When asked how it feels to be the fastest sprinter in Moore League history, Wilson senior swimmer Mia Tedesco responded, “It’s not true.”
Although the Moore League has produced strong elite swimmers, such as Olympian and Wilson alum Jessica Hardy, according to Tedesco’s 50-yard freestyle time, she was wrong. At the 2017 Moore League meet, she set a meet and league record in the 50 free with a time of 23.37, earning the title “fastest ever” in the history of the event.
“It’s extremely exhilarating thinking of it like that,” Tedesco said. “I’m really proud of the accomplishment and couldn’t have done it without my team.”
Tedesco came to Wilson strictly wanting to be a water polo player, but says she fell in love with competitive swimming after her first trip to the CIF-SS Division 2 swim finals. As a sophomore she finished fourth in the 50, swimming a career-best at the time, 23.99. The following season she bested that finish with a time of 23.56 to earn third place in the 2016 Division 2 swim finals. After her junior season, Tedesco and Wilson head coach Maggi Twinem set the unthinkable goals of breaking both the 50 and 100 free Moore League records. After breaking the 50 record, Tedesco fell just shy of Hardy’s record in the 100 set in 2003. Tedesco’s time of 52.26 was just .15 seconds off of Hardy’s time.
“She had the talent and the gift to go a long way and she put in the work,” Twinem said. “She’s been our workhorse and it gives me great satisfaction to see her accomplish her goals.”
Tedesco capped off her high school career at the CIF-SS Division 2 swim finals last weekend. She finished fifth in the extremely fast 50 free championship final with a time of 23.81. Crean Lutheran junior Elise Garcia won the event, setting a Division 2 record with a time of 22.66. Tedesco’s career-best time set at the Moore League meet held up as the third-fastest time this season.
“My body was taxed and I was emotionally spent from the Moore League finals,” she said. “There’s so much adrenaline going during the league meet because you’re swimming with and for your teammates. It was hard to get hyped for CIF.”
In her final race as a Wilson Bruin, Tedesco competed with teammates Ruby Prosser, Paige Gurich and Delainey Whelan in the 200 freestyle relay consolation final at CIF. They finished eighth with a time 1:42.73 and although it wasn’t their fastest time this season, Tedesco says she wouldn’t want to go out any other way.
“It was sad and very emotional because it was my last race,” she said. “But finishing with a team event and finishing alongside some of my best friends was magical.”
Tedesco finishes her career as one of the most decorated swimmers in Moore League history. She’s a four-time league champion in the 50, to go along with her three CIF-SS Division 2 medals in the event. She’s also a three-time league champion in the 100, with three appearances in the CIF-SS Division 2 consolation final.
“(Tedesco) has been a dominant force in the sprints and I’m sure the rest of the league will be glad when she graduates,” Twinem joked. “Her work ethic inspired her teammates and they looked up to her. She was a selfless individual the moment she stepped on campus and the program will miss her.”
Tedesco signed with the University of Hawaii, where she will compete next season as a freshman. Competitors and coaches alike say the scariest part of her success throughout her career is that she has very little club experience because of her time playing water polo. She says she’s looking forward to getting stronger and focusing solely on her specialty events, which could drop her times even lower.
“I fell in love with the team and I’m excited about the possibilities,” Tedesco said about college. “I get to go to college and do something that I love. It doesn’t hurt that it’s in Hawaii, either.”