Written by Ariel Pan
Thee swimming team is off to a strong start following the boys’ team’s Central Coast Section (CCS) championship win last year and the girls’ team’s second-place finish. Although the boys’ team lost many seniors, varsity girls’ team captain Grace Tai is confident they will rebuild. “A lot of freshmen came up and that helps the team,” Tai said. “As for the girls, we’ve been rebuilding and our team is still pretty small. But we didn’t lose that many people last year, so I think we’re on track to do better this season than we did in the last.”
Besides an increase in team bonding events, like team breakfast after Saturday practice, Tai would like to see more involvement in competitions. “One of my biggest goals for the team is for no one to miss events since, when you miss events, you’re kind of throwing away points,” Tai said.
Swim coach Mark Hernandez is in his 20th season of coaching, and although he enjoys the challenges coaching brings, he has taken a few steps back since the arrival of head swim coach Kyle Accornero in 2015. “I think he’s more detail-oriented than I was—he’s got a more specific area of focus and as far as last year to this, I think he has raised expectations,” Hernandez said. “There was a period of, ‘Okay, we have to get used to how we’re doing things,’ and now that everyone’s sort of used to how we do things, he’s able to go different places with the same principles.”
The end of the season, however, is bittersweet for the seniors. “Sometimes, I still feel like a freshman on the team, but it’s definitely nostalgic looking back,” Tai said. “I was looking at the schedule and realizing that there are only two or three more home meets.” Seeing the seniors graduate is bittersweet for Hernandez, as well. “They have been champions many times over, and they’re going to take with them a lot of experience and a lot of pride in the program,” Hernandez said. “I’m going to really miss that about them.”