Arcadia Swim

2022 Arcadia Swim and Dive team.

 

After the final bell rings, signaling the end of the school day,  46 swimmers and 22 divers from Arcadia High School don’t go home. No, these dedicated and motivated individuals head to the pool for training four days a week, two hours a day – and this doesn’t include their personal training sessions.

Dive coach Brittney Blystone said the team looked strong throughout their first home dual meet and invitational – against Saguaro High and Shadow Mountain – with plenty more to come in a season that runs until state title competitions begin in November.

“We have many returning divers and welcomed many new faces to our team. Several divers are already looking to compete at state,” Blystone said. 

Those divers include previous state competitors Sophie Osika and Avery Bowling, who was honored with an SUSD All-District Athletic Award after finishing first at last year’s district meet and sixth at state as a freshman.

Swim coach Risa Moran said the swimmers also show a lot of potential. After wrapping up the 2021 Division II State Championships with the boys ranked 12th and the girls 21st, the swim program trusts its seasoned competitors to lead the way this season.

“Our biggest strength is that we have a lot of experienced swimmers who can help our newer members,” Moran said. “We had several swimmers compete in State in previous years, including Emily Dodd, Henry Ord, Kate Webster, Lola Webster, Noelle Elrod, Ella Loel, Reagan Drewett, Aidan McClure, and Ryan Mallender.”

Dodd, one of the leading point scorers at last year’s swim meets, and the rest of the confident competitors encourage newer swimmers to give every pool session their all, whether it’s for practice or a meet.

It’s a team effort as the Titans face strong competition from schools like Sunnyslope, Horizon, Cactus Shadows, and Millennium. Most of these competitions are dual meets where Arcadia faces one other team.

“The meets are full of energy, and the races alternate between boys and girls – this year, boys get to go first,” Moran said. “Our ultimate goal is to have fun and beat our previous times.”

Although there are inevitable challenges as student-athletes juggle other after-school activities and homework, the coaches are committed to making it work by being flexible and supportive. 

“We are overcoming these challenges by encouraging students to make the most of their time after school to get work done before practice starts,” Moran explained.

The coaches motivate team members by reminding them that the more practice they do, the more meets and events they will be able to compete in. As Coach Moran said, “the key to success is showing up to each practice ready to give it their all.”

At the tri-meet against Shadow Mountain and Saguaro, the girls’ and boys’ teams placed second, while the Dive Team won by default.

Teams will compete against Cactus Shadows on October 6, Chaparral, Desert Mountain and Saguaro on October 22 and Millennium on October 27.