Victory Laps All Around


Athlete races to finish their lap.

Sakshi Palav, Co-Editor in Chief/News Editor/Co-Sport's Editor

As the Selma High boys’ and girls’ swim team prepares to take on Valley Championships, they focus on winning as many meets as they can. The two swim teams have had nine meets so far, with the boys’ team going 5-4 and the girls being 8-1.

“It’s hard to win meets with only six Varsity boys and five Varsity girls,” explained Coach Harold Wood, who has been coaching the Selma swim teams for ten years now. The two team’s biggest shortcoming is their number of swimmers. 

Varsity girls’ swimmer, Nina Valdez, shared the same thought. 

“Our weakness is definitely our size,” stated Valdez. “We can’t really win meets because we don’t have enough people.” Valdez—who generally swims the 50 yards, 100 yard freestyle, or the 100 yard breaststroke events during meets— has been swimming since she was three. She shared that she believes one of the greatest strengths the team has is their experience as swimmers. 

The fact that a lot of us have been swimming together since we were little is a strength because we are so close now,” Valdez exclaimed. 

Swim is a sport where individuals earn points based on their swim times and abilities. However, each individual’s points get added up towards a collective team score. This is the final score that determines each team’s wins and losses. With this, Coach Wood allocates most of practice to build each swimmer’s individual strengths.

Swimming is more of an individual sport,” Coach Wood clarified. “I can focus more on the individual swimmers and not worry so much about a team.” 

Coach Wood doesn’t have to build the team as a whole directly. He can instead focus to help solidify strengths individual swimmers already possess, which in turn aid the team as a whole to earn points during meets. 

Along with building strengths, Coach Wood also makes sure to focus on building agility and conditioning during practices. The boys’ and girls’ teams practice together. On Monday’s, Wednesday’s, and Friday’s, the teams do one hour of weight lifting which is followed by one and a half hour of swimming. Whereas, on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s, they simply swim for two hours straight. With this intensive conditioning, the two teams are able to increase their stamina for meet days.

These stressful practices that help perform sufficiently at meets are necessary if the team wishes to attend Valley Championships. 

“The main goal for this season is to make it to Valley, which we already have a good chance at,” swimmer Makaira Chavez explained. Chavez swims the 50 yards and 100 yards which are sprints—meaning these are events based on speed rather than distance—and highlights how the team works hard to perform well at meets because they have a team goal of going to Valley Championships in May.
[It is] always fun to compete against the best,” stated Coach Wood. Valley is a chance to show what the Selma Swim teams have to offer, so he is working to get as many swimmers as he can ready for Valley. 

Marcuz Valdez, who swims the 100 yard breaststroke event, explained how he believes the team is on the right track towards reaching Valley. 

“This season, we’ve mainly worked on improving our relays, so that we can get everyone to Valley,” explained Valdez. As long as the team continues to build its individual swimmers strengths and focuses on improving their relays, the team will have a shot at their collective goal of Valley Championships.  

Overall, the Selma Swim teams get ready for another season of intense training and intense meets to fight for a chance to compete against other top schools at Valley.