Swim and dive race to first place


Photo by Gabriel de Souza

Roslyn Jefferies, senior, takes a break during a rigorous swim practice.

Ananya Thekkemelepatt, News Editor


With the new fall semester comes fall sports, and the OHS swim team is here to make the 2022-2023 season better than ever.

Ensuring that they reach their goals, the athletes keep breaking through barriers and encouraging each other in and outside the pool.

“Now that I’m a senior I can tell the younger teammates to create that supportive atmosphere…I’ve improved a lot, I definitely feel like I’ve gotten out of my shell,” said Chandler Miller, senior. 

This year the team has a new set of senior captains and this being their final season they have begun to reflect on how they have  improved as athletes over the years.

“Freshman year my flip turns were so bad, my butterfly definitely improved, my coach [and I] did a lot of technique [practice],” Miller said.

Through the years and seasons, the swimmers have grown by learning from each other, despite being a solo sport.

“It’s a more individual [sport] but we still cheer on our teammates, just helping each other out,” Miller said. “Each year in the swim community we’re doing team bonding, supporting each other on the sidelines…I can help the younger kids coming in.”

Each sport has its struggles and swim is no different. Staying confident in your skills and continuing to push through the challenges is something the swimmers are adamant on accomplishing.

“Pushing for the relays and just getting my time lower for those. Sometimes you just hit a brick wall and you can’t get a faster time,” Miller said.

Mental adversity is just as important to overcome as physical adversity, and each swimmer on the OHS team continues to work past any struggle this season brings.

“I tend to get in my head, so I’m working on that, but it’s still a part I have to overcome,” said Marli Brown, junior.

Pushing yourself to reach your goal is healthy but it can also lead the swimmers to become too focused on other teammates’ performances.

“Last year I struggled a lot with comparing myself thinking ‘Oh I’m not as good as them’”, Bauer said. “It’s hard when you’re racing and you don’t come first so I’m still working on that but it’s definitely gotten better now that I’m realizing to appreciate others talents too.”

Sportsmanship and connections are also crucial to any team, and due to the size of the OHS swim team, it becomes even more important.

“The team’s really tight for being a team as big as it is,” Brown said. “I’ve enjoyed it a lot more.”

With how unique this team is, swim creates a diverse community of students and athletes.

“The fact that it’s large means there’s a lot of different people you get to meet from around the school,” Bauer said.

Bringing all sorts of people together, the team is filled with unique connections and allows for people to get out of their comfort zone.

“It’s a really large team so it is kind of hard to connect to people sometimes but this year I’ve been stepping up and going to all the team bondings,” Bauer said. “The team is definitely really supportive and I feel like I’m creating friendships with the people on the team.”

As each of the OHS swimmers take on the new season, they have realized how much they have grown from where they started.

“I definitely had really good captains who led the way for me last year. I was a junior captain so seeing the senior captains [last year] I got to learn,” Miller said. “I feel like I’m still learning, but I’ve grown throughout the years.”


Along with swim, OHS has its very own dive team, but this team was not just shaped like every other athletic program.

“So me and my friend, since we knew the school didn’t have one, started it sophomore year,” said Allie Gardiner, senior. “Last time they had a dive team was 2018, I think, so we called the district because we were really adamant about starting a dive team.”

Though the team is together, dive is uniquely separate from swim with its different flips versus swim’s different strokes.

“In my opinion it’s one of the most unique sports, you’re doing flips and twists unlike a lot of other sports,” Gardiner said.

But since OHS did not have its own dive program set up, the team actually practices with Boulder Creek High School, creating a unique team relationship between swim and dive.

“[Team dynamic] definitely got better this year, it was honestly kind of rough the past two years, we weren’t communicating very well with the swimmers,” Gardiner said. “This year, both our coaches have made it that we feel more connected.”

This being two of the divers’ senior year, they have reached and surpassed many of their goals this season.

“This year I’ve beat my high scores multiple times because I feel more comfortable with the board,” said Gardiner. “My mental attitude…I remember being scared my first year diving cause it was so different from gymnastics which I was previously doing, I’m definitely a lot less scared of diving.”

Since the OHS divers are separated from the swim team, they have gotten exceptionally close and are each other’s cheerleaders during meets.

“My goal this season is definitely for all three of us to qualify for State and have more team camaraderie,” Gardiner said.

As the divers accomplish more goals the rest of the season, the seniors hope to leave the team with enough skills to continue and grow the team.

“When I leave the dive team next year I want to make sure it keeps going and that there’s more people brought to it,” Gardiner said.