The student news site of Whitney High School in Rocklin, Calif.

Whitney Update

The student news site of Whitney High School in Rocklin, Calif.

Whitney Update

The student news site of Whitney High School in Rocklin, Calif.

Whitney Update

Men’s and women’s varsity swim teams place in Sections, move to Championships while breaking records

Crouching at the end of the lane, Ara Cobres, Juliana Chinzorig and Rachel Lee cheer for their teammate while she completes her backstroke on April 19. Photo by Debbie Dettner

Finishing as third in the SFL for the first time ever, the men’s varsity swim team finished Sections by breaking school records and placed in Champions, alongside the women’s varsity swim, who have now placed third in the SFL for the third year in a row.

On April 19, the men’s and women’s varsity swimmers competed in the annual SFL swim Championships in the section placing third overall, guaranteeing themselves a place in the CIF Championship.

“It feels great to see the accomplishments of your programs,” Coach Kari Ustaszewski said. “We have young kids that are going to be coming in that are quick and our team is going to be young so now there going to be juniors and seniors, it would be awesome knowing we’re going to be in that third place knowing the other teams are going to take one and two cause that would really be a Championship for ourselves.”

Setting goals throughout the season, Ustaszewski encouraged her team to lower their times, swim faster in drills and improve overall performance in order to get them ready for each meet, focusing on one game at a time. Starting too early or performing a stroke illegally immediately disqualifies swimmers and would place the team at a lower score. An illegal stroke can consist of not touching the wall during multiple laps, pulling on a lane line for an advantage, two false starts in which swimmers start early and a variety of different kicks that can’t be applied to different styles. For example the butterfly stroke requires both legs to be kicking at the same time rather than a dolphin kick where both legs are together. Each stroke is different in body composition and execution. 

“We do a lot of interval training, so we work on a certain time or a set [and] we go ahead and do challenges,” Ustaszewski said. “[We do] sets where you go as hard as you can and tap out. We do a lot of underwater work, starts and turns—we primarily focus on individual strokes they might be swimming in the race.”

Dedicating time to their form and speed, four medals were awarded and school records were broken in both the men’s and women’s varsity swim. William Titley broke two records for the 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly stroke, winning a third place medal for his accomplishments. Alongside Titley, Jackson Begley broke two school records of 50 meters freestyle and 100 meters freestyle. Titley, Begley, Andrew Stanton and Jake Tinkler broke another school record in the 400 relay.

“The culture is nice —all the guys are supportive of each other,” Titley said. “We hype each other up [by] talking before and after the races.”

Swimmers are placed in lanes with others who have similar times from meets and races during practices. Ustaszewski does this in order to challenge her teams and to have all programs practice together; creating a competitive environment.

“We’re fortunate that our pool is big enough that we can do all levels together and all programs together,” Ustaszewski said. “We do have to be creative with scheduling our diving teams to come in, using lanes for that and then we go ahead and we group and out people in intervals by their speed so they challenge themselves.”

Addelyn Tinkler, a varsity swimmer who’s been competitively swimming for seven years and playing club for the Wolverines at Sierra College, is big in supporting her team.

“Well, everyone just supports everyone because why not,” Tinkler said. “I think we’re a really close community cause swimming isn’t a very popular sport, especially in high school, so we help each other all the time.”

Both varsity swim teams placed third, with Oak Ridge placing first in women’s and second in the mens, and Granite Bay placing first in men’s and second in women’s in Sections. Saint Francis and Davis will be added to the league as future competition. With these new leagues being added to the section, Ustaszewski plans on focusing on depth during future practices based off of teams they have played this year.

“We are adding three of the fastest aquatics team programs,” Ustaszewski said. “We’re going to have to face people that are even harder and faster. So what we are going to have to do for ourselves is getting some depth by developing some kids to be even faster, but [we have to understand that] we’re probably not going to be that competitive against those groups. We’re really going to base it off of the teams we played this year and if we can be competitive and beat them and move up against Oak Ridge and Granite Bay that would be a huge success for us.”


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