The Last Swim
Senior athletes express their feelings as the season comes to an end.
On March 29, the MVHS swimming team played Los Gatos HS at MVHS and held its annual Senior Night to honor all senior athletes of the team. Some seniors were excited, others nervous, but most were nostalgic. To learn more about how they felt, read the story below.
At 3:11 p.m., the speakers boomed with loud music, the songs blending with excited laughter that echoed throughout the pool deck. The swimmers lined up to practice strokes, diving into the water once they heard coach Evan Brown yell, “Hut!” Other members of the crowd lined up to get snacks from tables and watched the swimmers glide through the water without making a splash.
Before the meet began, the swimmers gathered by the poolside, creating a makeshift tunnel with their arms. The seniors ran through the tunnel into purple and gold streamers, while other swimmers and onlookers cheered. As the clapping and cheering died down, the swimmers returned to their positions, ready to begin the meet.
The meet officially began at 3:38 p.m., with the two teams, Los Gatos HS and MVHS, settled on opposite sides of the pool. With fists in the air, the MVHS team carried out a loud cheer and near the bleachers, the LAHS team did the same. The players turned their heads from time to time, gauging their competition. Some jumped in the air, trying to calm their nerves.
And with that began a series of races, ranging from medley relays to individual events; the MVHS Varsity girls defeated Los Gatos with a score of 105-80, but the MVHS Varsity boys lost to Los Gatos HS with a score of 88.50-96.50. The point-value system is based on a swimmer’s position; the higher the swimmer places, the more points they will attain for their school.
Look at the gallery below to view photos from the meet.
For senior Florence Yang, this was her last time swimming at MVHS. Although she’s excited for what’s coming next and looks forward to her college plans, she feels nostalgic leaving the team, knowing that the friendships and memories she’s made will soon become a thing of the past.
In particular, she remembers her first 500-yard freestyle race, an event all new swimmers must partake in as part of tradition, and how
her goggles snapped right before she was about to dive into the pool. She recalls the embarrassment in the heat of the moment and how she had to ask one of the members of the opposing team for goggles. She then realized that they were prescription goggles and that she would have to complete her event with a sense of dizziness.
Yang says that it’s moments like these that she will cherish most when she leaves MVHS.
“Just the wacky memories I’ve made on this team, it’s been really awesome,” Yang said. “Swimming is a really individual event, and for us to have a hundred people on the team, it’s really interesting and fun.”
Similarly, senior Kiril Leckrone feels a mixture of sadness and relief as he swims his last race as an MVHS athlete. He believes that the experiences and the people he’s met, both from MVHS and from other schools, are what made his swimming career all the more worthwhile.
“Just meeting so many different people that you only get to meet in high school and sharing those experiences through athletics mainly, through water polo, swimming, diving [has] been a great experience,” Leckrone said.
Leckrone advises incoming members to not be afraid to try new things. Even though he has been swimming since he was seven, water polo and diving were sports he’d tried for the first time entering MVHS, and he believes that the hard work he put into them has payed off.
“Anything that you try, any new thing is going to be difficult at times, but at the end, now that I’m a senior, all [those] hard, difficult moments were worth it because ... you grow as a person through those experiences and I think that’s what you have to take away from it,” Leckrone said.
Correction 4/10/18 5:30 p.m. A previous version of the story that appeared on April 9 incorrectly stated that Evan Brown is the head coach of the swim team. Instead, it is Troy Nissen.