Boys’ varsity swimming win league

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Brenda Mehdian, staff writer

The boys varsity swim team was able to sustain their undefeated record this season and place first in league.

“The meet had an exciting atmosphere. We were all there to support one another and everyone was ready to show what they had worked so hard for,” junior Keon Yousefzadeh said.

According to senior Ariel Rafalian, the team’s strengths included the bond among the swimmers, their passion for swimming and their ability to recognize each other’s limits.

“I think it’s important for the team to be close so we all push each other to our limits. Knowing that you have a strong support group helps out a lot when you have to push yourself,” Rafalian said.

However, in addition to their strengths, according to Yousefzadeh, the team is concerned about the number of graduating seniors.

“We are going to have to work extremely hard to fill those shoes, but I am confident that the incoming freshman, sophomores and juniors will be able to rise up to the occasion and fill those shoes in order to secure another league championship,” Yousefzadeh said.

According to head coach Robert Bowie, some key swimmers included Alex Ayzenberg, Steven Turnbull, David Pokopenko, David Kotlarenko, Devyn Maggio and Mason Segal.

The teams’ goal, aside from winning league, was to put everything that they had into their swimming.

“Every swimmer had personal goals as far as times that they wanted to achieve by the end of the year. Looking at those goal times now I see that a vast majority of the guys met them. On top of personal goals, there is always the goal of qualifying for the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF),”  Bowie said.

The team was able to achieve personal and team goals by working hard during practices. Practices ran from 6:00 a.m. to 7:40 a.m. and from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. and each day the team practiced differently. For instance, on Mondays, they worked on distance while on Fridays they worked on sprints.

“Even though practice did seem grueling at times it really was only for our benefit, all the practice allowed us to improve techniques, skills, and endurance so that our muscles wouldn’t wear out,” Rafalian said.

According to Rafalian, the team entered every meet with the strategy of doing their absolute best and leaving everything in the pool.

In preparation for the CIF meets the team plans to stay mentally focused.

“We have been taking it easy in practices, mainly just getting focused and fixing all the small details. We’ve been preparing mentally more than anything. And we’ve constantly been pumping each other up, getting ready for some amazing swim,” junior David Prokopenko said.

The first CIF game will be on Friday, May 10 at Riverside. Swimmers who have qualified for CIF championships are as follows: Jamie Dodd, Amy Okada, Lorien Orpelli, Steven Turnbull, Devyn Maggio, Alex Ayzenberg, Mason Segal, David Prokopenko, David Koltarenko, Allison Kahn, Synclaire Shannon.

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