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Carlmont swimmers dive into tryouts with great confidence

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Two girls trying out for varsity dive into the pool to start their warm-up laps.

Two girls trying out for varsity dive into the pool to start their warm-up laps.

Mia-Isobel Craig

Mia-Isobel Craig

Two girls trying out for varsity dive into the pool to start their warm-up laps.

Mia-Isobel Craig, Staff Writer

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The bell rang for the end of the school day, and students rushed to the swimming pool. Friends conversed and shared a few laughs in the bleachers while waiting for everyone else to arrive. Today, Jan. 29, was the fateful first day of swim tryouts.

The tryouts were only to see what levels people were at so the coaches can adjust conditioning workouts accordingly.

“There are about 85 people trying out for today, and remember that we can cut you at any time,” said JV Coach Jim Kelly during the meeting before the tryout.

Both Kelly and Fred Farley, the varsity swim coach, stressed the importance of staying committed to the sport and coming to each practice.

“I usually look for players with the willingness to commit to the swim team with good attendance and effort,” said Farley.

The meeting lasted for around 35 minutes until the students split up in their respected levels. The varsity swimmers were the first ones in the pool, as the JV team was still getting a pep talk. Varsity started off with a few warm-up laps, mostly doing freestyle or backstroke and a few doing breaststroke or butterfly.

“In my opinion, the technique is most important because that’s how I got fast. As Mr. Nguyen would say, ‘It’s a direct relationship.’ The faster you get, the more your technique improves,” said sophomore Raphaelle Pelland, a swimmer who was on JV last year.

Jade Margolis, a junior, works on her flutter kicks with the varsity athletes.

After a few minutes, the JV athletes joined varsity in the pool and did a set of five 50 meter laps freestyle.

Overall, the teams seemed to have good chemistry, as friends and new recruits were talking in the pool during the breaks. For today, the coaches seemed to be working more on technique with arm placement and movement, but according to Farley, speed is the factor that determines whether a student makes varsity or JV.

Potential varsity athlete Sebastian Bessoudo, a sophomore, said, “The best way to prepare yourself is to join a club team, which is what I did. It makes you have an advantage since you’ll know what to expect.”

JV ended tryouts earlier than varsity, and Kelly was given another chance to encourage the athletes with a few playful inside jokes to lighten the tone.

“I’ve gotta say that in the years that I’ve done tryouts, there’s always some swimmers who try out that are barely making it and not really doing it; I’ve gotta say, I didn’t see that this year,” said Kelly.

He continued to give the swimmers advice and told the students what his game plan was for the upcoming season. After he finished, the new JV team thanked him, leaving the pool feeling excited and motivated for the new season.

“I haven’t been on a high school team before, and I look forward to it,” said freshman Andrea Castillo.

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The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.
Carlmont swimmers dive into tryouts with great confidence