Hillcrest swim team hits their stroke: comradery carries team to state

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There are many student organizations and clubs that we constantly hear about on the afternoon announcements; we hear about the latest football game, who won the soccer game, and what service project Interact is working on. A team we don’t hear about very often is the Hillcrest swim team, who have consistently placed in various events throughout this year and years before.

Senior swimmer, Rebecca Brandt, has been on the swim team all four years of high school despite attending Booker T. Washington High School. She has been swimming competitively since she was three years old and is attending the University of Houston next year as a member of their women’s swimming and diving team. She dedicates most of her free time to swimming; she practices once a day for two and a half hours every day of the week except Saturday. It’s no surprise that she has won district and regionals in the 200m Individual Medley and the 100m Butterfly events this year and is advancing to state for both of them.

“I love that even though our team is small, every single person on the team works so hard,” Brandt said. “We all genuinely enjoy swimming and having fun together and doing our best. Also, I love how positive and optimistic Coach Woodie is; she always keeps us going.”

Other members of the team that have especially excelled this year include sophomore Fabiola Roman, sophomore Kayla Corpus, sophomore Julissa Pineda ,and senior Cameron Hatten. This year, Roman placed 7th in the Individual 100m Breaststroke, 2nd in the Medley Relay at district along with Corpus and Pineda, 15th in the 100m Freestyle, and 1st in her heat of Freestyle Relay along with Corpus, Brandt and Pineda. Corpus placed 5th in the Individual 200m Freestyle, 2nd in the Medley Relay, and 1st in her heat of Freestyle Relay. Hatten placed 10th in the 50m Freestyle at District. It is safe to say that the team is nothing short of successful when they are constantly encouraging each other.

“I like swimming with my teammates because they encourage me to do better and not give up.” Roman said. “I always have fun with them and with my coach.”

This year, the members of the Medley Relay team were faced with an obstacle that nobody could have predicted. At districts, the team was supposed to be comprised of Corpus, Pineda, and Abigail Cardenas, but Cardenas was injured in an accident in the weight room. Pineda was asked to step in and take her place because of her injuries. The team was able to advance to regionals after district where Cardenas was able to return to her place on the team. This example of teamwork and camaraderie is not abnormal to experience when being a part of the swim team.

“Swimming is a great way to make friendships that last beyond school,” Hatten said. “Your team will always have your back and always be there for you.”

Although the team members practice only two times per week due to transportation issues, their results at districts and regionals prove that they are successful and will continue their success for years to come. Congratulations to the Hillcrest swim team and all that they have accomplished this season.

Delaney Shiu, a student at Hillcrest High School and editor of the Hillcrest Hurricane, the school’s student-run newspaper, wrote this article.

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