One Final Splash

Lake Ridge’s Swim and Diving Team has concluded their season after making it all the way to state. With the end of the season, the coaches and athletes have had some time to reflect on the overall season and find ways to improve for next year.

Preparing for the state meet was key, especially since the expectations are higher for being the regional champs. Throughout the season, the swimmers practice almost everyday and the intensity of these practices are rigorous. However, when it came to a big competition, the swimmers tapered down, where they would rest more often, swim moderately, and condition their bodies to reduce fatigue and maximize the performance of the athletes. Christen Bosuro, senior, has been preparing for swim meets ever since the start of school this year.

“Preparing started from the beginning of the year since August. It was just a lot of hard work and when it came down to when it was time to get ready, we were all ready to go. When we first start, practices are really hard because it’s getting us back in shape but when we start to taper, it gets easier, so we can rest our bodies so that we can be able to perform better in those meets,” said Bosuro.

The success at regionals was also a motivating factor for many of the swimmers as they prepared for state. Having the self confidence from the past events was helpful for when it comes time for the big event, so many of the athletes looked forward to the main state meet.  One of these swimmers, Joseph Pollack, who finished first in the 100 Breaststroke at the regional championships, was eager to continue this performance at the state level.

“We went to Rockwall for region, which I swam 100 breaststroke, and I got first. The success was based off of all the hard work that I put in during the whole school year and last summer. I was pretty happy with my swim. I haven’t been that fast since then, and I thought that it was a pretty perfect swim. My biggest motivation at state was just trying to beat what I did at region but it’s kind of hard to do that when you rested for more than two weeks,” said Pollack.

The state meet, though, didn’t go as planned as what the athletes envisioned as none of the swimmers qualified for finals on the second day of the event. However, Lake Ridge’s swim team is still very young, with many freshmen and sophomores that will remain on the team next year. With more development, the swim team could expect another run at state once again coming next season. Blake Kahla, Swim Head Coach, is proud of being able to experience another trip to state but is optimistic about the future of Lake Ridge Swim.

“I thought we met expectations. We have a very young team. We have a solid core of sophomores and freshmen on the team. We only graduate one boy that was on the state team. It was exciting seeing how well they swam this year, knowing that next year should have the possibility of being more successful. It is also fun representing your school at such a big stage,” said Kahla.

For the upperclassmen, there are some seniors who have finished up their careers swimming at Lake Ridge. As a senior on a relatively young team, providing some words of encouragement to the younger individuals can be useful to instill some confidence for the future. Having that prior experience swimming over the years is fundamental to guiding and keeping the other athletes on track when it comes to swim meets. Kailee Robaina, who is a senior with a younger sibling on the swim team, mentions how she uses her experience to help her teammates.

“This season was bittersweet since I’m a senior, but the year was a lot of fun. My sister is a freshman, so I always give her a lot of advice and encourage her to become a better swimmer. A lot of practice makes perfect. When you do something over and over again, you know how to do it well. Swimming is a team sport more than you think. You think that you’re swimming on your own, but your teammates will be your biggest supporters,” said Robaina.

What’s next for the swim team? Well, with the younger squad emerging, Lake Ridge’s swim team could hope to see another run at state. Last year, sophomore Solomon Goins competed at state alongside his older brother. Although he and the team didn’t capitalize on the event as they wished, he spent the entire offseason and summer to prepare for his sophomore year. Now with two years under his belt, he looks forward to improving for next year for another chance to make an impact at state.

“During the training season, conditioning, getting stronger, but I didn’t really work on technique because I already have good technique but just getting more muscle and just having more experience all really helped. My brother laid a trail for me. He did everything that I do now 3 years earlier, so he just has the foundation that I could build upon,” said Goins. “We’re about to go into a spring break, which is the only period of the year where we don’t swim but then once spring break ends, we’re just going to get right back into it for long-course season.”

In the end, the Eagles Swim Team have once again exceeded the expectations set forth for them despite coming up just short of the state finals. The commitment each swimmer makes to the sport in the upcoming offseason will allow Lake Ridge to find its way back into state. 

“I thought the swimmers worked tremendously hard throughout the season. The boys team were region champions. That is a big deal competing against other 6A schools and it paid off with how the season ended,” said Kahla. “Swimming is a big commitment. We start at the beginning of school and train hard all the way through February. I am definitely proud of each and every swimmer and the season as a whole.”