Swim team qualifies various teams, individuals for upcoming regional tournament


Junior Randi Ford comes up for air during her relay event at district. (Olivia Colchado photo)

After finishing among the top teams of swimmers at the recent District 8-6A meet, the swim team qualified five swimmers in individual events as well as four relay teams for the regional meet in Lewisville Feb. 5-6

“I expect all of them to step up and go even faster than they did at District,” head swim coach Stephanie Bernier said. “Pressure is on at a championship meet and they have to push past outside distractions  and step up to compete.”

Bernier said that the intimidation factor associated with the larger and more competitive Regionals meet is one obstacle the team will have to overcome.

“They need to not get overwhelmed by the size of the meet and instead use it to their advantage to help them race faster and better as well,” Bernier said.

The qualifying  swimmers are Garrett Smith (200 individual Medley and 100 Breaststroke), Jakobe Python (100 Butterfly and 50 freestyle),  Randi Ford (100 Breaststroke) and Alondra Gamboa (100 Butterfly). The qualifying relays are: the girls 200 medley relay consisting of  Serena Gonzalez,  Randi Ford, Alondra Gamboa and Anaya Shed; the boys 200 medley consisting of Ednilson Lemus,  Jordan Bell,  Nicholas Howard, Reggie Shed; the girls 400 freestyle consisting of Randi Ford, Samantha Giron, Serena Gonzalez,  Amanda Holmes; and finally the boys 400 freestyle consisting of Julian Bravo, Alejandro Estrada, Garrett Smith and Eddie Lemus. The girls 400 freestyle relay won a third place bronze medal at Districts.

“Every meet is a learning experience,” Bernier said. “Learning how to race, how to overcome an unexpected situation, how to get up and race when you might not be feeling your best, and how to mentally stay strong under pressure.

Prior to the district meet the team prepared themselves for the toughest meet yet.

“They knew that the pressure was on at district and that this was their time to shine,” Bernier said. “Every meet before it was a stepping-stone to the end game.”

Heading to regionals Bernier has high expectations for the team.

“I want them to take the meet seriously and perform as the athletes they are,” Bernier said. “This could be their last time to race for the season and I expect them to put it all in. We need to fine tune some technical aspects of some races and strengthen our mental prep.”

This year was Bernier’s first year as the swim coach and she says she has worked to revamp the program and push the swimmers to their maximum potential.

“The entire season was somewhat of an obstacle,” Bernier said. “And I do not say ‘obstacle’ in a negative sense. It was a journey of learning and growing and it was hard but worth it.”

As a first year coach, Bernier is more than proud of what the team has accomplished in just one year.

“I am amazed everyday of the strength and perseverance the team has shown me,” Bernier said. “Every day they rise to expectations so they have to keep raising them. They work hard to become better athletes. Their progress has been phenomenal. This is a different team than they were at the beginning of the year, and I am so proud of all they’ve done to learn. I can’t wait to see what they do next year.”