests – including two CIF records – at the San Diego CIF meet.
“It has been a long time since I have been as shocked as I was.”-Samuel Quarles after records he and teammates set.
“It has been a long time since I have been as shocked as I was after my 100 free in finals at states, and the feeling of improving each week thanks to work with my coach was a great feeling,” he said.