Swim and Dive Adjust to Smaller Team and New Coach

Madeline Williams, Staff Writer

  Despite the challenges of having a small team, the UC High Swim and Dive Team performed well against tough competition, and brought a competitive edge with strong team chemistry and work ethic during this past season.

  Swim placed seventh out of thirty four competing schools in CIF. The Boys Swim Team did very well despite having under fithteen swimmers. Additionally, the Girls Swim Team only took two losses, to Cathedral Catholic High and Carlsbad High. Swim Co-Captain Junior Kai Zegar beat out tough competition and was able to land a spot at State Championships.

   Dive also qualified for CIF, but unfortunately, they were not able to attend. Senior Caption Michaela Harding explained, “One of our goals was to make it to CIF. We did qualify but since we missed too many games and some people were injured we were not able to attend.”

   Harding said, “During our season, there weren’t a lot of struggles. One of the problems was that the team size was very small. Our team has only 5 people and no guys. Since we had no guys, the other schools we competed against actually won for the guys division. Another struggle we faced was we had a rebuilding team. Some of our star players left last year and no one on the team this year had ever been on a club team.”

   This year the Swim Team has two team captains, Zeger and Senior Evie Gedminas. Both were inspired to help their teammates strive for their personal bests. Zeger explained, “I became a captain this year, because I felt that I could bring my team together to motivate each other. I influence my team to do better by trying my best during each practice and working my hardest during competitions. Despite having a small team, we all worked even harder to do better.”

Gedminas explained, “I enjoyed encouraging our new swimmers and helping them learn new things about swim.” She also explained that the sport has brought her many benefits, stating, “I’ve been swimming competitively for almost a decade, and I’m continually dedicated to this sport because of the good times I have with my teammates and the good exercise.”

   The captains have worked hard to provide not only a good environment for athletes to unlock their potential, but also to provide a positive environment. “Swim is more than just a sport, it is a way to relax and do what everyone enjoys doing. It is an extremely cheerful environment. I love how everyone cheers each other on no matter how they perform,” said Zeger.

   Swim Coach Brian Hernandez said, “I enjoy being a coach, because it’s worthwhile to see student athletes developing into better people through the spirit of competition and discipline.” Hernandez explained that he hopes these lessons get carried through to their personal development outside of athletics.

   Hernandez said, “As being the head coach at a new school, a big goal for myself was figuring out how to work with my team. I also wanted to try to make it to CIF. Another one our goals was to have one of our swimmers go State Championships.”

   Similarly to swim, dive has brought many together through a common passion for the sport, and has been a place for many to set individual goals and learn more about diving. Junior Nina Tinsley has been a member of the Dive Team since her sophomore year, and has made much progress since. During the season, each person sets individual goals. Tinsley said, “My goal was to learn five new dives, such as the front pike and reverse.”

   Junior Sophie Reddish explained, “I have done dive for two years and I love it so much. It is super fun and the best part is going to the practices everyday to just do what we love to do. It is a great way for everyone to get together but also learn about dive.”   

  “All in all, Swim and Dive had a great season. Their devotion to the team and hard work makes me a proud coach and there is nothing else I can ask for. Seeing everyone together and becoming friends makes me glad, and I hope that I taught each person something,” said Hernandez.