Swim Dives into Season Defending their CIF Champions Title


Sevilla Tovar

Juniors Tatiana Dorrestein(left) and Sophia Knowles(right) on the dive block about to start their event on March 10.

Sevilla Tovar, Editor-in-Chief

   Playing despite sub-optimal weather and bonding through a shared passion, UC High’s Swim Team has been making waves in competition. Defending their two-year streak as CIF Champions, both athletes and coaches are projecting a victorious season.

   Varsity Captain Senior Alek Cucak said, “This season has been going well so far. That being said, we did lose our first meet, but I’m hopeful that we can come back and make a run for our third CIF title in a row.”

   Junior Tatiana Dorrestein said, “I think the team is going to do really well this season. I suspect we have a good chance of winning both Leagues and CIFs again since we still have such a strong team.”

  “This season has gone very smoothly. We have a much smaller girls team and lots of new freshman boys but overall a really awesome group!” said Varsity Coach Jennifer Ryan.

   Junior Molly Ryan said, “This is my third year swimming varsity swim for UC High. I’m anticipating a good junior high school season. I hope to have a fun and successful time, and possibly win CIF again.”

   Junior Justin Griffith said, “This is my third year swimming for the school. I’ve swam on varsity all three. Something memorable from this season was when we faced off against Coronado High back in March. It was an interesting meet because we were swimming and competing in the rain. I had a very really fun time.”

   The team has already been anticipating their CIF debut. Dorrestein said, “I am expecting to swim the 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle and relays at CIFs, as I already have the auto qualify times in both, and I finaled in both events last year.” Dorrestein added, “Dual meets usually only take a few hours, but the bigger ones like CIF can be a whole day.”

   Last year, the construction of the Standley Aquatic Center swimming pool was completed, and it is designated for use by the UC cluster’s schools and the UC community. However, this is the first time the team will be able to utilize the facility for their entire season. Griffith said, “Last year, we only swam in the new Standley pool at the end of our season. It’s really nice having the pool dedicated to our team for the entire season.”

   Swimming has been a lifelong hobby for many of these athletes, most of whom also swim for a Club Team. Cucak said, “I’ve been swimming competitively for the past eight years. I joined the swim team my freshman year and I’m now in my fourth season, my second as Team Captain. My best events are 200 IM [individual medley, an event consisting of four strokes in the following order: butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle], 100 backstroke, 100 freestyle, and 50 freestyle.” Dorrestein shared that she had been swimming since she was six years old.

   The team offers many opportunities for the players to bond. Cucak said, “My favorite memories from my time swimming for UC have to be the countless swim meets and team bonding events where I’ve gotten the chance to get closer with my teammates.”

   “Practices vary in intensity and what you do from day to day, but all practices have some sort of warm up, heart rate set, main set, technique, which includes turns and dives, and a cool down,” said Dorrestein.

   Griffith hopes that anyone interested in joining the sport takes the opportunity. He said, “If you’re interested in joining the swim team, do it. We’re always open to new swimmers and we’re a really supportive group.”