My name is Isabella Carlin and I am a sophomore at The Woodlands College Park High School. I am a member of National Charity League, DECA, and am a violinist in the CP Orchestra. I am also a staff writer for the CP Paladin Newspaper. I enjoy traveling, watching Astros baseball, and trying new restaurants. In the future, I hope to study journalism and media in college. My dream is to work for a major newspaper or magazine company. I enjoy the VYPE U program because I get the opportunity to cover all of the talented athletes at my school and get to build my journalism portfolio in the process. I also enjoy getting recognized for my writing and sharing College Park's stories with the Houston sports community. This year I am most excited to cover CP baseball, football, and track!
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."
The College Park varsity swim and dive team competed at the annual District 13-6A competition on January 23rd. A small, socially distanced, group of parents and supporters lined the bleacher stands to cheer on the Cavaliers to a victory. Both the boys and girls teams turned in strong performances and finished in 2nd place. They defeated Oak Ridge, Grand Oaks, Conroe, and Willis. The team ultimately fell short to the nationally ranked, The Woodlands swim team who came in 1st place.
The team had finalists in most events including the 100 M Backstroke, Butterfly, Freestyle, and Breaststroke, along with top finishers in the 1 M diving competition, 200 Medley Relay, 200 Free Relay, 200 IM, 200 Freestyle, and 400 Free Relay. Max Oberg was named the district champion for the 100 M freestyle race.
Swimmers and divers who placed in the top four of their race advanced to the Region IV-6A Competition which will be held on February 5th-6th. The TWCP athletes who qualified are Abram Allen, Mariana Castaneda, Nate Cunningham, Corry Dautrich, David Halmy, Ellery Horak, Isabelle Irani, Julianna Lopez, David Lopez, Abby Monson, Brady Monson, Max Oberg, Ellie Rouswell, Ryan Sen, Jason Sharer, Chloe Sharpe, Morgan Wasik, and Ethan Yu.
The team will be preparing for Regionals this week and looks forward to challenging other talented swim programs in the area next weekend.