Swim Teams Stay Optimistic in Tough League

Armed with high hopes and ambitious goals, the swimming team started their season strong. They have no plans to slow down as they continue to compete in the upper De Anza division after moving up last year.

“Although we haven’t won any dual meets yet, our team is performing at a very high level,” sophomore Albert Gwo said.

The team has already competed at multiple meets with a league record of 0-4. They continue to prepare for the rest of the season with practices every day. The boys team often practices at 6:30 in the morning on Wednesdays as well, adding onto their already full practice schedule. Practices vary in length depending on whether the team completes fast, short workouts meant for speed or endurance workouts to build stamina.

“People are just more motivated,” co-captain senior Samantha Le said. “We have to really prove ourselves and I think everyone gets that.”

There will one more meet before the league meet and CCS meet. Throughout these meets, the underclassmen as whole, alongside the veterans of the team, have been proving themselves to be extremely valuable members.

“Fast freshmen are always an asset,” co-captain senior Jenna Gavenman said. “They boost our relays [and] give us extra points. They definitely will help us make a stand in our league.”

Freshman Hana Brett is one of these freshmen; she is noted to be one of the fastest on the team as well as having qualified at the USA Swimming Winter Junior Nationals along with sophomore Albert Gwo earlier this year.

“I hope this season…I can help bring my team to CCS in relays and individual events,” Hana said. “I know my team aspires to qualify in CCS, which we so far have in some of our relays, and place higher than we did last year at CCS.”

Albert also has high hopes for the season; he noted that even though the season may be difficult, he is excited to see how meets like the League Championships and CCS turn out.

“It’s definitely tough and a completely different experience being in the upper division and having to race many of the best swimmers in the nation that are also your team-mates outside of school,” Albert said. “I’m training hard for my All-American cuts in the 50 free 100 free and 100 fly, as well as working towards my goal of winning CCS in the 50 and 100 yard freestyles.”

Despite these individual goals, the swimmers are still looking to improve even more as a team.

“So far, I’ve been noticing a great improvement in swimmers that attend practice regularly, which is something that our coach, Seth Tasman, has been aiming for us to do,” captain junior Sean Nguyen said.

Other than these basic improvements, there is not a particular set goal. According to Jenna, both teams just hope to prove that they belong in the faster division.

“Our relays look to outperform other teams but other than that, we just want to score enough points at each dual meet to show that we belong, whether we win or lose,” Jenna said.

The team is not only focused on improving competitively, but are also working on becoming closer as a whole. The five captains of the girls team agreed that a huge goal this season is to build a more supportive and team-centric atmosphere through leading by example. Besides Jenna and Samantha, the other co-captains are seniors Amanda Choy, Paige Casas and Casey Vanneman.

“We cheer more, we have more pasta feeds,” Jenna said. “I think it’s really important to have that camaraderie because if you feel like you have a team of people behind you cheering you on, swimming becomes more about working together. I firmly believe that with more support from each other, our team will perform much better this year.”

In addition, the boys team is working on improving team spirit as well.

“Spirit can come easily once my teammates have more confidence in themselves in swimming,” Sean said. “Speed and motivation for the most part go hand in hand. For example, when a teammate gets a best time, or pushes hard during practice, I always do my best to commend them for their effort, which I would like for other teammates to do as well. This would build a positive attitude in the swim group, and encourage teammates to keep becoming faster.”

The underclassmen find this to be particularly helpful when adjusting to their roles in the team and performing during the meets.

“Since over half of the varsity team are seniors, it is important that the lower classmen get to know their teammates,” Hana said. “This takes some of the pressure off and allows us to have more fun during meets.”

With team spirit and motivation at an all-time high, the swimming teams are on the path to success.

“I’m very excited to see how our team competes at League Championships and CCS,” Albert said. “I know we will have very successful swims at both meets.”