Author: Layla Nguyen, staff writer, Xchange
The Pius X swim and dive team attended the Heartland Athletic Conference swimming and diving championships in preparation for State.
The conference meet offered swimmers a chance to compare their times to other schools and compete for automatic qualification.
Divers got a good first look at the difficulties their future competition will be attempting.
For freshman diver Caroline Phelan this conference was especially helpful in preparing her for State.
“It’s a pretty big meet. It gives you the feeling of what it’s like to have more people there,” Phelan said.
Out of the eleven schools in the HAC, the girls team finished third while the boys team placed fifth.
The next two weeks will be the final stretch to State on February 21-23. The gears have shifted in practice and both swimmers and divers are getting in physical and mental shape for the big meet.
“We’re going to start tapering for State so we can get those faster times,” said freshman swimmer Eli Vyhlidal.
Phelan also narrowed her focus to making little corrections in her dives during weekly practices.
Mentally preparing is another crucial step towards the championship.
“I think about it every day. It makes me really nervous,” said junior swimmer Olivia Theil. “I just think about how to swim the races and try not to get too nervous.”
Even with nerves abuzz, the team still finds time to enjoy the rest of the season. Vyhlidal thinks back to the relays he swam with seniors Jordan Coffey and Crispin Corpuz, along with junior Ethan Newland.
Vyhlidal said, “It’s been really fun so far, like to be with those seniors and their leadership.”
The Pius X swim and dive team will appear at Devaney Center to compete to earn their spot among the best in the state.