In their final home meet against Valor and Evergreen on Thursday, January 15, The Lady Lionfish celebrated their senior swimmers with their annual Senior Night. The three schools put forth their best effort, in hopes of not only winning the meet, but also qualifying any remaining girls for the state meet in February.
Ultimately, Evergreen High School won the varsity meet, while the LHS junior varsity team triumphed over the other two schools.
“I think we’re all a little down, since the other two schools swam so well. But I also think we’ve done a great job of maintaining morale and just going for it,” said senior Emily Burch.
However, despite varsity’s loss as a whole, there were notable individual successes. Senior Megan Sanders shaved three seconds off of her time in the 100 M Butterfly, qualifying for the state meet.
“I’m feeling pretty great. It’s really exciting that I was able finish off our season here at our pool with a bang,” said Sanders.
In the past two weeks, Sanders has increased her speed and reduced her time in this event by nearly five seconds, a great feat in the world of swimming.
“It’s a little bit of a big deal, especially with so many swimmers, including myself, having injuries this season and with our overall morale being a little low at times. I really tried to just get over all the [challenges] we had this season and really just try to be here in the moment,” said Sanders.
After a strong display of diving, the LHS swimmers and divers then shifted their energy to honoring their senior team members. Senior Lady Lionfish lined up along the back wall of the pool, waiting for their name to be called so they could be escorted by their family and friends across the pool and to the purple and gold balloon arch.
“I really like that they honor the seniors since it’s their last year. It makes me feel really happy, like I’m part of this family,” said senior Azalya Gaytan.
A distinctive mark of the LHS swimming and diving program, the sense of community and positivity continues to pervade throughout the pool. Gaytan, who swam in her first meet this night, is able to remark about the support and great attitudes of her teammates.
“They’re all fast, they are all great support and they cheer everybody on. They really make you feel like you belong. My teammates are great,” said Gaytan.
With only a few more meets left in the season, the Lady Lionfish look to continue to add to their list of state qualifiers. However, in the meantime, there’s no doubt that they will continue to perpetuate positivity for the remainder of this year.