Diving into the swim season

Caitlyn Virgillito

Through vigorous practices and lively team bonding activities, the swim and dive team have prepared themselves for their season ahead. The team has celebrated their accomplishments this far in the season by spending time together at team sleepovers. “We did press on nails, watched movies, talked, drank Red Bull and coffee, and five other girls and I pulled an all-nighter,” junior Bella Pantano said.

The sleepovers have been an enjoyable event for the majority of the team. “My favorite memory this season, by far, has definitely been the sleepovers. Everyone on the team is so nice, and I know that we have so many future leaders on this team,” sophomore team manager Maddie Randby said.

Marian is currently the best team in the district with a 4-0 record. “The team has improved this season by getting state and secondary qualifying times,” Randby said.

The Maran swimmers and divers have competed at state for 46 years and won 13 championships and nine state runner-up titles. The team has even more sizable goals this season. They want to win another state championship and improve in their individual events. The team will be competing at Metros from February 7 to 9 at Millard South and Millard West. The state meet will then take place on February 22 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.    

This season, Pantano went to a national meet in Texas and broke the state record in the 100 Backstroke.

Sophomore Jojo Randby has also achieved a lot so far in the season. “I broke the Burke Invite meet record in the 100 Breaststroke, but I would say that my main accomplishment is being a part of the greatest team on earth, and I can’t wait to see what the season brings,” JoJo said.

The meet environment is high in energy and spectators motivate the swimmers and divers to do their best. “My favorite memory was cheering on the swimmers at the Westside dual meet. My friend, junior, Sarah Cronin (one of the photographers), and I cheered on the deck the whole time and lost our voices from screaming so loud. It was a super exciting meet,” junior diver Mariesa Beal said.

Senior swim and dive spectators, Emma Mandolfo and Katie Banark love the spirited meets as well. “Swimming is actually a very difficult sport. It takes a lot of practice and endurance,” Banark said.

“It’s amazing to see the swimmers work so hard and accomplish their goals. I love supporting the team by attending the meets and cheering the athletes on. It is such an entertaining sport to watch!” Mandolfo said.

The welcoming atmosphere draws the swimmers to the team the most. “I joined the swim and dive team because I loved the atmosphere here at Marian. Every person on the team matters, and I love the amazing community that Marian has built around me. Not only are we athletes, but we are all friends with each other, and I think that is really important,” JoJo said.

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