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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 Flies Through Orange and White Meet

Valerie Zhang
Taking a much-needed breath, Esha Ramanathan ’27 reaches for another stroke. As per tradition, each new swimmer to the team swam the 500 yard freestyle at the Orange versus Black meet.

On Thursday, Sept. 14, the swim and dive team competed in their first meet of the year at the Round Rock Natatorium in an intrasquad meet. 

To encourage some friendly competition, the Warriors were sorted into two teams—orange and black. Each swimmer competed in two individual events and at least two relays, which meant there was little  time to rest before they had to get back on the blocks. The fast pace of the meet, the roaring cheers sounding from the sidelines, and the high levels of excitement was a reminder of why the Orange versus Black meet is a team and fan favorite of the year. 

A surprise arrived for the Orange team the day of the meet and caused a setback as several members caught seasonal illnesses and had to be removed. However, those gaps did not stop the rest of the team from giving their full effort in trying to best their in-school rivals.

“Originally, the meet was very much in favor of one team over the other,” Captain Effie Castel ‘24 said. “However, both teams worked really hard and it was a much closer meet than expected, so it was super fun to see everyone racing, having fun, and enjoying the first meet of the season.” 

The meet was not only a chance for everyone to race officially for the first time, but also an opportunity for every swimmer to bond with and encourage their teammates in their races. 

“Abby Denison ‘26 and Nathan Chor ‘25 were almost always behind the blocks, cheering for their friends, cheering for their teammates,” Castel said. “The managers and the divers were also cheering, so that was super awesome.” 

With the support of their team and the fans on their backs, the Warriors swam noteworthy times that showed promise for the coming season. Along with the standard events, Orange versus Black also incorporated special events such as the Manager-Diver relay and a floaty relay at the end of the meet—which were periods for the swimmers to take a break and have a bit of unconventional fun. 

On a holistic scale, the meet also helped to determine what areas the team needed to focus on.

“I think we still have a lot of growing to do,” Castel said, “Just like being able to deal with failure and not performing at our best all the time. I think we need to develop our mindset, like it’s definitely something we can work with and improve.” 

The Warriors will compete next in the Round Rock Open on Friday, Sept. 22, at the Round Rock Natatorium.

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  • Landing his final stroke, Kevin Qian ’25 finishes first in the 100 yard backstroke.

  • Toes pointed, Jazzlyn Vaughn ’26 gracefully lands a dive.

  • With a burst of speed, Leah Zhang ’26 paddles with the floaty to catch up to her competition. As the last relay, it was a lighthearted finish to a great first meet.

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About the Contributor
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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