Warrior Swim and Dive Honored at End of Year Banquet

By Victoria Novoa, Photographer

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  • Matthew Allen ‘23 and his family sitting at their own picnic table listening to the senior speeches. Allen ‘23 and his family brought their own food so they could enjoy it during the event.

  • The warriors and their family sit and attentively listen to the All State winners. Each family brought their own picnic table and food to minimize the spread of germs.

  • Benjamin Truong ‘21 listens as his family gives an emotional speech about his childhood and future. The Turong family mentioned how proud they are of their son’s swimming career, and how they are sad to see it come to an end. Truong is going to go to UT Austin in the fall.

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On Saturday, April 12, the Westwood Swim and Dive team hosted their annual end of the year banquet. Due to some restrictions caused by COVID-19, the banquet this year was held outside and each family was required to bring their own picnic table as well as food. Although the banquet looked different than it has in past years, the team still made the most of it. 

“Although we couldn’t all sit together, it was still a fun night,” Matthew Allen ‘23 said. “We still all got to see each other and talk, and I’m glad that we even got to have a banquet this year.” 

The theme of the banquet this year was ‘Diner En Blanc’. All the swimmers and their families dressed up in white and brought their own dinners. The booster club members (an organization made up of parents whose kids are part of the team) decorated the outside picnic area with fairy lights and more, making it look fancy and welcoming.

“It was really nice seeing how our parents decorated the area,” Bria Rowe ‘22 said. “Everything looked so beautiful, and with everyone dressed up in white and matching, we really looked like a team.” 

To commemorate the seniors this year, each of their families gave speeches about their swimmers. Most of the parents talked about how their child got into swimming, as well as where they see their swimmer in the future. With a few tears being shed by parents, they each ended their speeches saying how proud they were of their senior. 

“It really meant a lot to me hearing what my mom had to say in her speech,” Grace Forshay ‘21 said. “It was really sweet of her, and just reminded me even more of how much I’m going to miss her in college next year.” 

Following up the parent speeches, Coach Matt McBrearty would speak about each individual senior, and reminisce on some fond memories he’s had with each of them. 

“I’m really proud of our seniors this year,” Coach McBrearty said. “Giving a little speech about each of them was the least I can do, I’m really going to miss this group.” 

Towards the middle of the banquet, there was a small break in order to announce awards and records. In total, 19 swimmers and divers made the academic all-state team. As for team records, the Warriors broke the girls’ medley relay and girls’ 200-freestyle relay. Individually, Sadie Runeman ‘21 broke the girls’ 200 IM and girls’ 100-back records. KyAnh Truong ‘21 broke the girls’ 100 butterfly, and Sonny Wang ‘23 broke the boys’ 50  and 100 freestyle records. Other awards that were given out were Most Improved, won by Halli Hewett ‘22, Grace Hewett ‘22, and Nate Thomason ‘23, Diver of the Year, won by Shweta Doraisamy ‘23 and Justin Bruce ‘22, and more. 

“Our team did super well this year,” Shreyush Shankar ‘21 said. “I’m so proud of all our achievements, and I’m happy we all got to celebrate them together.” 

Towards the end of the banquet, captains K. Truong, Shankar, Benjamin Truong ‘21, and Runeman each gave their own speeches talking about their time on the team and what they will miss. 

“It was really cool being able to give the captain speech after always seeing other captains do it in past banquets,” B. Truong said. “I really hope I was able to connect with the team one last time.” 

Overall, the Warrior swim and dive team ended their season as district champions, mens’ regional champions, womens placing fifth in state, and mens placing 11th in state. 

“I can’t believe the season is over,” Dillon Shadowen ‘24 said. “I’m really excited to see how our team is going to look next year though.” 

Tryouts for next year’s season are to be held at Waterloo Swimming from May 18th-20th.

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