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est. 1930

The Wildcat

est. 1930

The Wildcat

est. 1930

The Wildcat

Record Smasher: Swimmer Brandon Kow Shatters Two 32-Year Old Records

Jacob An
Brandon Kow warming up for a race against Foothill on April 17. Three days prior, Kow broke two BOHS swim records that had stood for 32 years.

One of the first things visitors see when walking into the Wildcat pool deck is the Board of Records, a green and gold sign that lists the fastest swimmers in BOHS history. 

The newest addition to this roll call of record-breakers is senior Brandon Kow, who set the new standard for the 200-meter and 500-meter freestyles at the Crestview League Championship finals on April 26.

Kow broke his own records — 1:40.41 in the 200 and 4:35.85 in the 500 — that he had set two weeks prior. 

“Having my name on the Board of Records means so much because I never [even] had a varsity letterman jacket, and now there’s going to be a lot of people who will know my name,” Kow said.

In the 200, Kow lowered his record-breaking time by a second, a “major drop,” according to Kow. 

The senior narrowly surpassed his 500 record. “I was also proud of my 500 time, but I think I could’ve gone faster in the end because I only beat my time by 0.03 seconds,” Kow said. 

The previous records, set by Tim Burstrom in 1992, had remained untouched for 32 years. 

Brandon Kow at swim’s Senior Night on April 17. (Andrew Andrade)

On April 13 and 14, Kow broke Burstrom’s (’92) records in back-to-back races at the Meet of Champions at Mount San Antonio College (Mt. SAC).

Kow shaved 0.83 seconds off of Burstrom’s record. 

“There were a lot of good swimmers that I was racing against, so I think they pushed me to go faster, which gave me my first record-breaking race,” Kow said.

On the final day of the meet, Kow edged Burstrom’s 500 record time by 0.3 seconds. 

Gil Rotblum, swim head coach, said, “I’m super excited for [Brandon]. He really deserves this.”

Rotblum held off on putting Kow’s name, time, and record on the Board of Records after the Mt. SAC meet, because he was “confident that Kow would break his own record.” Rotblum was proven right because just two weeks later, Kow broke the records again.

At Crestview League finals on April 26, Kow took first place in every individual event he participated in, which earned him the title of Crestview League MVP.

“I honestly didn’t know if they were going to choose me as the meet MVP, but I am so happy that they did,” Kow said.

Kow has since shifted his attention to California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) preliminaries, which begin today at Mt. SAC. Prelims determine who advances to the section finals.

Kow qualified for two individual events and two relays. Heading into the meet, the Wildcat senior is ranked first in the 200 and third in the 500.

“It’s crazy to think that I’m the fastest 200 swimmer in all of CIF,” Kow said.

Teammate Kyle Franks, sophomore, said of Kow’s record-breaking season: “I think it’s amazing that he broke the school record; breaking the record once is incredible, but breaking it twice is almost unheard of, but if anyone could do it, Brandon would be the one to do so.”

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About the Contributors
Siena Codekas
Siena Codekas, Sports Editor
Jacob An
Jacob An, Photographer
Jacob got his first camera last December, and has been developing his photography skills by capturing the beauty of everyday things through landscape and portrait shots. His hobbies include flying airplanes, Muy Thai kickboxing, playing the bass guitar, and scripting games.
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  • Jerry codekasMay 1, 2024 at 8:37 pm

    Great personal interview , good to see such individual accomplishment

  • BrittanyMay 1, 2024 at 7:09 pm

    The title and introduction of this article grabbed my attention and then wouldn’t let go as I continued to read. It is so exciting that this student broke a 32 year record! This article was very enjoyable to read. The writer is extremely talented and the Wildcat team is very impressive!

  • ToriMay 1, 2024 at 6:31 pm

    Such a cool story and athlete to spotlight, I enjoyed reading it and am amazed! I think this article being released just prior to CIF was a smart move that will get students excited and showing Kow support for the big meet.

  • Karen CodekasMay 1, 2024 at 6:18 pm

    Siena continues to amaze all of us. This is another well thought out article that makes me feel like I know this swimmer and can’t wait to see how he does going forward.

  • NickMay 1, 2024 at 5:45 pm

    Great article and accomplishment!