Swimming for Success

Boys and Girls Swim and Dive Teams are Awarded District Champs


photo by Natalie Cohen

Taking a deep breath, senior swim captain Ashley Poulsen participates in the 100 meter butterfly event at the district meet on Jan. 17. Both the swim and dive teams ranked first in the district, and are moving onto regionals. “It is exciting knowing we won districts because we are one step closer to state,” Poulsen said. “We are anxious about how regionals will go because we have been very close in years past. Last year the boys team lost first place and got second by half a point, so it will be an exciting meet coming up.”

Ally JohnPress, Reporter

The smell of chlorine in the air, shouts from coaches on the sidelines, water splashing up from the pools. After weeks of preparing, both the girls and boys dive and swim teams were named district champions on Jan. 17.

Preparing for districts included long workouts after Christmas break to up the team’s yardage and get back into shape, such as 20 x 200s, a physical and mental challenge because of the distance, according to senior swim captain Ashley Poulsen. Then, each teammate worked individually on what they needed to do for districts, some people did short, fast training, such as 10 x 100s, while others continued with the long workouts.

“[To prepare] for districts, we started tapering a little bit,” Poulsen said. “District is an important meet, but most people had a good idea of what they needed to do to make it to regionals and get us the win, which is what we did. Now that districts is over, we have two weeks of hard work to get everyone ready to swim at regionals, which is a faster meet and good competition.”

For junior swim captain Kaiya Wilkinson, being on the team can be stressful, but satisfying when her swim times improve. 

“I think just the fact that when you swim, you can just forget about the world and it’s just you and your thoughts, although often sometimes I end up with a song stuck in my head,” Wilkinson said. “Then there are also races where [they are] so fast and you get up on the block with complete confidence knowing exactly what you need to do and not having to think at all, and sometimes that is nice too.”

Swimming isn’t all the team does, as they mess around at practice and meets, and hangout with each other at home or for pasta parties. Earlier in the year, the upperclassmen “kidnapped” the underclassmen and took them to breakfast.

“I am going to miss the people on the team most of all,” senior swim captain Cooper Gilkey said. “If I really want to I can always get back into the pool and continue practicing, it is the people that are being left behind. I have become close friends with a lot of teammates, and that sense of competition and camaraderie between us is what I will lose next year.”

The team has worked hard together, and the long morning practices at 7 a.m. have paid off. 

“We knew we could do it, but I think we all felt really happy knowing it,” sophomore Chloë Martinez said. “We all had some really close races and it’s just a relief to know that we really made it.”

The teams have qualified for regionals, which is a prelims and finals meet being held on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. The top sixteen from prelims move on to finals and from there the remaining two go to state. 

“I am excited to see how everyone does, and there should be several exciting swims,” Poulsen said. “There will for sure be some close races, and some exciting moments for those who qualify for finals and then hopefully move on to state.”