UC Swim Team Dives into the New Season


photo courtesy of Sam Hanaki

The whole UCHS Swim and Dive Team at Standley’s Aquatic Center in University City.

Alyssa Harris, Staff Writer

The UC High Swim and Dive Team is trying their best to follow up their successful last season where they finished as Division II CIF Champions.

   Most players believe having a good attitude as well as skill is very important. “Swim is a mix of both skill and attitude. Some people are more skilled, while others have a better personality. Having one without the other isn’t the best option. That’s why I feel it’s best to strive to have good skill and attitude in the sport,” said Senior Morganne Byrnes. Senior Captain Florence Arevalo added, “Even though having the skills, technique and strength is very important, those who excel in this sport have a great attitude and are able to psyche themselves into a race and think towards success.”

   All would agree that last season was memorable and joyful. “Last season, CIF was an exciting event to be at. We only had eight girls and many of us were swimming multiple individual events and relays. Our biggest competition at this time was Cathedral and the points were neck and neck the entire meet. On top of it all, it was a one day event so preliminaries and finals were swam on the same day. We had swimmers doing almost eight events total that day. Despite this, everyone showed up in good spirits, competed for their spot in finals, and placed as high as they could to score points for UC. What really sealed our win was that the team took first place in the 400-meter-free relay. That gave us the title by just two points,” said Arevalo.

  The team works very hard to beat their toughest opponents. Byrnes said, “Our tougher rivals are Bishops, Cathedral and Coronado.” Arevalo continued, “Historically, our toughest rival is Cathedral. We already won a dual meet against them this year, so we are in pretty good shape.”

 Both captains try their hardest to motivate the team. Arevalo said, “I think the captains [herself and Junior Alek Culak] really help motivate the team and keep our momentum going. We make sure to include everyone, plan team bonding events, cheer when we can and just be a positive support for the rest of the team.”

   During their practices, the team works hard to sharpen their skills. Byrnes said, “During practices, we work a lot on strokes. Depending on the day, we do sets based on particular strokes, distance, swimming, etc. It really depends on what the swimmers and coaches feel we need to work on.” Arevalo said, “Practice usually consists of warmups, some drill and technique work, and then a main set with sprints or endurance focus. At the end of practices, we usually do some starts, dives and relays for some fun sprint work with our teammates.”  

   Byrnes said, “Some star players would definitely be a couple of the club swimmers. One of these players is Katherine Hazel, because of how gifted and dedicated she is to the sport. On the other hand, we have a lot of newer swimmers who are the perfect examples of being a great teammate like Kaitlyn Dennis.” Arevalo added, “I think our star athletes this year have to be Kathryn Hazle and Filip Dedoevic. They both have had really great swims so far and Kathryn just won an award at the Ben Hedburg invitational last March 26.” Senior Ryan Gedminas added, “Jeffery Harrington and Lucas Cowman are crucial to the team’s success.”