Diving into victory: Varsity swim team reflects on ‘amazing’ year


Photo credit: Gabriela Ayala

Members of the swim team high-five each other during their last meet before CIF finals. This year, the team qualified for CIF finals in three divisions, the 200 meter individual medley, the 200 meter freestyle and the 100 meter freestyle.

Whether competing in 200-meter freestyle races or heading to the CIF-SS finals, the varsity swim team has broken its previous records, both in the number of students sent to CIF finals and in the number of wins the team garnered at the end of the meet. This season, the team qualified for the finals in three different categories: the 200-meter individual medley, the 200-meter freestyle and the 100-meter freestyle.

Senior Dominique Cadenas has been on the team since her sophomore year of high school and explained that this year, in particular, has been a showcase of “team ability.”

“I thought this season was really great in terms of variety,” Cadenas said. “We had a lot of freshmen, and a lot of them qualified for CIFs, which was incredible, and they did amazing.”

The team made it to CIF finals this year, with six students (Abi Houston ’22, Olivia Jarvie ’22, Thea Leimone ’22, Poppy Nye ’21, Hannah Park ’19, and Gracey Wyles ’21) competing at the preliminary meet on Wednesday, May 1. Leimone, who won the 200-meter individual medley race, echoed Cadenas’ positive feelings on the season, saying that the season was “amazing.” Leimone explained that these positive feelings helped the team go to the CIF finals.

“[We had] a good team spirit and communication… everyone was really dedicated and made sure they went to as many practices as they could,” Leimone said. “The coaches were really supportive and everyone just did their best.”

As this was Leimone’s first season on the varsity swim team, she gave insight into how she was introduced to the team, and the community it has created for her, saying “high school swimming is really fun.”

“I think, as a freshman, everything was really new for me, and I didn’t really know what to expect, but everyone on the team was super supportive,” Leimone said. “In future years, I’m just really excited to be able to… talk to incoming freshmen and just be able to experience the team as a whole.”

While this season was Cadenas’ last on the team, she also emphasized the togetherness that was fostered this season.

“It’s really sad because I think swim has been a really good community for me since 10th grade,” Cadenas said. “I’ve seen how we’ve grown in terms of… a swim family, and it felt really good to be role models for the younger girls.”