As the weather gets warmer, the swimsuits come out, along with the start of the swim and dive season.
Although it is early in the season, the athletes are continually training. Whether it’s
before school, or after school, the swimmers are ready to go at all times. With a strict rule of participating in about 20 practices a month, some swimmers are forced to do double days, meaning a morning and afternoon practice, or swim on the weekend. The morning practices are from 6:10 a.m to 7:45 a.m, and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Since last year, there are two afternoon practices, separating the varsity from the junior varsity team. Practices for JV are from 2:30 p.m to 4 p.m, and for varsity from 4 p.m to 5:30 p.m.
“It’s great practices are separated because there are 120 swimmers on the team, 6 lanes, and a 3 ft pool. With that being said, separation is key if we want to have efficient practices,” said Sophie Baumen, junior.
Encouraging and uniting both teams is just what this year’s captains do. Seniors Sara Lucero, Bryan Carlen, and Mary Manchester, do their best at providing team spirit for the swimmers. Being on the team since freshman year and competing with a club team, these captains have many years of experience.
Hoping to improve and continue their success, the dive team has also been training hard. Continuing from last year, Coach Kim Bartel is still holding practice at Leigh for divers from Leland, Pioneer, and Willow Glen due to their lack of coaches.
Practices for the dive team consist of a combination of both dry land exercise, and diving itself. This “dry land” exercise, in whole, just means the divers grab running shoes and either hike, run, or play games–it is exercising beyond the pool. Leigh’s practice is held from 2:30 p.m to 4:30 p.m, while Pioneer, Leland, and Willow Glen overlap at 3:30 p.m and continue until 5 p.m. To unite the teams together, and create a sense of leadership, the captains Amanda Villegas (junior) and Tina Bidgoli (sophomore), maintain a kind and compassionate spirit that spreads throughout the team.
“So far the season has been a breath of fresh air. There is a mixture of really good positive energy, and everyone is learning quickly,” said Coach Bartel.
As the season progresses, the swim and dive teams are rapidly improving, keeping the teams optimistic for the outcomes of the season.