After sending seven athletes to CIF last year, the swimming team has big plans for this upcoming season. Led by second year coach Jonathan Carroll and the newly built Copses Family Pool, the swimmers’ emphasis this season is on improving times and qualifying as many athletes for CIF as possible.
“The major difference this season is numbers,” Henry Copses ’14 said. “As of now we have somewhere in the sixties in terms of number of swimmers signed up to swim this year.”
Copses also described many changes to the season.
“Many things have changed since last season,” Copses said. “Brennan Lee ’17 and Claudia Wong ’17, as well as Andy Liu ’14, who swam high school last year, are training. Furthermore, this is the last high school season my fellow seniors and I have with the school. To me that is the greatest difference. It is strange knowing that there is no next year for me on the Harvard-Westlake team that I have been a part of for so long, but I know, under the ever watchful eyes of Coach Carroll, the team will continue succeeding without us.”
With a 5-1 record last year, the boys’ team has a good shot at a successful season. With new freshmen and returning senior, Sydney Cheong ’14, who was out last year due to injury, the girls’ team is hopeful to go better than their 4-2 record last year.
“My main goal this year in swimming has been to focus on having fun instead of putting crazy amounts of pressure on myself,” Emma Graham ’15 said. “Last year for me was all about getting one specific time and trying to make it to CIF, but this year, I have a much more relaxed outlook and I am dedicated to enjoying myself. I think as a team we always try to put together good relays and help each other out. Even though swimming has a reputation of being an individual sport, the team aspect is such an important part.”
A major difference this year, however, is the addition of the Justin E. Carr Relays, a meet held in honor of friend and teammate Justin Carr ’14, who died last year.
“We had planned to have the meet last year to break in the new pool and then with Justin’s untimely passing we still wanted to have the meet and thought it would be a good way to honor him. The coaches unanimously agreed, and Terry Barnum [Head of Athletics] supported the idea to commemorate him. I think it will provide an opportunity for his teammates to reflect, and hopefully it will get them to ramp up their game.”