By Soleil Cardenas
The Swimming & Diving team completed the season in 4th place at the South Coast Conference Championships.
Coach Diana Romero credits the improvement from last season to a strong class of incoming freshmen who had the ability to contribute right off the bat.
“This season we placed 4th, which is a big leap from last year. We were able to get strong swims from many of our swimmers rather than a select few such as last year,” Romero said.
Freshmen Camila Zacarias, Alina Perez, Hannah Belt, Jenny Navarro and Rianna Santivong all came into the season with competitive swims.
“They all had their own specialty and because of that they were able to establish themselves in their events,” said Romero.
“We have improved on all aspects. It is a matter of showing up to get better and to improve,” Romero said.
Despite Swimming & Diving being an individual sport, the Huskies came together and showed each other support that helped the team this season.
Romero said not all teams can come together, although it is important for a team to be able to support each other.
Sophomore Maria Robledo was an example of a supportive teammate this season.
“She (Robledo) was always there to encourage her team. It is something quite special to see how supportive this team can be with each other. I am not saying they are perfect, but they had a lot of growing moments,” Romero said.
Zacarias said the team would make it a habit to show up for each other’s swims.
“We believe team spirit makes us do better,” Zacarias said.
Zacarias has been swimming competitively for 12 years and started at Commerce Aquatics.
Throughout her swimming career, she has developed a passion for the sport. This passion pushed her to continue swimming after graduating high school, even though she had planned to stop competing.
“I did miss the competitions, and I still had goals for certain events that I still wanted to achieve,” said Zacarias.
Zacarias’ biggest swim inspiration has been Coach Romero.
“She is an amazing water polo player that has been able to see and go to so many places because of her skill and talent,” Zacarias said.
Next season, Zacarias hopes to improve her times, swim more events and qualify for state.
Zacarias will begin to prepare for next season through Water Polo conditioning.
The team will begin to prepare for summer Water Polo as many swimmers on the team participate in both.
“It is a special thing to be a dual sport athlete. Not many can say they’ve played two sports in college,” Romero said.
The team will host State Championships on campus May 4 to 6.