Swimming Through the Semester
Anyone can learn to doggy paddle, but it is much more difficult to dive into a competitive meet. The swim team puts hours into perfecting their technique in the pool, while sharing memories on land.
April 1, 2017
After a long rainy season, the skies have started to clear, heralding the season of swimming. Although there is no pool on campus, Gaucho swimmers will not be stopped. The first official meet began on March 2 and the season will end April 28. Swim is an individually-based sport; nonetheless, it incorporates team aspects, such as the medley and freestyle relay.
Sophomore Ashley Marty talks about the balance between teams and individual competition.
“[Swimming is] the best of both worlds because it’s an individual sport where you race to beat yourself and race to beat other people, but there’s also this sense of a team where everyone comes, swims, and has fun. I love swimming because it allows me to work on myself, but also be a part of something bigger,” said Marty.
Swimming, unlike a pool, is not something many people just jump into; many students competing on the school’s swim team have enjoyed the sport for some time. Although many of the students competing are returning swimmers, beginners are welcome to join as well. The school team takes whatever natural skills there are and refines them. Before joining the school team, sophomore Delaney Stevenson swam for fun and competition. Stevenson recalls her introduction to the sport.
“When I was in sixth grade, I had a friend who started swimming with the team for our gym. I thought that sounded cool, so I thought I would try it,” said Stevenson.
Marty began her swim career at a very young age, taking swim lessons when she was five. Her skill and love for the sport expanded over the years. Marty describes her background in swimming.
“I chose to start swimming because I liked being in the water and then my mom continued it for a long time, since I was so good at it. I also like swimming because it’s a low impact sport. I have knee problems and it doesn’t hurt to swim or push off the wall,” said Marty.
While Marty chose to remain in swimming with encouragement from her mom, Stevenson realized her love for the sport and pursued it on her own. Stevenson remembers her reason for continuing swimming and how far she has come.
“I really liked being in the water and I kind of suck at all the other sports. Last year, after high school season, I switched to the Neptunes, which is a team in Santa Rosa. They are very good and they are competitive. This year I’m swimming for the school again,” said Stevenson.
Only very recently, sophomore Caleb Wood became involved with swimming, but he only plans to stay on the team until senior year.
“I started swimming last year because my dad swam in high school and my sister swims, so I decided to swim, too. It helped me stay in shape while I wasn’t doing other [sports], ” said Wood.
Skill and speed are valued in swim, but it is not all about winning medals or awards; Gaucho swimmers look to achieve their personal bests in order to improve. Stevenson has had great success in the water, making varsity as a freshman and emerging as one of the fastest swimmers on the team. Part of her success comes from the energy she has before the meet; pre-meet routines are an essential way to gain energy. Stevenson recalls her pre-meet routine to one important meet.
“Last year in NBLs — the big league meet — I was top eight for both the 200 freestyle and the 100 butterfly. [The day before that] I didn’t go out. I just stayed home and carbed up by eating a lot of pasta. The morning of it is important to make sure I eat eggs or or something good for you. I don’t really have any superstitions. I usually just listen to music and stretch out,” said Stevenson.
With the season halfway completed, swimmers only have a couple of meets left. Until the end of the high school season, student swimmers will be working on improving their technique and speed for the rest of the meets.