Mastering the stroke

Swim and dive begins their new season


Photo by Aparnna Manoj

Swimmers practice their strokes with partners during their morning practice session. The swim and dive’s first meet was the GCISD pentathlon on Sept. 29.

Starting off with the GCISD (Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District) Pentathlon on Sept. 29 at the LISD Eastside Aquatic Center, the swim and dive team has begun preparations for a new season.

Swim and dive started practicing at the beginning of the school year. After losing all of their senior swimmers and divers to graduation, both teams have started off the year as young teams.

“The new freshman class has been really good to be around, because it’s like we have already been together for a year,” junior Matthew Alvarez said. “On meet days we don’t take it easy, we always act like it’s a regular day and go harder. But once we get toward the big events, that’s when we taper down and let our bodies rest [in order to perform well].”

The team is working toward bettering its performance for big competitions such as TISCA (Texas Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association), the district championship in January,  regionals and state.

“The challenge is going against experienced teams,” dive coach Sherry McGuire said. “I’m really happy with the team I have, although I would love more boys. As long as they’re willing to learn, I’m happy to teach them. The desire is the key part of it.”

The dive team is going against a big competitor this year: Southlake Carroll. Using TiVo, a video recording program, dive is able to review their performance and improve. After a performance in an event that is in a higher area of difficulty, the divers can send it to the All American Divers association for consideration for scores.

“We have the hardest region,” McGuire said. “Our district meets are like state meets. Southlake Carroll is really strong, because they took first, second and fourth at state last year. So, because of that, I’m not going to bring as many divers as I would normally bring to regions.”

Although swim and dive are considered individual sports, the motivation from teammates is what keeps swimmers/divers going when in the water. Multiple members from the team line up and cheer each individual or pair on during their event.

“The struggles mainly come from [swim being a full body sport],” Alvarez said. “If one of your body parts hurts, the next day it’s going to be the other. It’s mainly when we have to do sprints after doing a really hard workout. It’s that motivation that goes away once you feel your body’s energy start going down. That’s why the people in your lanes and the teammates around you have to motivate you.”

By continuing their routine during practice and working out outside of school, the team is trying to improve its overall presentation within the district.

“We just have to stay on what we know and stick to the plan we have so far,” junior Quinten Frank said. “We make sure the lanes as well, we put people together in lanes that work well together and push each other farther. We always push each other, harder and harder, to get stronger.”