DANVILLE -- Heidi Poppe's senior season in the pool was a smashing success.

By reaching her individual goals at the North Coast Section swimming championships, Poppe helped the San Ramon Valley High girls capture the team title for the fourth time in sixth years and cap an undefeated season.

"Winning the team title was just icing on the cake for me personally, and I know it was a really huge deal for a lot of the younger girls on our team to get to experience that," Poppe said.

Plus, she gets her name attached to an NCS record -- the 200 freestyle relay.

It was the perfect ending to an outstanding high school career for Poppe, who has been named the East Bay Girls Swimmer of the Year.

San Ramon Valley High swimmer Heidi Poppe is photographed at the pool at Heather Farms Park in Walnut Creek, Calif., on Friday, May 30, 2014. Poppe is the
San Ramon Valley High swimmer Heidi Poppe is photographed at the pool at Heather Farms Park in Walnut Creek, Calif., on Friday, May 30, 2014. Poppe is the East Bay girls swimmer of the year. (Dan Honda/Bay Area News Group)

Poppe won the NCS title in her specialty, the 100-yard breaststroke, for a third straight year.

But this year her goal wasn't just to win, she wanted to do it in under a minute. The only other swimmer to accomplish that feat in NCS history was Las Lomas' Kasey Carlson, the national high school record holder.

When Poppe looked at the scoreboard and saw 59.85 seconds, she burst into tears of joy.

"It was funny, because I don't get that emotional very easily," Poppe said. "I was really surprised at myself, but I couldn't help it. I just couldn't believe it."

That wasn't the only highlight for Poppe, who will swim at Stanford next season.


Advertisement

She started the final meet of her high school career by swimming the breaststroke leg for the Wolves' 200 medley relay team, which cruised to victory in 1:42.69.

Then Poppe surprised herself with a strong swim in her secondary event, the 50 freestyle. She took second in 23.48 seconds after qualifying sixth.

Next, she swam the leadoff leg for the 200 freestyle relay in an even faster 23.39 seconds.

The Wolves ended up rallying past Carondelet in the final 25 yards to win the event in a section-record time of 1:33.51.

---