Revere swim team members qualify for district tournament

Anthony Pignataro, Business Manager

The Revere High School swim team qualified thirteen students to the district tournament and one student to the state tournament, marking a record number of qualifiers.

Through the aid of the team’s new coach Alex de la Pena, the swim team honed their technique and had a record performance at sectionals (the district qualifying tournament). Sophomore and two-year swimmer Tiger Du elaborated on the team’s showing.

“[Revere’s men’s team] placed [ninth] at Districts, with multiple personal records and improvements. At Districts, Alec surpassed the 100 free record, previously held by Seth Poitinger, and his own record in the 50 free. Schools rank based on how well their swimmers perform: First place in an event yields that swimmer’s school the most points, while second through sixteenth garners successively fewer points for his or her school. Each school’s cumulative score at the end of the meet (after twenty-some events) determines the rankings,” Du said.

Junior Camille Volk discussed why she thinks the team did better than in past years.

“This year the new coach helped all the swimmers at districts. The team has good camaraderie and several all year round swimmers. The new coach was very successful in bringing out individual best times and helping swimmers reach qualifying times for districts. Also we had a solid freshman class with four swimmers at districts,” Volk said.

Junior Alec Johnson qualified for the state tournament that took place on February 23 and 24. He further noted de la Pena’s influence on the team’s record performance.

“This year the athletic department hired Coach Alex, who has several years of experience coaching college swimmers. We were lucky to get him, and he used his knowledge to develop swimmers’ technique and racing strategies, ultimately helping the team improve. He is very adept at spotting and resolving issues in practice and critiquing races. Additionally, about half the team swam for club some time during the off season–an unusually high number– either with the Copley Water Warriors or FAST,” Johnson said.

Johnson, who has been on a swim team for 10 years, discussed the methods the team uses to prepare for sectionals, districts, and states.

“There are a ton of factors that go into race preparation. 95 percent of it is pushing myself in the pool year-round to keep building muscle mass and refining my races and technique. During the last couple weeks of the high school season we gradually bring our yardage down in a wonderful process known as “taper.” Yardage peaks around 6500 yards per practice in early January, and drops to 2500-3000 yards at the last practice, flushing out fatigue and allowing all of the season’s hard work to finally pay off. The other five percent comes from the week leading up to Districts, including proper nutrition, stretching, adequate sleep, last-minute race adjustments, and hydration,” Johnson said.

Johnson also mentioned other ways the swim team members attempt to reduce their times.

“We also shave any and all hair off the night before to reduce drag. This smooth feeling also serves as a placebo; if you feel faster you’ll go faster. Many swimmers also purchase what we call “fast suits,” water-repellent swimwear, to shave off fractions of a second for anywhere between $150 and $400 for men,” Johnson said.

Johnson, the program’s only state-qualifier, represented Revere in the finals of the 100m freestyle, placing 11th overall. The men’s swim team ended their season with a 6-3 record while the women’s swim team ended with a 1-7 record. Other qualifying members of the swim team include: Eric An, Jeremy Bonafini, Peter Grandon, Tim Grandon, Nova Meng, Margaux Miller, James Modlik, Allison Morris, and Jess Raimondo.