Making a splash at Region

Viper Swim and Dive Team place at Region, move onto State

Kate Denning

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Girls on the 200 free relay react to placing third.

A bus full of champions made its way back to Austin from Rockwall early Sunday morning after the swim team competed at regionals. Among the swimmers were four team events moving onto state, three broken school records, and multiple placements on the podium.

“We swam really hard,” junior and one of the swim team’s captains, Avery Wong said. “Usually we do prelims one day and finals the next day, but this year they had to do it all in one day, which is a lot of swimming. And they were so tired, so I’m proud of how they pushed through.”

The boys placed fourth and girls placed seventh out of 21 teams each. 

“It was very competitive,” Wong said. “I would say we have one of the fastest regions in the state, which is why a lot of people from our region get called up to go to state.”

Junior and another swim team captain Julian Yung, who is a part of the first-place relay advancing to state, said it was one of the proudest moments of his life. 

Left-Right: Josh Bedford, Julian Yung, Danny Bishop, Aidan Spaulding. (Avery Wong)

“I don’t think I’ve ever felt something like that after I’ve swam,” Yung said. “It was a feeling like no other. I felt overwhelming joy and proud for my teammates that I swam with.”

Yung’s relay beat the other teams by a fourth of a second, and beat the school record by two seconds. Yung also broke a record in the Boy’s 200 IM and sophomore Josh Bedford broke a school record in the 500 Free.

“At the end of the 500, I was planning on making sure that I had some energy left just so I could catch everyone and kind of come from behind and that’s what I did,” Bedford said. “I flipped the last 100 and I was like, ‘Okay it’s time to go really fast now.’ I caught up to second from fourth place.”

However, according to Bedford, he wasn’t the only one who improved at the meet.

“[The meet] went really well,” Bedford said. “Everyone dropped time and swam well and had at least had one really good swim, so I think it went well for everyone.”

In addition to being proud of their teammates’ physical efforts, Wong, Yung and Bedford are all proud of the team’s sportsmanship.

“I think we showed the most team spirit and I think we would cheer the loudest for our team,” Wong said. “I was proud of our sportsmanship too, like how we treated the other teams. I think we did it with honor and class, like Vandegrift High School.”

The regional meet, which consists of four other districts, brought many teams together for their first “travel meet” of the season, which has always been exciting in years past, according to Yung.

“It was a lot of fun,” Yung said. “We went up the day before and we swam and got to hang out with Vista Ridge a little bit and got to know them a little better. It was great to finally be able to travel with the team, especially with that relay that won.” 

The team has been training for state the entire year, with the focus shifting to speed instead of length the closer it got to regionals. 

Junior Avery Wong dives back as teammates cheer her on. (Sydney Clements)

“It was our normal training but two weeks before region is when we started to go down on yardage and we started to really just work on just speed,” Wong said. “Cause throughout the whole season, you’re getting your aerobic base and your yardage and then toward the end you’re specializing on speed cause you already have your back pocket power of being able to swim that much.”

To Wong, Yung and Bedford, the meet was extraordinarily fun for a number of reasons, but the team’s strength in both swimming and teamwork came out on top.

“Every single one of [the teammates] had an amazing attitude the whole time, like no one was bringing anyone down,” Wong said. “If someone had a bad swim they bounced back immediately and they did not let it affect their teammates, cause this is a team sport. It’s not just about one person.”

 

Boy’s 200 free relay on the podium for third place. (Avery Wong)

Relays:

First place, new school record, state bound: Boys 400 Free relay (Julian Yung, Josh Bedford, Danny Bishop, Aidan Spaulding)

Third place, state bound: Girls 200 Free relay (Tammy Nyguen, Lara Lambardini, Abby Naden, Addie Orris)

Third place: Boys 200 Free relay (Julian Yung, Josh Bedford, Sergio Pereira, Danny Bishop)

Fifth place: Girls 400 Free relay (Tammy Nyguen, Natalie Denison, Abby Nade, Addie Orris)

 

Individual Events:

Fourth place, new school record: Boys 200 IM (Julian Yung)

Fifth place, state bound: Girls 200 IM (Addie Orris)

Second place, new school record: Boys 500 Free (Josh Bedford)

Third place: Boys 500 Free (Danny Bishop)

Fifth place: Boys 500 Free (Adain Spaulding)

Fourth place: Boys 200 Free (Josh Bedford)

Fourth place, state bound: Girls 100 Free (Addie Orris)