Swimming and diving teams succeed in CIF competition and Mission League tournament


Printed with permission of Darlene Bible

HANDS UP: Swimmer Ronald Dalmacio ’22 gestures to the sidelins after winning first place in the Division I 50-meter freestyle after swimming a 20.08-second race, winning by a margin of .25-seconds. Dalmacio lead the boys swimming and diving team to a 5-1 in Mission League competition.

Leo Saperstein

The boys and girls swimming and diving teams completed their seasons with 7-1 and 6-0 overall records, respectively. The girls team won every event at the Mission League Finals on April 29, and boys swimmer Ronald Damalcio ’22 earned two CIF Southern Section titles and a CIF State title.

Dalmacio won first place in the CIF State 100-meter backstroke and was named CIF Southern Section (CIF-SS) champion of both the 100-meter backstroke and 50-meter sprint. He said the boys team succeeded in dual meets with the girls team and in relay events at larger meets.

“I believe that [at] every major meet, we have given it our best, and there’s nothing more that I can ask from a team like this,” Dalmacio said. “It is something

else when you see your team, 4-0 Mission League record. Girls went to Pennsylvania as a team to

from freshman to senior [members], a swimmer that’s there for fun and a swimmer that’s made it their life’s work, come together and enjoy what they do.”

Dalmacio said he learned to be a leader over the course of the season and finds his leader- ship skills helpful in supporting younger teammates.

“Being one of the seniors this year allowed me to use all the leadership talks and lessons I have accumulated over the years and share them with this team,” Dalmacio said. “I may not have the biggest voice, and I am a bit of a softie, but actions speak louder than words, and I hope the words I share help [my teammates] learn more about themselves and the sport as a whole.”

The boys team went 5-1 in Mission League play, and the girls team finished the season with a

swimmer Donya Ghassemieh ’23 said the camaraderie within the girls team encouraged athletes’ individual success.

“The [Mission League Finals] meet itself is so fun because of the team spirit that [the school] has,” Ghassemieh said. “We decided to show up in a themed outfit, which was a button-down shirt with a tie and sweatpants. Not only that, but we cheer for each other during our races, which makes the experience super wel- coming and fun.”

Ghassemieh said athletes formed strong bonds because of loosened COVID-19 restrictions.

“Since the last couple of years have been consumed by COVID, this year has been the first normal season since [before the pandemic],” Ghassemieh said. “Being able to go to meets and practices allowed our team to get closer. We

swim at [the Eastern Interscholastic Swimming and Diving meet], which gave us an even bigger opportunity to get closer.”

Swimming and Diving Pro- gram Head Jason Schwarz said he feels privileged to coach such impassioned swimmers.

“What drove all of [the team’s achievements] was our athletes’ drive to be successful,” Schwarz said. “The success means we did the work, and the athletes are proud of what we achieved.”

Schwarz said many swimmers have begun off-season training already, and he hopes to see the athletes improve over the course of the summer in preparation for the 2022-2023 season.

“It is always sad to see seniors go, but that is the natural order of high school sports,” Schwarz said. “It is time for our younger athletes to step in for their turn, and we know they will do great.”