With an arsenal of top-notch water polo players leading the way, Don Heidary's Miramonte High boys swimming team finished second at the North Coast Section championships. Not bad for a group with just three year-round swimmers.

The Matadors couldn't swim past powerful rival Campolindo, which won its eighth consecutive NCS title behind coach Ron Heidary, Don's twin brother. But they beat everyone else and even broke a 25-year-old school record in the 400-yard freestyle relay. "We're fortunate to have a cohesive aquatics community where we can take the best of year-round, summer league and water polo players and create a positive and successful swimming culture," Don Heidary said. Don Heidary, who also guided the Miramonte girls team to a rare Diablo Foothill Athletic League title, is the East Bay Boys Swim Coach of the Year.

He credits a dedicated and passionate senior class to the Matadors' strong finish. A majority of the Matadors' point winners are primarily water polo players, but excelled on the big stage. "The guys who peaked at NCS had the best meet of their lives," Don Heidary said. "It was probably the best case scenario. The expectation was there and the ability was there, but the guys did everything they needed to."

Senior Tennyson May, the starting hole set for the water polo team, broke three school records this season, while junior Charlie Wiser took second in the 100 breaststroke at NCS in a time under the previous section record. The season ended on a high note when May, Wiser, Albert Miao and Kyle Weikert teamed to break a 25-year-old school record in the final race of the season, the 400 freestyle relay at the NCS meet. It was the only school record that was still in the books from before Heidary took over the Miramonte swimming program 22 years ago. "I really wanted to see this group break that record and they did by a few tenths of a second," Heidary said. "It was a goal we had set in the beginning of the year."