VYPE U: College Park Swim Succeeds at Regionals
Clusters of fans and teammates filled the Conroe ISD Natatorium stands anxiously waiting for the sharp sound of the whistle to begin cheering on their team. It was finally the day that all competing swim teams had been rigorously preparing for throughout the season, Regionals.
The Region IV-6A competition was held last Friday and Saturday at the CISD Natatorium. Eight teams competed in College Park's division while there were 14 schools in attendance. After placing second at Districts a few weeks prior, the CP boy's team placed second and the girl's team placed fifth. The competition not only qualified many swimmers to compete at the state level but also provided an exciting opportunity for the last official meet of the season.
"Regionals was a great chance for CP Swim to go out and give it our all," junior Isabelle Irani said. "We had a great time swimming and had fun racing our fellow teammates and other schools."
In the midst of all the nerves and thrills, many swimmers were able to race their best times of the entire season at Regionals. All of the hours of late practices and diligent attitudes paid off as many were able to accomplish their goals from the beginning of the season. In addition, the Boy's 200 M Medley Relay team consisting of Ryan Sen, Ethan Yu, Brady Monson, and Max Oberg broke the current school record for that event and Ethan Yu was announced as the 100 M Breastroke Regional champion.
"The environment at Regionals is very exciting since everyone is pumped to swim fast and hopefully qualify for state," sophomore Abby Monson said. "My teammates and I were feeling excited but also a little nervous because we wanted to have good swims. Our main goal was to qualify for State, but we also just wanted to have fun and drop our times."
There were multiple individuals and relays that qualified to compete at the State competition on February 20th and 27th. The number of qualifiers decreased this year in response to current coronavirus conditions in the state. Typically there are 24 qualifiers for each race, but this year there were only 16. CP will send four individuals and relay teams to Austin in the coming weeks to compete for a state title. The qualifiers are Ethan Yu (100 M Breastroke), Max Obeg (100 M Freestyle), and the 400 M Free Relay/200 M Medley Relay team of Ryan Sen, Ethan Yu, Brady Monson, and Max Oberg. For many swimmers, the official end of the season allows them to reflect on the challenges they overcame throughout this unprecedented time.
"For me personally, this season was difficult finding a balance between swim and school because of how much more work there is junior year," junior Abram Allen said. "Overall as a team, I think adjusting to COVID restrictions really hurt the start of our season."
The team had to conquer many challenges this year including injuries and COVID restrictions that impacted how they practiced and competed with each other. However, in the end, the team was able to grow from the experience and display their hard work and dedication at the Regionals competition last weekend. Even though it was the end of their season for many, the hopes of next season keep the team eager."Next swim season will be different because of how many of our best swimmers are graduating," Allen said. "However, our team will be gaining a lot of new talented swimmers."