Swim: The return of a legacy

Kaitlyn Smitten, Sports Editor

As the 2021-2022 OHS swim season goes underway, fans and athletes are more than thrilled with their performance. Although they had a somewhat limited season last year having to deal with COVID-19 restrictions and safety precautions, this year, OHS is even more excited to see how well they can do. 

OHS swim is battling to defend their reputation of being a prestigious program, filled with close teammates and fun coaches, but sometimes upholding to such a high standard can be difficult. 

“I think our biggest struggle has been having to mix club swimmers vs. non club swimmers because we all have to adapt to the environment of high school swim,” said Rilee Vargas, sophomore. 

Vargas herself is a club swimmer and loves the competitive nature of swim, but also enjoys having fun and showing her wild side while with the team. 

“The chemistry is great on our team. We have so much fun at meets and our goal is honestly just to have a good time,” Vargas said. 

Swim may be one of the most rigorous and physically straining sports there is, which is why it is often taken very seriously but Vargas and her team want to take away that stereotype and introduce more people to the sport for enjoyment, rather than strictly competition.  

“Swim is a very small sport that doesn’t get much attention so I hope for it to become more popular,” Vargas said.

Seeing as so many opportunities were taken from athletes last year due to the strict COVID-19 guidelines, OHS swim and its athletes are more than excited to have such opportunities like state meets and qualifiers back. 

“With not having an invite since my freshman year, I’m more than ready for them to be back,” said Anden McKinney, junior. 

As McKinney enters his junior year, he plans to continue swimming to the best of his abilities, but also take advantage of all of his opportunities and still enjoy himself.

“This year I’m ready to show off what I couldn’t last year as in relays and my individual races,” McKinney said. “Have fun, do as much and best as you can because you don’t know what the future holds.” 

Although swimming is a smaller sport, the team and the athletes still strive to perform their best and compete at the highest level. 

“We have tons of new talent as well as dedicated swimmers that have been on this team for four years,” said Nathan Edlebeck, senior. 

With it being Edlebeck’s senior year, he is eager to strive to do his best this season, knowing it is his last. 

“Now knowing that there is no next season pushes me in practice and during my races. It also makes me appreciative of everything and I try to soak up as much of the high school experiences as I can,” Edlebeck said. “I’m now one of the seniors I remember thinking so highly of.” 

Knowing that you may not ever have the chance to compete again drives an athlete to be as successful as they can, Edlebeck has accepted that this is his last year swimming competitively, but knows he can leave a mark on the school, as well as a name for himself. 

“Looking back on my freshman year goals, I’m so excited to have such a strong, fast and dedicated group of kids who can bring home the title to OC,” Edlebeck said. 

Playing a sport and being part of a team requires you to be selfless and that is exactly how Edlebeck has approached this season. 

“With the combination of all of this, we’re set up for not only a great season, but also great seasons to follow,” Edlebeck said. 

Although this is Edlebecks last year at OHS, he is still excited to see how the team plays out and how they perform in the future. High school goes by in a blink of an eye and for athletes, almost faster. Learning to cherish every moment on the field, court, or in the pool, is crucial for an athlete’s success. 

“Just enjoy every moment, the highs and the lows, the good and the bad,” Edlebeck said.