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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 Makes a Splash at Regional Championships

Valerie Zhang
Tightening the gap between his opponents, Max Laine ’27 lands in fourth place with a time of 56.95. From this swim, he became the fourth freshman in Westwood Swim and Dive history to qualify for State.

Leading into the next round of Championship Season, Swim and Dive competed in the Regionals Meet in San Antonio from Thursday, Feb. 8, to Saturday, Feb. 10. The boys’ team scored a total of 217.5 points and achieved second place behind the Vandegrift Vipers while the girls’ team scored a total of 192 points and landed in fourth place. 

On the first day, Jazzlyn Vaughan ‘26, and Katelyn Rowe ‘24 competed in Women’s One-Meter Diving. Before the competition started, each of the 16 divers warmed up for 11 long rounds by testing the bounce of the springboard and the motions needed for their dives

Going against her rivals, Bianca Hutter and Caroline Holcomb, Vaughan focused on staying calm and having confidence in her training. 

“Bianca’s [Degree of Difficulty] is higher, but knowing that the top three qualify I wasn’t too worried about her,” Vaughan said. “When it came to Caroline I knew she was the one who beat Bianca last year, but again, knowing that the top three went I just tried my best.”

By the time the eleventh round began, Vaughan needed at least three points to advance to State. Strategically, she had prepared her best for last, and as she emerged from the water smiling after landing a clean dive, she saw she had earned third place with 410.80 points. 

“Because of club [diving] and not focusing a ton on high school and one-meter, the last time I did my full list was actually Districts,“ Vaughan said. “I did a little bit of one-meter here and there but haven’t done my full list in one day. But the dives I competed [in] I have had for a while and I knew how to perform them well.”

Over the next two days, the Warriors competed against the other schools in Region 7. Namanh Truong ‘26, Leah Zhang ‘26, Sophia He ‘25, and Jaden Steen ‘24 in the 200-yard-medley relay snatched first place by 0.02 seconds to the eruptive sound of cheers, 

“The relay felt pretty amazing because we didn’t expect to beat Reagan [High school],” Zhang said. “Everyone in the stadium was going crazy and we were cheering so loud for Jaden to finish.” 

The boys — Kevin Qian ‘25, Steven Ma ‘25, Raphael Wang ‘25, and Josh Lee ‘26 — missed first place in the 200-yard-medley relay by half a second but achieved an impressive time of 1:34.37. The 200-yard-freestyle relay yielded great success with Truong, Violet Hewett ‘25, He, and Steen fighting for second with a time of 1:37.38, and Harrison Tater ‘27, Julian Rusk ‘27, Lee, and Wang claiming first with a time of 1:26.19.

Within individual events, He took home silver in the 200-yard-individual-medley with a time of 2:04.33, and the 100-yard-butterfly with a time of 55.46. Truong obtained second place in the 50-yard-freestyle, touching the wall for a 23.84. In the 100-yard-breaststroke, Max Laine ‘27 became the fourth freshman in Westwood Swim and Dive history to qualify for State with a time of 56.95, Ma touched for third with a time of 56.56, and Wang sailed into first. Wang won the 200-yard-individual-medley and the 100-yard-breaststroke by significant margins, going a 1:49.02 and a 55.89 respectively to break both pool records. To award his achievements, he was given the title of Regional Athlete of the Meet. 

“I’m feeling so ready for State to watch everyone swim and to take down the school record,” Zhang said. “I think we definitely have a shot at it this year.” 

The Warriors will compete in their final meet at the UT Austin Lee and Joe Jamail Swim Center on Feb. 23. for 6A State Finals. 

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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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