Making waves: swim team dives into season with speed

Imagine that your muscles are aching, you’re surrounded by competition and you’re fighting with everything you have, yet, instead of being on land, you’re in water.

The swim team is a busy and focused group of students, who have already swam in many meets this season, but still face district, region and state meets.

“We swim about 3,000 yards a day to get ready for meets,” junior Alex Manzano said. “[We practice] in the mornings at 5:30 and after school.”

Head Coach Mike Ortiz, who has been coaching swimming for 12 years, said conditioning on swimming is based on several factors.

“Training depends on the athlete and the type of swimmer [students] are,” Ortiz said. “You can tell the type of swimmer someone is just by watching their stroke mechanics.”

Sprinters are one type of swimmer and they practice an anaerobic workout, which involves less yardage and short bursts of power. On the other hand, distance swimmers complete aerobic workouts, which involves more yardage and reps with little rest. Practices are very intense in order to prepare for the meets.

“It takes me, [since] I don’t swim during the summer, at least two months to get back in shape for district,” Manzano said.

Whether swimming sounds like an individual contest, rather than a team effort, or vice versa, each swimmer plays a factor in the team’s results.

“This is a debate that will continue forever, but swimming is an individual sport that contributes to team success.” Ortiz said. “Seeing the successes of each individual swimmer contributes to the overall team atmosphere.”

Sophomore Jonathan Haven has been swimming for two years at Bryan High and has won many meets in his time.

“I just feel like I’m better than everyone else out there [when I win]” Haven said.

Manzano also enjoys the feeling she gets when she wins one of her meets.

“[When] you’re swimming, your muscles are burning by the time you touch the wall,” Manzano said. “You’re like, ‘Ahh, I just won!’”

Coach Ortiz enjoys meets, especially when his kids win, but it’s not all about winning for he also enjoys seeing the swimmers improve over time.

“It’s a roller coaster ride with meets, but success only comes when you can beat yourself,” Ortiz said. “Though beating the person in the next lane doesn’t hurt either.”