Boys swimming finishes season at State

One swimmer makes it to podium

Lilia Gonzalez and Najma Hussein

The Boys swim team made it to Class AA Finals which took place March 4 and 5 at Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center. It was a success for the team, with two out of three swimmers competing in the championships.

According to junior Miles Nordling, the competition was a relaxing end to the season. 

“(The) Sections meet is more stressful because you really have to think about what you’re doing to get into state,” Nordling said, “and then once you’re into state, it just feels like you’ve already made it.”

Senior captain Andre Barajas said he was anxious going into State preliminaries, the first round of state that dictates who will advance to championships, especially with the competition that other swimmers were bringing to the pool.

“Even though we’re not on the same team as a lot of them, getting to see how fast they’re going really helps you get pumped up,” Barajas said. “But it also makes me nervous because I’m like, ‘dang, these kids are going super fast’.” 

Although Nordling didn’t make it to the championships March 5, he was still happy with the outcome of preliminaries March 4. 

“It was good for the team. I did worse than I was expecting to do, but that’s okay. It’s still my best time overall, so it was a good meet,” Nordling said. 

With senior captains Hiro McKee placing 16th place in the 100-yard fly and Barajas placing 8th in the 500-yard freestyle, both swimmers qualified for championships. Barajas was excited to have a guaranteed place on the podium the following day. 

“I didn’t hear the announcement that I got 8th. So I didn’t really process it at first but then once I figured that out, it was really exciting to get to know that I’m for sure getting on the podium tomorrow,” Barajas said.

According to coach Amandla Forsberg, spectators being allowed to watch the competition lifted up the energy compared to last year’s State. 

“Last year there were no fans, so I think that really helps get everyone hyped, (I saw) a lot of good swims not just from our team but across the board,” Forsberg said. “So I’m glad that spectators were allowed back in safely and I think that really helped them, and a lot of the teammates came too.”

Just making it to State and being able to compete was enough for McKee and he was grateful for the experience. 

“Overall it was more fun than anything. I’m happy to be here,” McKee said. “Everyone on the team is happy to be here, even the spectators. It was just a fun meet.”

Barajas achieved his goal and placed 8th in his event at State championships, while McKee placed 11th. Forsberg said she’s proud of their performance at State and happy with the successful end to their high school swimming careers. 

“(It’s) a nice way for them to culminate their five or six years,” Forsberg said. “Andre’s been on the team for six years, Hiro’s been on the team for five years and it’s a great way to send them off.”