Tryouts end, the meets begin

Tryouts end with a team of 29 swimmers.


Crimson Scott

Five seniors will be on the swim team this year. The first swim meet will be against Rouse and Meridian on September 12th.

Let the meets begin. Swim team tryouts came to a close on Friday the 21st after almost a week, starting from Monday. Twenty-nine swimmers made the cut.

“I’m excited about being a team member and team player with my friends,” junior Maddy Phillips said. “I love all these people and I really want them to do well this year.”

During the tryouts coach Sully tested each of the swimmers a different set of skills.

“We try to spread out our tryouts over a week. So Monday through Friday we cover skills from all four of the competitive strokes and then the last two days we have time trials so I can get an idea of how fast they’re going in each event and we do an endurance set as well to see not just the level of endurance of our athletes, but really our veteran athletes,” Sully said. “If they’ve improved over the summer. Just to see how much work we have to do to get back to where they were when we left last season.”

Last year, the team was very successful and even had an athlete, junior Tanja Milanovic, go to state for both the 500 free and 200 IM.

“Probably the biggest challenge would be repeating the success of last year, or bettering the success of last year,” Sully said. “We had an amazing season last year. We took an athlete to state and that hadn’t happened in over a decade and we had several school records broken and really just a great group of kids that worked really hard. The biggest challenge this year is not being intimidated by last year and what people are expecting us to do, but rather doing what we need to do and thinking about what we need to do to improve on last season. “

A smaller team isn’t new for Leander but with a team of 29, the pressure is on to keep up with the larger teams of the district.

“We had five freshmen make it which is way down from last year,” Sully said. We had like 10 or 11 freshmen last year and this year we’ve got a humble five. They’re great kids don’t get me wrong. The numbers are just down this year. Our boys team is only 12. We have one of the smallest boys teams in the last five years and probably one of the biggest girls teams that we’ve had in the last five years as well. We have about nine sophomores that came back. That’s our biggest group, our sophomores and juniors.We also have five seniors.”

Probably the biggest challenge would be repeating the success of last year or bettering the success of last year.

— Coach Sully

The competition will only get stronger with Rouse joining the swimming district.

“I mean, our district is competitive and in our district, you’ve got Vandergrift where you’ve got 70 kids trying out for that team and all of which have been swimming since they were six years old,” Sully said. “It’s just that area, they seem to start very young and so they’re a very huge team. Cedar Park, not as big, super talented. Rouse is not in our district this year (for swimming) but next year. Vista Ridge, they’re a fast team. Burnet and Temple, they’re a little bit outside of our district but still. Just the district is our competition. That’s our focus right now.”

After four years, 5 seniors remain on the team.

“Of course I’m gonna miss them,” Sully said. “Anytime you work with any kid for four years it’s hard. I’m kinda in denial really until about February that they’re gonna swim their last high school swim meet, but it happens every year so I feel like I should be used to it. Every year it kinda hits you. I know high school drags for kids but for teachers and coaches, four years goes by very quickly. I’m sure for parents as well, four years goes by very quickly. Some of these kids, I just can’t believe that some of my kids are juniors and seniors. They were just freshman yesterday it seems. I’ll miss them but they will be uber prepared for life and to be on any team, not just a swim team. They’ll represent us well.”

Junior Daniela Carrillo Moreno, a foreign exchange student from Spain, will be joining the swim team. She brings both experience in competitive swimming and synchronized swimming to the team.

“She can’t do all of our meets but she can definitely do some of our small practice meets with us and that’ll diversify our team,” Sully said. “She’s also a synchronized swimmer in Spain so she should be able to teach us something about synchronized swimming as well.”

The first swim meet will be September 12th, 7:00 a.m. at the Apache pool in Blockhouse. They will be swimming against Rouse and Meridian.