Swim team family works to meet goals


Citlali Viramontes

Conquistadore competes in the swim meet at William W. Cowan Swimming Pool.

Citlali Viramontes, Reporter

Goggles, on. Swim cap, on. Hearts, racing. Crowd, shouting. Body, filled with adrenaline. The athlete stands on the pool deck, anxiously waiting to dive in as soon as the whistle goes off. The suspense in one’s chest cannot compare to a swimmer’s desire to be soaked in victory.

Many are new to the team but that doesn’t put them behind in the season.

“We have 42 members in the team. We have approximately 25 coming back from last year,” swimming head coach Carlos Valverde said. “We are still really early in our season but they are doing really well as far as improving.”

The swim team is going through an adjustment period with new captains and members.

“We lost some really good leaders last year, some seniors and captains,” Valverde said. “I am not saying it’s better or worse, it is just different people and different ways of leading.”

Swimming captain James Guzman is ready to represent the team on his last year of high school.

I have been part of the team all my four years and have been swimming competitively for about eight years now,” Guzman said.

Being in the team does not only mean being able to swim, but making sacrifices too.

“There is so much that you have to give up in the meaning of dedication so you can have success in the sport,” Guzman said.

Swimmers must complete the task of balancing school, swimming, and their personal life altogether.

“Since swimming needs commitment it takes time from going out with your friends, or even being with your family in order to complete assignments,” swimming captain Alejandra Morales said.

The swim team gives it their all to improve as one.

“There is so much that these swimmers have to contribute-their hard work, dedication, and sacrifices so this team can be successful as one,” Guzman said. “We still carry that mentality and passion of winning every year.”

Improvement in swimmers’ abilities is due to daily practice routine and repeating basic technique.

“Learning how to be a swimmer is the most difficult thing,” Valverde said. “There are four strokes and we want every swimmer to learn how to do all four of them. We try to improve them by teaching them the fundamentals every single day.”

Physical condition is a big contribution to swimmers’ outcome in their competition.

“The training is more intense to get condition and in shape,” Morales said. “We do running, lifting, core work, situps and pushups. People don’t realize how difficult swimming really is as far as a lot of physical conditioning,” Valverde said.

School support makes a huge impact on the team’s success.

“Sometimes we have students and even our very own principal and assistant principals go out and show support,” Guzman said. “It shows you that you are not alone, you have people that have your back and will be there to support no matter the outcome.”

The swim team is ambitious to meet their goal.

“I want to be better because my plan is to make it to state and that is going to take even more hard work,” Guzman said. 

Not everything is about winning, but about having the energy to try hard enough.

“We are not always going to be the best team in the water, but we are always going to be the team that works the hardest,” Valverde said.

Confidence in winning is something the swim team is willing to achieve.

“Last year in district we beat Eastwood in some events, but they ended up beating us,” Valverde said. “We want to compete against the bigger teams that have more people to improve to that level that we know that we feel confident and we can beat them.”

No matter how experienced one is, everyone is part of the team.

“I tell them every race that every single person counts,” Valverde said. “From the freshmen that just came out, to the captains that are seniors, they are important to the team because we want to win as a team.”

“One Family One Destiny is this team’s real motto,” Valverde said.

“Nobody in this team is left out,” Guzman said. “We are all one team because we love each other and we are more like family. The rest of the captains, including myself, make sure that everyone feels that they belong to something special.”

The Conquistadores swim team is not just a team, it is a bond.

“They are my goofy kids and they just mean a lot to me,” Valverde said. “It is not just about swimming. They are great individuals and they are so much fun to work with. They mean an awful lot to me.”

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