BOYS AND GIRLS SWIM PREVIEW: Lancers look to improve, qualify for CIF


Summer Sueki

Senior Julian Boyd practices his butterfly stroke for the upcoming season after school in the Sunny Hills pool Monday, March 13.

Coaches: Keith Nighswonger (head coach/girls head coach), Sergio Dorrego (boys head coach), Jordan Jaime (assistant coach), Amanda Morris-Shaw (assistant coach)

Top Returners: Julian Boyd (12), Eden Buell (11), Samantha Burgess (11), Mia Carley (10), Daniel Kim (11), Katie Larson (11; diver), Bryce Liva (12), Preston Shin (12), Sofia Smith (12; swimmer and diver), Liam Weinreich (10)

Top Newcomers: Cayenne Bagnol (10), Thaddaeus Kiker (12), David Kim (10), Miles Kim (10),  Jessica Luna (10), Rohan Parker (9), Lina Razo (11), Kalya Salcido (10), James Sy (10)

Last Season: The Lancers ended second in the Freeway League, qualifying for CIF, in which they placed ninth. The Lady Lancers won the league and finished seventh in CIF.

Outlook: After a successful 2021-2022 season, Nighswonger said he hopes the boys and girls squads will perform the best they can.

“We don’t set having to win CIF or having to win league as a goal,” Nighswonger said. “If everybody does what they’re supposed to do, then those things will take care of themselves. We just want everyone to train consistently and beat all the meets.”

The head coach, who chooses not to designate team captains, also emphasized the importance of his swimmers’ being able to work on the basics of swimming.

“We score points for placing from first to fifth, and what we really need is for those swimmers that are in the third, fourth, fifth place range to make sure that they are technically correct on their strokes, so there are no disqualifications,” he said. “It’s making sure we’re fundamentally sound; that’s always the goal.”

Nighswonger said both teams have been preparing for the upcoming season in different ways.

“Some of the players have been playing water polo, some of them have been swimming in our sixth period swim group and some of them have been swimming with their clubs,” he said. “Everybody has been doing something to get themselves ready for the season.”

Shin, now a third-year swimmer, hopes for a successful season in which the team makes CIF and strives for self-improvement.

“I want to have fun because it’s the last swim season for me,” he said. “We’re hoping to win against Troy because earlier, it was pretty even between us.”

Now an upperclassman, Burgess said he looks forward to guiding her teammates and succeeding in the league in her third year of this sport.

“Some of my goals are just simply doing my best while leading as an example for the people around me,” she said. “With that aside, I’d love to once again win the 50-[yard] freestyle at league finals for the third time in a row and maybe even break the school record.”

Nighswonger said he looks forward to seeing what the Lancers can achieve this season.

“I’m optimistic; I think that the teams are going to perform well this year,” he said. “The swimmers are working hard.”

The swim and dive teams will compete in their first meets of the Freeway League season this week against the Fullerton Tribe, the latter at the Troy High School pool Tuesday, March 14, at 2:30 p.m., and the former at home on Wednesday, March 15, at 3:15 p.m.