Swim and Dive Teams Star at District Meet

By Victoria Novoa, Photographer

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  • Effie Castel ’24 races the 100yd breaststroke to a third place finish. As only a freshman, Castel’s point contribution made a huge difference.

  • Shaving .32 seconds off of his high school best time, Benjamin He ’23 finishes with a 56.81 100yd fly. He came in 12th overall in this event.

  • Sonny Wang ’23 drops a monstrous 44.54 split on the 4x100yd freestyle relay, making up over three seconds. Wang also earned swimmer of the meet.

  • Dillon Shadowen ’24 races to a secnd place finish in the 100yd backstroke. Shadowen was also the integral backstroke leg of the winning 4×50 medley relay.

  • With a 52.92, Grady Radcliff ’23 secures second in the 100yd fly. Radcliff’s sprint fly also helped the Westwood 200yd medley relay secure first place.

  • Racing on the 4x100yd freestyle relay, Shireen Gore ’23 splits a speedy 54.81. This relay secured a spot at Regionals, placing second.

  • Racing to a new best time by over four seconds, Arsh Gupta ’23 finishes his 200IM. With new rules implemented this year, each swimmer only had one attempt to advance to Regionals.

  • After years of hard work, Benjamin Truong ’21 celebrates breaking the 1:00 barrier in the 100yd breaststroke. With a third place finish, Truong will be able to swim it again at the upcoming Regionals.

  • Swimmers Sadie Runeman ’21, Shireen Gore ’23, Angela Ruan ’23, and Ayame Castel ’23 partake in their pre-relay tradition of touching fists. The Warriors had a wildly successful district meet.

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The swim and dive team triumphed at the district meet on Thursday, Jan 21. The girls’ team, the boys’ team, and dive team all took home first place at the district championships. 

This year, the district meet was a lot different than what most of the swimmers were used to. Instead of being held at Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center, it was held at the YMCA Camp Moody pool. To keep the meet short, they only held prelims, meaning that the swimmers only had one chance to try and advance to Regionals. 

“It was pretty nerve-wracking,” Ayame Castel ‘22 said. “We were all going as fast as we could during our races because we knew that it was going to be our only shot.” 

Although the district meet looked different than it has in the past years due to COVID-19, that didn’t stop the Warriors from conquering their events. The girls’ medley relay, which consisted of Shireen Gore ‘23, Sadie Runeman ‘21, KyAnh Truong ‘21, and Emma Bierley ‘22, broke the school record and got first place with a final time of 1:46:28. Dan Vinnik ‘22, Grady Radcliff ‘23, Max Vinnik ‘22 and Sonny Wang ‘23 worked together in the 400-yard freestyle relay, taking home first place with a final time of 3:12:18. 

“It was amazing seeing ‘Westwood’ on the scoreboard right next to the first place sign so many times,” Bria Rowe ‘22 said. “Everyone was so happy, [and] it’s definitely a meet I’ll always remember.” 

Not only were Warriors taking first place in their events, but they were breaking records and winning awards around the board. K. Truong won both her events as well as the Girl Swimmer of the Meet award. Runemanwon all her events as well as broke the school record in the 200IM (individual medley). Dillon Shadowen ‘24 broke the freshman record in the 100-yard backstroke. Wang won the Boy Swimmer of the Meet award. Lastly, Shweta Doraisamy ‘23 won the Girl Diver of the Meet. With all of these accomplishments, the team couldn’t be more proud of one another. 

“I knew from the start of the year that we had a really strong team,” swim captain Shreyush Shankar ‘21 said. “I’m so proud of how we did this year, and I can’t wait to see what else we accomplish in the future.” 

The Warriors will compete at the Regional Championship meet at Rockwall, Texas on Feb. 4-6.

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