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Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

Swim and Dive Dominates in District Opener

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  • Tense and listening for the start on the blocks, Leah Zhang ’26 readies herself for the 500 free.

  • Blasting off the wall, NamAnh Truong ’26 prepares to take her team to victory during the 200 Medley Relay.

  • Pushing ahead, Sophia He ’25 accelerates ahead of her opponents in the 200 Freestyle.

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On Friday, Sept. 22, the Swim and Dive team competed in the district fall opener at the Round Rock Natatorium. Each year, the Round Rock opener is a chance for the Warriors to assess their District opponents and to showcase their hard work over the past weeks of training. 

Starting off the meet with a thundering cheer, the team huddled together—seniors in the middle, underclassmen forming a ring around them. Captain Dillon Shadowen ‘24 initiated the first cry of “we say west” as the rest of the seniors joined in, and the underclassmen shouted back “we say wood”. After two cycles of alternating “wests” and “woods”, the whole team jumped to the center and threw down wood signs, hyped up by the surges in vicious, hungry energy. 

Though this was the first official meet of the year, awards have already started to rain. Divers Jazzlyn Vaughan ‘26 and Katelyn Rowe ‘24 each competed 11 dives and claimed seats in first and third place. 

“The hardest dive I did was probably my back-double,” Rowe said. “My reverse didn’t go as well as it normally does, but I did make up for it in my back dives and inward dives. My inward dive pike scored the best.” 

After diving, the swimmers were ready to secure the win in overall points and ground their presence among other teams in the District. Sophia He ‘25 proved to be an ace for the Warriors as she received podium spots in both relays, her 100-Yard-Back, and her 100-Yard-Free. Josh Lee ‘26 snatched first in the 50-Yard-Free, and Steven Ma ‘25 landed victorious in the 200-Yard-Individual-Medley. 

For the events that land the most points—relays—Vandegrift was the biggest challenger. The Women’s 200-Yard-Medley relay consisting of NamAnh Truong ‘26, Leah Zhang ‘26, He, and Jaden Steen ‘24 crushed the other teams, leaving a wide gap in the last 50 yards as Steen soared to first place 4.42 seconds ahead of the Vipers. On the Men’s side in the 200-Yard-Freestyle relay, Julian Rusk ‘27, Shadowen, Lee, and Harrison Tater ‘27 inched by with a 0.91 second lead rounding off to a 1:29.13 overall time. 

Per usual, each swimmer had at least two relays and two events to swimwhich often meant it became more of a mental challenge than a physical one as the day dragged on. Ending the meet with the 4×100-Yard-Free relays, everyone who had finished their day lined up by the sidelines and screamed encouragement at the thoroughly exhausted swimmers who were determined to make one last fight.

“The group dynamic makes it very important to us to show up for our team and support each other, and I think that’s a great motivator,” Rowe said. “I don’t think I would’ve even started diving if the swim team wasn’t the group it was.“

With a successful start to the year, the team looks forward as they near Championship Season. 

“I think we’ve set a really good foundation,” Zhang said.  “I think Coach [McBrearty] is happy where we’re at and I think we’re all happy where we’re at.” 

The Warriors will compete next on Oct. 5th in the MavWood Meet at the Round Rock Natatorium. 

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About the Contributor
Valerie Zhang
Valerie Zhang, Reporter
Class of 2024
Because of writing, the spontaneity of ideas that pop into my head in the middle of the night has transformed me into a night owl. Throughout the late hours, I cultivate my obsession with period dramas, sports animes, and pictures of swim practice sunsets. Other hobbies include learning languages, lifeguarding, and sleeping!

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