Piling up school records


James Kil

Freshman Sofia Ramos practices her butterfly stroke.

Calvin Ru, Staff Writer

As victories against South Hills, Rowland, Chino Hills, Bonita, and Walnut High School slowly pile up, the Diamond Bar varsity swim team are in preparations for the upcoming CIF meets. With an undefeated record from the pre-season, both the boys’ and girls’ varsity teams look to dive in with hopes to claim some victories at CIF.

At their most recent meet against Bonita, both boys and girls swim won easily, 123 to 55 and 137 to 33 respectively. Senior Greg Lee also broke the school record at the Bonita meet, finishing the 100 meter breaststroke in 58.44 seconds.

“I was in shock because I wasn’t rested for this meet, but at the same time I felt relieved because I didn’t want to let my team down,” Lee said.

The DB swim team experienced an emotional meet against Claremont High School. Both swim teams honored Esme Page, a Claremont student who committed suicide the day before, by placing yellow ribbons, symbolizing the Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program, on a tree dedicated to Page.

“We have a really good diverse swim team this year. A lot of talent and all good kids and they showed that when they went to Claremont,” coach Darlys Ankeny said.

Like freshman Michael Lee and his 500 meters school freestyle record at 4:34, DB’s swim team is filled with top swimmers. Lee and sophomore Kathleen Gani recently participated in the Texas American Short Course Championships, a prestigious regional swim competition for swim clubs, and placed in the top 25 while junior Jenna Lloyd placed in the top 15.

“[The Texas meet] was kind of intense because there were only fast people and there were a lot of college people trying to make it to college competition,” Lloyd said.

Along with those swimmers, sophomores Gabby Niko and freshman William Huang, and Kelly Cheng, are pivotal components to the team’s success.

“They’ve dedicated their whole lives to the sport. They spend countless hours at practice. They wake up at the break of dawn for morning practices, and work their butts off to drop time,” senior captain Vanessa Cheng said.

The team currently works on its endurance and stroke techniques. In addition, the Brahmas have practices that consist of sprint days, where swimmers are expected to swim at the pace of a race while trying to maintain a certain time throughout each lap.

“We’re trying to get the swimmers to raise their expectations. They have to learn that they have to swim fast at practice to do [well] at the meet,” Ankeny said.