Titans Swimmers Tie Off Successful Season
Jan 28, 2016 03:45PM
● By Bryan Scott
By Sarah Almond | [email protected]
Cottonwood-Holladay - You can smell the chlorine from outside the Olympus High School aquatic center. As you walk closer, you begin to hear the faint sound of upbeat music and a deep voice yelling repetitively. The second you step foot onto the bright, open pool deck, the energy and intensity swarms you.
For you, this might seem abnormally electrifying. For the 60 swimmers that make up the OHS swim team, this is just another day at practice.
“This has been an awesome season,” senior captain Adam Gaia said. “This is the best year we’ve had in a while in terms of turnout, and we’ve got some really fast people. The last few years we’ve been building up our team, but this year we have a solid, competitive team, and we’ve been winning our meets.”
With about 10 seniors on this year’s team, the Titans aren’t lacking much in the way of leadership.
“For the most part, our team chemistry has been great,” Gaia said. “We’ve had a few little disputes, but other than that it’s been really good.”
Girl’s senior captain Emma Collins agreed.
“Overall, this is the most tightknit I think we’ve ever been,” she said. “We’ve had a lot of bonding activities like a Thanksgiving dinner and a Christmas party. And every Saturday parents bring in brunch, and we all eat together after practice.”
The team attributes much of this season’s success to their strong unity and support for one another.
“We really crushed our first few meets at the beginning of the season,” Collins said. “We had a great meet against East, but we swam faster and I think that’s because we are all pretty close.”
With practice being held two to four hours per day every Monday through Friday, and a two-hour practice every Saturday, the group has put in well over 100 hours of pool time.
“This has been a really cool experience for me,” freshman Ari Lambosa said. “This is definitely an awesome team, and it’s really helped me a lot as a swimmer.”
The Titans are one of the only teams in the valley who practices with USRPT training. USRPT, or Ultra Sprint Race Paced Training, is designed for the athletes to practice similar to the pace in which they race. Though it’s hard work, most of the swimmers are dedicated to putting in the time and effort necessary to help the team succeed.
“Essentially is just short race-paced training,” Gaia said. “The idea behind it is that high intensity training for short periods of time is better than long distance garbage yardage.”
Like any team, however, the Titans have faced their fair share of challenges this season.
“I think our biggest issue on the team is the lack of attendance and people’s lack of motivation to come to practice,” Collins said. “We’ve had quite a few kids who only show up once or twice a week and other kids who just stopped showing up half way through the season.”
“This is definitely a challenge we’ve been facing as a whole team,” Gaia said. “Sixty people say they’re on the team, but in actuality there’s probably only about 45 to 50 kids who show up regularly.”
Despite attendance issues, most of the Titans swimmers agreed that this has been a stellar season.
“I think a lot of our success this year is because of Coach Tom,” Collins said. “And also our community. It’s a great school program to be swimming for and a great community to be swimming in.”
The Titans swam their last meet against Skyline High School on Jan. 19 with hopes of making it to the 4A state championships on Feb. 12.